10 Things that Can Scare Your Potential Buyers Away

October 29, 2012

Toronto Home Staging

1. Dirt

The fact is, nobody wants a dirty home.  Make sure all rooms are impeccably clean from top to bottom most especially the more important rooms like the kitchen and the bathroom. Have it professionally cleaned (including all kitchen appliances) before opening your doors to potential buyers.

2. Odor

This is of utmost importance if your house smells weird (musty, the smell of spices or food, the smell of a dirty sofa, smell from smoking inside the house, etc. ) at the front door, chances are, buyers are not stepping in.  Ask a friend or your neighbor to come in for their honest opinion if you’re unsure. Remember, if you can smell it, you can’t sell it!

3. Pets

Most buyers are scared of pets. They might be the cute and cuddly companion for you, but for buyers, pets are unpredictable creatures ready to attack! Relocate them for the time being. Do not let your pets sabotage your chances of a firm offer on the table.

4. Clutter

Clutter screams problem to buyers.  Home buyers are always looking for extra space, an extra closet or the extra counter space that they lack.  Ditch your clutter, get organized, and free up some space! Offer a solution to your buyer’s space problems.

5. Poor curb appeal

Impress them as soon as they step out of the car; lure them to come inside to enjoy the rest of the house, your curb appeal matters.  Your house might look spectacular and captivating inside but if it looks run down from the outside, buyers will just drive by and will head on to the next house.

6. Too many personal items

This is not the time to show off your true color, remove all your personal photos, and all things that show your personal affiliations, your politics or religion.  Depersonalize and appeal to all.

7. Dated light fixtures

Get rid of the “cheap looking” and dated brass light fixture. Home improvement stores such as Home Depot, Lowes or Rona offers a wide variety of choices depending on your budget. These home improvements stores offer a wide variety of options that work for everybody’s budget. Light fixtures are inexpensive updates that make a huge impact on your buyers.

8. Dated wallpaper and bold wall colors

When selling, neutral is the magic word. Your home should feel relaxing and calming to your buyers.  Greet your buyers with an inviting and pleasing wall color.  Strong bold colors and dated wallpapers are often a big turn-off for buyers. Click here for the things that are making your house look dated.

9. Misrepresenting your home

This is the biggest mistake you can do as a home seller. Make sure all the listing information are accurate especially your online listing photos. Nothing is worse than being lied to.

10. Snoopy sellers

Let your real estate agent do their magic for you, this is what they do.  Try to go somewhere else during house showings.  It is very annoying for buyers and agents alike (not to mention that it’s really awkward for you too) for sellers meddling during house showings.


is a Canadian Certified Staging Professional. His professional affiliations include the Real Estate Staging Association (RESA) and the CSP. He is the recipient of numerous home staging awards and was picked as RESA’s Top Professional Stager of Canada for 2016. He has worked with hundreds of Real Estate Brokers, Investors, Real Estate Agents, and has helped homeowners showcase their homes at its best when it is time to sell.

As President and Principal Stager of REDESIGN4MORE, Red provides home staging and interior redecorating services for both small and large-scale residential projects throughout Toronto and the GTA. Click here to learn more about Red and REDESIGN4MORE.

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