10 things a potential buyer doesn't want to see

Posted by David Feldberg on Wednesday, December 10th, 2014 at 2:55pm.

You've finally decided to sell your home and you are looking around wondering if there are some things that you should do before pictures are taken and strangers come looking through your home.  We have put together a list of 10 things that are an absolute must for any seller looking to get top dollar for their home.

1.  Garage Conversion

You work out of the house and you have made half of your garage into an office, or maybe its become your man cave complete with pool table, bar, and beer tap.  Either way unless its really spectacular more people would probably rather have a garage that can actually fit cars or work as storage.  Either way if you are advertising that your home has a garage, make sure its usable.  

2.  Bedroom Conversion

When a buyer is looking for a home one of the first must haves on their list is a specific number of bedrooms.  Similar to the garage conversion mentioned above if you have made the extra bedroom into an office, gym, wine cellar or something else entirely, just make sure its usable as a bedroom when you take your stuff out.  Buyers aren't going to pay a premium for your home if they are going to have to put work into making it usable for them.

3.  Hardwood Floors

There are so many times where you pull back old carpet in a home and you find old hardwood floors beneath.  This is a HUGE plus!   Many buyers really like hard wood floors so if you were thinking of replacing the carpet and there is hardwood underneath, don't.  Maybe give the hardwood a little TLC and you are done!

4.  Unique Lighting Fixtures

While you might appreciate a very intricate chandalier or that very unique hand blown glass cover it might not appeal to all buyers.  Try to go with something more neutral so it appeals to almost everyone.

5.  Personalized Kids Rooms

All your daughter wants to be is a Disney princess (I understand I have a daughter as well) and you have turned her room into this amazing castle with matching lighting fixtures, paint, and shelving, etc.  Too bad your buyer has a teenage boy that is going to be using the room and now they need to convert everything back. 

6.  Above Ground Pools

You would be surprised how often you still run into these.  I have never had a buyer say to me, "I really can't wait to get an above ground pool into this great backyard."  So, if you have one and you are definitely ready to sell before summer dismantle it and fix the grass below.  You will appeal to a much larger group of buyers now.

7.  In-ground Pools

Here in Southern California many of us had pools and want to have one in our new home.  There are however a large contingent of buyers who don't want to pay for the upkeep or have young children and are worried about having a pool.  Before you sell look into having a quote from a fencing company for a secure gate around the pool and put it on the door on the way out to the pool for potential buyers.  Also, (and this goes without saying) keep the pool clean.  Nothing is worse then seeing a gross pool in the backyard.

8.  60's Kitchen Fixtures

If your home is in great shape but you have really old kitchen fixtures and countertops.  Consider getting new stainless steel appliances and granite counters.  Buyers these days are looking for move in ready homes and knowing that a kitchen remodel has to be done with certainly effect your price.

9.  Cigarette Smells

This is an easy one and not as big of a problem these days.  If you have lived with a smoker and they have smoked inside the home for years you need to rip out all the carpet and probably anything cloth in the house, get a deep cleaning, then paint and replace the carpet.  Smoke odors can be a deal breaker for a lot of buyers.

10.  Pets

We have a dog in our house and to me the thought of a pet in the home is a pleasant thought, I however don't represent all buyers.  Some people don't find the old dirty blanket that your best friend loves to lay on that cute.  They find it gross and the odor bothers them.  Consider moving your pets bed to the garage for a short while so any potential buyers won't be upset.

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