Posted about 5 years ago

Top 5 Deal-Breakers for Home Buyers

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Home buyers can be finicky sometimes. They’re making a big commitment, one they’re going to have to live with for years, so it make sense for them to be a little picky. So if you want to be able to sell a home to them, there are a couple of their qualms you’ll need to watch out for. To that end, we’ve put together this list of five of the most common items that send buyers running from a home.

If you’re flipping a home, pay special attention to these items during the remodel.

1. Dated Features

Have you ever made a pop culture reference to movie or TV show from 20 years ago, and were reminded how old you are when no one got it? The same thing can happen to homes. There are some design choices that were made ubiquitously during certain decades, and their presence in a home is a clear sign of the property’s age. While some—like bright orange shag carpet—have been replaced by now in most properties, others have lingered. Here are the most famous:

  • Acoustic popcorn ceilings
  • Wallpaper
  • Old hardware and fixtures

Popcorn ceilings, besides being an odd design choice, is often a sign of asbestos in the home, and no home buyer wants to deal with that, so removing it is on you. Wallpaper is invariably indicative of the style of those who picked it, and rarely meshes with the personal tastes of future residents. It’s often considered ugly or tacky, and difficult to remove, so buyers shy away from it. Tear it down yourself if you want to move the property.

Hardware, like handles and door knobs, start to show their age over time, the polish and/or veneer wearing away after years of use. Plumbing and light fixtures likewise indicate how old a property is, as it’s usually easy to identify which era they came from. Both hardware and fixtures are relatively easy and inexpensive to replace, but they make a significant difference in the appearance of the property.

2. Aging Appliances

If you had the good fortune to live in beat-up, old apartments during college, you’re very familiar with specific models of oven that were likely built in the ‘70s, and seem to be in each building you moved to. Old appliances are less energy efficient, require frequent maintenance, and usually look pretty dingy. Replacing them is more expensive than the hardware and fixtures, obviously, but you get more bang for your buck, as nearly every home buyer swoons over a shiny new stainless steel dishwasher.

3. A Roof That Needs Repair

A roof is a critical part of a house. In other words, if your roof is leaky and doesn’t do it’s job, you don’t have a house, you have a hassle. Repairing a roof can sometimes be costly, it’s troublesome, and few buyers will be willing to accept a deteriorated roof as a day-one problem. Do yourself a favor, and invest in the home by fixing up the roof yourself.

4. Old HVAC Systems

Furnaces, boilers, water heaters, AC units, none of them are designed to last longer than 20 years; some are only built to go half that long. Replacing units can often be a big up-front expenditure, and many homeowners aren’t expecting to have the kind of cash lying around that it takes. Update the systems yourself, then reflect your investment in the price. Most savvy buyers won’t mind the replacement cost, as long as it’s included in the asking price.

5. Poor Curb Appeal

This one may seem silly, but a little aesthetics goes a long way. Don’t throw away all of your hard work on the interior by neglecting the exterior. Do needed repairs, give the property a fresh coat of paint, and make sure the yard work is done. If potential buyers like the appearance on the outside, they’ll be more inclined to investigate how the property looks on the inside.

You can learn more about how to be successful flipping houses from the pros at Real Estate Elevated.