What Turns Home Buyers Off

What Turns Buyers OffWhen it comes time to sell your home, you want to make sure you're putting your best foot forward so that buyers will see themselves living in your home - and paying what you'd want them to pay.  In order to do so, make sure you're avoiding these top turn offs for buyers.

A room that isn't what it's supposed to be.

There's nothing like expecting to see a "3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, plus garage" as a buyer, and showing up at the actual site finding out that one bedroom has been converted into a personal gym and the garage has been re-made into a sweet rehearsal space for your up-and-coming garage band.

While your first thought may be, "But they can always convert it back into whatever they want," the simple truth is that many buyers aren't able to see above the pre-existing space (or even if they do, don't want to put in the work that may be required to convert it back).  Bedrooms and garages specifically are spaces that can be a make-or-break for many buyers - and believe us, they want bedrooms and garages to be what they're supposed to be.

Hardwood floors that are completely covered by carpet.

Hardwood floors add a clean, high design look that many buyers today want to see.  Covering it up with carpet can dissuade buyers with allergies or those who want a more low-maintenance cleaning environment.  It is best to simply let the buyer decide if they want to cover them up themselves, rather than having to imagine past the carpet you already have.


One may think that a pool is an added bonus in the eyes of buyers, but in Chicago especially, this is rarely the case.  Pools of all kinds - above ground, in-ground, indoor - read as "maintenance, added cost, liability issue."  In an area where pools aren't the norm (like, say, Arizona or southern California), they're viewed as more of a burden than a blessing.

Extravagant lighting fixtures or decor.

We get that everyone has their own personal preference with what looks best in a space.  While that 6 ft long mural of Marylin Monroe speaks volumes to you and your space, buyers are often unable to see past bold choices enough to imagine themselves in the space.  Tone it down yourself, or hire a professional to come in and help you stage a more appropriate space that will invite buyers to engage in their own creative thoughts (rather than indulging yours.)

A dated kitchen.

If you're kitchen looks like something from the 70s (or may actually be from the 70s) it is seriously time for an update.  Many deals are broken based upon the state of the kitchen.  Replace your avocado-green oven with a stainless steel one and in some nice granite countertops, and buyers will be much more likely to bite.

Unpleasant smells.

The smell of cigarette smoke or the musky odor of wet dog are an instant turn-off to buyers the minute they come in the door.  If you're immune to the smell of your own place, get a second opinion.  In many cases, you will want to replace the carpeting in your home and/or give your walls a fresh coat of paint to neutralize the odor.

Thinking about selling your home? Don't hesitate to send us an email or give us a call. We'll be happy to help.

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Baird & Warner

2526 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60614

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