There are so many of us who own pets, and even more of us who own homes, so you can probably see where this is heading. Having a furry companion may be one of the greater pleasures in life — and it can also totally destroy your carpet, no matter how well-behaved your dog or cat may be.
9 unexpected buyer turnoffs (and one of them involves pets)
For those who are gearing up to sell their home, now may be a great time to get into the market. Mortgage rates have risen slightly but are still holding steady. Housing prices are appreciating, which means that you may get more than you bargained for if you’re selling.
Wondering how much house you can afford? Start by getting prequalified online.
If you’re thinking about selling, then you’ve probably put thought into what buyers are looking for. Maybe you’ve upgraded key features in your home, like bathroom tile or kitchen countertops. You’ve probably started checking out other homes in your area to see what’s selling — but we’re betting that you haven’t considered what buyers don’t want.
As simple as this is, it’s a mistake we see so often when homeowners come into our office to get prequalified for a loan. It’s always beneficial to focus on what buyers want and what’s hot in your market, but you might be sabotaging your best efforts if something in your home is turning people off the moment they walk in your door.
OK, here’s a better example of what we’re talking about. We’ve scoured some of the top real estate, investment, and financial websites to come up with a solid list of what buyers don’t want to see when they view your house.
The more you know, the easier it is to find the right mortgage. Learn more about the different loan types here.
For pet owners especially, this is a really important read:
1. Pet stuff.
Oh, boy. You love your pet dearly, so it’s hard to imagine that not everyone’s going to feel the same. Amy Hoak of MarketWatch explains that most buyers aren’t going to want to see cat litter boxes or dog bowls in the kitchen — and lingering pet odors present a major problem. (More on that later.)
2. Baby stuff.
Seems harsh, but it’s true. MarketWatch goes on to say that for potential buyers, especially those who may not have children, kid and baby stuff should be put up and out of sight. Buyers need to be able to envision themselves in a home, and dirty bottles in the kitchen sink don’t help.
3. Bright lights.
Bet you wouldn’t think this was a buyer turnoff, but it absolutely is. According to Laura Agadoni at Trulia, many buyers balk at rooms that are too bright because it makes them feel uncomfortable and “on display.”
4. Outdated hardware.
Kind of like shoulder-pads, old hardware and fixtures from decades-past aren’t going to be making a comeback anytime soon. Trulia’s real estate pros recommend updating brass cabinet, door, and lighting hardware to brushed nickel to quickly “modernize” a house.
This one should go without saying, but you’d be surprised how many homes hit the market with mold, mildew, and stains. All areas of a home should be clean and free of debris to attract a buyer, confirms Janet Wickell at The Balance. This may be the time to splurge on a deep cleaning if you want to sell fast.
6. Bathroom clutter.
Cluttered bathroom countertops (and drawers and closets) are only going to distract a buyer, says MarketWatch. Almost no one wants to see a mess in such a personal room in the house, so take some time to organize, clean, and box up most items to put in storage.
7. Dirty toilets.
This may be one of the biggest offenders of all, and the sad part is that it’s easily avoided. MarketWatch recommends keeping your toilets clean and flushed with the lid down in each showing — and the touring buyers will thank you.
8. Odd spaces.
While the design of your home is entirely personal, you’re going to want each room in your house to make sense before you put it on the market. Trulia discourages against the unconventional use of space (like a sofa in the dining room, for example) since it will only confuse a buyer.
9. Sellers in the home.
You may want to greet prospective buyers at a showing and tell them how amazing your house is, but this is a strategy that is sure to backfire. If you’ve taken care of all the turnoffs listed above, this is the time to get out of Dodge and let buyers form their own opinions. You’re not going to get a sale by coming on too strong.
Ready to sell but don’t know where to begin? Let one of our loan officers put you in touch with a realtor we’ve worked successfully with in the past.
Pet owners and homeowners, we’ve got an easy fix
It may take some time to cover every buyer turnoff on this list, but when it comes to point number one, we’ve got your back. Across-the-board, unsightly pet stains and odors were named a top turnoff among prospective buyers. The good news is that if you’ve got white vinegar and baking soda in your cabinets already, then you’ve got the tools you need to keep your carpets clean — and your home attractive to buyers.
DIY pet stain cleaner recipe
- White vinegar
- Baking soda
- Soak the stained area of carpet in white vinegar until it is saturated completely.
- Then sprinkle baking soda on top.
- Cover and let the spot dry for 1-2 days. Vacuum, and repeat as needed on new or old stains.
One more thing: While pet accidents are bound to be a fact of life, and we know our DIY cleaner can help, a house-trained dog or cat that starts having accidents out of the blue may be showing the signs of an underlying health problem. If your pet’s behavior has changed suddenly, and your carpet is suffering, it may be worth a trip to the vet, for something as simple as a UTI or an early indicator of something more serious.
And when you do make that sale and are ready to buy, we recommend keeping this pet stain remover recipe handy. Change can be stressful for pets of any age, and dog trainers agree that pet accidents are much more likely to happen after a move to a new house.
If you’re ready to buy a new home, we can help you get prequalified. Get prequalified for a home loan first to find out how much house you can afford. That way, you won’t waste time shopping in the wrong price bracket.
For educational purposes only. Please contact your qualified professional for specific guidance.
Sources are deemed reliable but not guaranteed.