9 Things That Will Turn Off Northern California Home Buyers

Vicki Moore
Vicki Moore
Published on September 17, 2018

Whether there are a lot of houses on the market or only a few, home buyers are comparing your house in a big way.  They’re comparing it to what’s on the market and to what they’ve seen on pinterest, instagram and HGTV! You’ve got a lot to live up to.  

Let’s talk about the 9 Things That Turn Off Northern California Home Buyers

  1. Carpet

More and more Northern California home buyers are turning away from having carpet in their homes.  They appreciate the lack of maintenance and easy clean up of hardscape flooring.  There are a lot of different types of floors – including engineered, laminate and luxury vinyl – which is not as expensive as it sounds and isn’t the linoleum of past decades.  These floors come in various price ranges, colors, and a mix of textures and materials. Look at whether or not new flooring is in your budget.  And be sure to check with your agent before purchasing so you buy and install the most current, trending product.  

  1. Bedroom vs Home Office

When we’re preparing a house for sale we try to determine who the buyer will be.  We ask ourselves what type of home buyers will be attracted to this home. Then the upgrades and staging are set up to appeal to that consumer. Be careful if you’ve converted a bedroom into something like a home office. Ask yourself whether your home buyer type is going to be attracted to having a home office or if you should change it back to a bedroom.

  1. Kids Rooms

Kids are creative, free spirited – and, let’s face it, messy  So watch out for that. You’re selling what was your home; now it’s a commodity.  Every room has to shine and be its best guest-worthy. And as the market makes its shift, home buyers are going to become more selective and price conscious.  

  1. Less than Spotless

Home buyers are very sensitive about how you’ve been taking care of their new home before they’ve even bought it. Being less than spotless is a deal breaker. You need to clean from floor to ceiling.  Yes, really. I’ve been in plenty of houses where there were spider webs and dust way up in the corner of a high ceiling – the home buyers will notice, believe me! A dirty house always sends the wrong impression and is surprisingly common.  

  1. Making Buyers Take Off Their Shoes

Taking off my shoes when I walk into the house is such a habit that I do it without thinking.  But it’s not a practice that everyone appreciates. It’s not rude to ask home buyers to remove their shoes when entering your home – and some home buyers will ask at the front door –  but others do get annoyed. Since they’re your customer and you’ve worked so hard to impress them, try to put the shoe removal practice on hold until your house sells.  

  1. Pet Toys, Beds, Food and Cages

Pets are such a huge part of our family that sometimes we forget that not everybody lets their pets run the house.  If you have a pet then make sure everything like dog food and toys are stored away out of sight.  Having the dog bed laying around may not be appealing to a buyer who isn’t as pet friendly as you are. If you have a caged pet like rabbit, lizard or guinea pig, their habitats have to be spotless and smell free.  Pet lovers are going to judge you based on the cleanliness. It will affect the sale if they’re dirty.

  1. Garage Storage

The easiest thing to do when cleaning out your house to sell it is to throw all the extra stuff into the garage.  If you’re going to do that, make it neat and organized. When home buyers see a filled, cluttered garage they wonder if the house is big enough which can make them question whether or not the house is the right one for them. If you’ve decided to use the garage as an extra game/family room consider whether or not you should revert it back to a basic garage.   Removing any clutter so your home buyers can visualize where they’re going to put all their extras is a priority.

  1. A Dark Interior

Find every way possible way to make the house light and bright. Whether it’s a dark paint color, furniture or curtains, you’ve got to remedy it.  Move furniture away from sliding doors and windows, not only for access to the outside but to let the sunshine in. Use an uplight to brighten a dark corner or floor lamps in a dark room.  Consider white monochromatic accessories. Even plants like white orchids will bring in much-needed light.

  1. Outdated and Worn Light Fixtures, Door Knobs, Faucets

Outdated fixtures, knobs and faucets can bring down the interest level of any buyer.  It’s worth the expense to change them out. Having a consistent look throughout includes the little things.   Speaking of light fixtures, a beautiful chandelier can increase the intensity of your room; but if you plan on taking it with you be sure to take it out before the house goes on the market.  Keep your path for a smooth negotiation clear of hurdles like who gets the light fixture. Hopefully those tips were helpful in prepping your home for sale.  If you have questions about your specific situation, let us know. We’re happy to help.     Get yours! Fall Home Seller Guide


Are you thinking of selling your Northern California home?   If you haven’t hired a top producing Northern California real estate agent yet, contact me, and I’d be happy to discuss the real estate market history and the current state of the local market! About the author:  The above article “9 Things That Will Turn Off House Potential Buyers” was provided by Vicki Moore of eXp Realty California.  With over 20 years of experience, if you’re thinking of selling or buying, we’d love to share our knowledge and expertise. We service the following Northern California areas: Roseville, Rocklin, Granite Bay, San Mateo, Foster City, Pacifica, Burlingame, San Carlos, Belmont, Redwood City.


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