Six Buyer Turn-Offs to Avoid When Selling Your House

Initially, you loved your home, but it’s time to sell it and you want people to admire it as much as you did. Still, you might accidentally fall foul of one or more of the following six blunders that cause buyers to flee rather than make an offer on a house.

Your choice of real estate agent

Never underestimate the importance of securing a terrific real estate agent. You may imagine one agent is similar to another, but their skills vary. You want an amenable agent who can charm prospective customers and knows the best ways to sell your particular property.

Look for an experienced representative who will make a staunch effort to find buyers and describe your home to its best advantage. Note some agents are vibrant and professional, while others lack zest and seem careless.

If, when you visit a real estate agent with a view to acquiring their services, you aren’t given prompt attention, the representative assigned to you is unenthusiastic, or the office looks grim, give them a miss. The way they treat you shows how they treat buyers and sellers alike, and poor service will continue.

If you want to know how good an agent is at their job, make an appointment and let them show you around a similar property to yours. Are they motivated? Do they show the house to its best advantage? You’ll soon know whether they are suitable from the way they behave.


No doubt, you’ve seen terrible photographs within property listings. Some are dismal, and far from promoting the best features of a house make it look dingy and boring. Check the snaps the agent of your choice has taken for other properties.

Are they impressive? If not, and you want to stick with the agent, consider taking your own photographs or hire an expert. The pictures within listings are likely to be the first glimpses of your house buyers see, so make sure you don’t skimp on professionalism. Remember to set the scene before taking pictures too. Ensure rooms are appealing and pleasant to view.


What’s the number one put-off for buyers when they view a property for sale? Clutter can make even the most beautiful, spacious house appear ugly and small. Get rid of unwanted items and rubbish; you won’t want to move house with them, anyway.

Give goods you don’t use to charity or family and friends and assess whether you’ve hung onto belongings you don’t need or enjoy. Keep only what’s useful or beautiful. 

Also, put items you rarely use out of the way; not just before a viewing, but all the time while your home is for sale. You never know when a potential buyer might want to come round, and it’s not fun rushing around clearing up at the last minute. 


You might have homeowner’s blindness. This occurs when the people who live in a house can no longer fully recognize its faults, including viewable grime. You might vacuum the carpets and clear the decks of paperwork, but how about polishing the water-stained taps and making the sinks shine?

Kitchen crumbs, corner cobwebs, and fingermarks on cupboards are obvious to viewers but may not be to you. The best way to see grime rather than blank it out is to imagine you are a potential buyer. Walk through your house, room by room, and note your first impression. Would you use the words bright and fresh to describe what you see? If not, it’s time to scrub dull areas and clean away dirt that’s built over time and become less visible to you.

Unpleasant smells

You might have heard about using pleasing scents–like fresh coffee and homemade bread–to attract buyers, but not paid attention to present smells in your abode. It’s hard to mask unpleasant odors like sweat from sportswear, damp dog towels, and yesterday’s cooking.

Air rooms by opening the windows and remove smelly items. Then, just before viewers arrive, light a scented candle or use an air freshener. Additionally, make sure you fix damp areas that leave a nasty odor; even if they don’t show, buyers will note them.

Overbearing presence

You have a relationship with your home, and it’s full of memories. Nonetheless, your experiences, and what you imagine are delightful quips about events that happened in your house, aren’t of interest to buyers; they may find them boring. Keep personal anecdotes to yourself and focus on selling your home as a blank canvas on which new people can stamp their mark.

Also, remove personal items you enjoy but may jar the senses of viewers. For instance, perhaps you love your painting depicting Vlad the Impaler at work. Buyers, however, could find it off-putting. Unusual décor and paint choices may not appeal to all viewers. Choose neutral colors if possible and play down extremes. 

You want people to get excited about your house and fall in love with it, so don’t put them off. Clear clutter, avoid personal anecdotes and unusual décor, and ensure the place is pleasant and clean. First, though, select a fabulous real estate agent and show your home in its best light via professional photographs and you won’t accidently frighten potential buyers.

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