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2023 Top Home Buyer Turn-Offs

There are a few things you can be sure that buyers looking at homes will routinely reject. They will notice them and will mentally deduct their own guesstimate of the fix from the listing price. It is wiser and more cost effective to eliminate the turn offs before listing and showing your home. You will recoup the cost of the fix and sell your home faster.

1. Dark or bold paint colors.

Even trendy colors cannot please everyone. Paint colors have become so individual, it is important to present a neutral landscape for the buyers to envision themselves living in your home. Prime and paint over dark or trendy colors with a light neutral color.

2. Dated kitchens and bathrooms

The rooms most likely to sell or not sell a home. Scouring grout, repainting, and deep cleaning, along with staging using fresh white towels will present a clean if not up to date look. Make sure all the fixtures are in working order and simply present a clean and uncluttered space.

3. Popcorn ceilings

A buyer turn-off for many decades now, popcorn ceilings will immediately date your home; that it was built sometime in the 50’s through the 70’s. Not only does it create a dated appearance, but if the popcorn contains asbestos it creates a health issue too. It’s an immediate buyer turn-off and if they see it in pictures before viewing the home, they might not even give it a second glance. Though not inexpensive to scrape or install gypsum board over it, in the end it will be worth the work and expense to rid the ceiling of the popcorn before listing your home.

4. Pets

Even pet lovers don’t necessarily love your pets. The distraction of a pet in the house can completely ruin a showing, not to mention the reaction of a buyer who has a pet allergy. Be sure all pet odors are neutralized. After showings, we speak to the showing agent and pet odor is often the top complaint.

5. Dark rooms

Open the window drapes and blinds and turn on the lights. Make sure all the bulbs in all the fixtures are working, remember this from our January Inventory and Repair List. Taking the time to turn on all the lights in your home before a showing cannot be overstated. It may be the difference between a first impression of dark and dingy or light and airy.

6. Messy garages and laundry rooms

Neat and tidy means there is room to work in both of these work areas. If they are filled with junk or a pile of laundry, it feels like there is not enough work or storage space in the area.  Families will take into account how much room there is in a laundry room. Freshly laundered clothes can be left in the machines and on the surface space to enhance the feeling that work is easy in the area, and in fact the clean smell can be a benefit.


In conclusion, when it comes to selling your home, it’s important to be aware of the top turn-offs for potential buyers. From dark paint colors to dated kitchens and bathrooms, there are a number of factors that can immediately turn buyers away. Some before the buyer even steps foot into your home. However, by taking the time and effort to address these issues before listing your home, you can ensure a smoother and more successful home selling process. Whether it’s repainting in neutral colors, updating fixtures, or simply decluttering and deep cleaning, even small changes can make a big difference. By presenting a clean, bright, and welcoming space, you can help potential buyers see themselves living in your home and increase your chances of a successful sale.

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