25 Easily Avoidable Ways to Pass Up a Sale

Here are 25 buyer turn-offs that can kill a sale.

Most are inexpensive to correct and with a little attention and seller savvy, you can attract buyer interest, improve salability and even increase value at little or no cost.

  1. Pet and tobacco smoke odours
  2. Strong cooking odours (cooking cabbage or a fish dinner before a home showing)
  3. Cereal boxes and the like on top of fridge, dishes in the sink and cluttered kitchen and bathrooms counters
  4. Overstuffed and disorderly closets and cupboards
  5. Laundry, bottles, toys, etc. stacked on stairs to the second floor or basement
  6. A piece of furniture in the way of a door
  7. Messy and unclean kitchens and bathrooms
  8. Cobwebs and dust in an unfinished basement; also in lighting fixtures and ceiling fans
  9. Dirty laundry piled up in laundry room
  10. A dirty fish tank
  11. Dusty corners, dirty windows, window tracks and dusty blinds
  12. Odd or loud colours: black, red walls and flooring.
  13. Wall paper is out of vogue and translates into a lot of work to take down.
  14. Stained and worn paint on walls
  15. Old galvanized plumbing is a red flag to today’s consumer
  16. Knob and tube wiring that has been replaced and not removed can spook buyers.
  17. A cold unheated house
  18. Lots of family pictures on walls and furniture can cause buyers to lose focus on the house
  19. Sidewalks and driveways not shoveled in winter; uncut grass and untrimmed shrubs in summer
  20. Unfinished work: window trim, baseboards, broken weather stripping around doors
  21. Patio sliding doors that won’t slide easily
  22. Worn or out-of date carpeting, linoleum and scratched hardwood
  23. Seller following buyer around during a showing
  24. A dog in the house and especially at buyers’ feet
  25. Not making the home easily accessible for showings

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