Category Archives: home seller preparations

8 Reasons Home Buyers Won’t Buy Your Property


home with red flags that drive buyers awayWhen you’re getting ready to sell your home, you need to look at your home through the eyes of a potential buyer.  That means looking at your home with impartial eyes and seeing the good, the bad, and the red flags.  The latter should worry you the most: the red flags that keep potential buyers from signing on the bottom line and keep you from getting full asking price.

Curled and cracked roof shingles

The cost of a new roof is going to set off alarm bells in a buyer’s head.  If they do make an offer, it’s going to be far below asking price.  You don’t always have to climb up on a roof (and neither do potential buyers) to see warped, curled, and cracked roof shingles.  To find out the condition of your roof, hire a home inspector to inspect your roof before you put your home on the market.

If the home inspector does find problems with your roof, the good news is that you can choose the contractor and the amount of the repair—a luxury you can’t always make when the buyer’s inspector finds the problem.

Water damage

Discolorations, bubbling drywall, crumbling floors, mold on the drywall…all these signs of water damage can send buyers out the door.  Now is the time to do a full repair of any water damage all the way to the source.  As a bonus, once you’re done, you can give your wall a fresh coat of neutral paint that appeals to potential buyers (your real estate agent can give you neutral paint color ideas).

Basement flooding

Even after you’ve cleaned up your flooded basement, evidence of your recent flooding can still be present.  Make sure you clean water lines on the wall, moldy surfaces, and any white powder residue that is left over from the flood.  To ensure that your buyers don’t walk into a swimming pool in your basement, make sure the issue that caused the flooding has been resolved.  Use a dehumidifier to keep the moisture in the air low, and keep your basement from smelling musty—another red flag that can set off alarm bells in buyers.


Having a home that smells “just right” is a balancing act.  You want your home to smell nice, but the smell shouldn’t be so strong that potential buyers think you’re trying to hide an issue.  Walk through your home and check for any odors (musty smells, faint burning scents, etc.)  Find the source, eliminate them, and replace them with the smell of baking cookies (or whatever nice scent you want).

Electrical issues

No one wants to buy a home that’s full of electrical demons and is going to take a mountain of money to fix.  Test every light switch and fixture in your home and make the necessary repairs. Replace any light bulbs that don’t work.  Potential buyers take a working home as a sign that they’re buying a well-maintained property.


An infested home is a repellent for most buyers.  Droppings, odors, dead critters, nesting materials—even insect and rodent traps—can signal an infestation that potential buyers are not going to want to take on.  Take care of any pest problems, and take measures to keep them away.

Substandard deck

Many people want to buy a home with a deck, but they don’t want to buy a home with a deck that’s crumbling under them.  Your deck shouldn’t just look great; it should have a solid structure under it that potential buyers can appreciate after they sign on the dotted line.

Cracking, shifting, or shoddy work…

If you do notice any potential red flags during your walk through, make note of any issues and ask your home inspector to thoroughly inspect the problem during the pre-listing home inspection.  This is a time when it’s important to hire an experienced and knowledgeable real estate agent, who can walk you through the process, resolution, and the sale of your property.