One of the busiest times of the year for home buying is just a few short months away. If you’re considering selling your home, you’re likely wondering what are the top possible home problems that can ward of potential buyers. Be aware that preparation is everything. Now (and not later) is the time to address the issues around your home that could hamper your efforts to sell to eager buyers. While there may be more obvious items like termites or the presence of radon being deal breakers, there are also other issues that might not be so obvious to you. Before listing your home for sale, be wary of these nine issues that could scare off potential buyers.
- Odors in Your Home
You might not notice it, but if your home has an unpleasant smell from pets or cigarette smoke, that can discourage a potential buyer the moment they walk in the door. While many will say first impressions are everything, this is absolutely no different when presenting your home to new potential buyers. What’s worse is if you have a possibly musty smell, it can be a sign you might have a mold problem that should be investigated (or will require doing so). Having your carpets professionally cleaned or giving the interior of your home a fresh coat of paint before listing your home can cut down on some odors.
- You Have Wallpaper
Wallpaper is typically more of a personal taste. A potential home buyer may look at the wallpaper you love and envision a lot of work ahead. If you’re selling your home, get rid of your wallpaper and be sure to replace it with a neutral paint color.
- Roof Damage or Old Roof
If your roof is at or near the end of your lifespan, this could be an absolute deal breaker for potential buyers. Damaged shingles, missing shingles or multiple layers of shingles from previous re-roofs could cause a buyer to think twice about making an offer on your home. Replacing or repairing your roof can make your home more attractive to potential buyers.
- Water Stains
Even if your home has been inspected for mold and is completely free of it, water stains on walls or ceilings can scare off buyers. This can be prevented by covering up water stains with a fresh coat of paint.
- Signs of Gutter Damage
Damaged gutters can scare off potential buyers because there could be water or foundation damage to your home. Routine maintenance and inspection can alert you to needed repairs. So, before listing your home, make sure to check out your gutters and make repairs.
- Cracks in Walls and Foundation
If you have cracks in your walls and foundation, your home could have a structural issue. Before listing your home, you will want to have these issues inspected. You will also want to be prepared with a plan to repair any structural issues if any are found when the home inspection is done.
- Older Kitchen Appliances
Potential buyers hope to keep their immediate out-of-pocket expenses as low as possible when moving into a new home. They might expect to buy a new refrigerator, but not an entire kitchen’s worth of appliances. If your stovetop/oven or dishwasher is outdated, it could be worthwhile to update them with new appliances.
- Old Windows or Doors
Doors or windows that creak, get jammed or look shabby can turn off potential buyers. It might not be on the top of your list because of the expense, but new windows and doors could give you a 50 – 80 percent return on your investment. If that’s not in your budget, at least make repairs to stop creaking and jamming. This also goes without even mentioning the potential savings made through possibly reducing energy loss through your home, which may occur due to Charleston’s hotter springs and summers.
- Your Listing Price is Too High
Setting your price too high for your neighborhood can discourage potential buyers and keep your home on the market longer. Consult with your realtor to determine what a truly fair (and smart) asking price is for your home.