4 deal-breakers for homebuyers

When you're trying to sell your house, you've got to put your best foot forward. Here are some things potential buyers will consider red flags.

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Sep 25, 2013 9:53PM
The first 2 were all issues that I would walk away, maybe the 4th but I know how to clean but a house with too many "personal" items.  If a buyer isn't capable of looking past furniture and family photos they're probably not bright enough to own a house.
Aug 14, 2013 8:38PM
a huge turn off are houses that are priced way out of line with the competition, many buyers won't even bother looking. Clean and neat, always helps make a good first impression, the smell of soap. Get rid of the bright pea green and shocking pink walls, light soft neutral colors, if your carpets are in decent shape have them shampooed, threadbare rugs replace them with a mid grade low nap neutral color, neat, tidy, picked up, wise investment may be a cleaning service to do it top to bottom, if your time is limited have a cleaning person time to time, lots of scrub scrub soap and water, open the windows for fresh air, take out the trash, and if you have pets be sure to bathe them and also pick up the dog doo in the yard.....a good inspector is worth the price, so is a good agent, check with consumer protection for prior complaints.
Aug 14, 2013 4:45PM
Make sure you hire an inspector you choose, not the one recommended by the real estate agent (who wants the sale to go through) or even your own lawyer.  We used an inspector recommended by a lawyer we hired to handle the transaction.  He recommended an inspector.  What we didn't find out until later was that the house had massive termite damage, which the inspector and lawyer had not informed us.   Though we filed a complaint against both, nothing ever came of it.
Sep 4, 2013 12:50PM
Sep 25, 2013 10:21PM
A deal breaker could just be an unrealistic seller.

A number of years back, my mother an I were looking at a house for sale. It was a nice large house, but the problems were everywhere: all the windows needed to be replaced, the kitchen was old, the oven had rust, the electrical wiring was old, the door on the front had 'graffiti' from the family living there, the back door was cracked and you could see sunlight through it, we couldn't get into the garage to see it because they had their dog in there, one of the selling points was a really big and old pool, another selling point was a rotting shed in the backyard, and we couldn't get into the attic because the ladder didn't work and it was infested with bees or wasps (you could see part of the hive from a broken panel on the outside of the house and insects flying to and from it). This house was originally on the market for $400,000; went down to $375,000...then to $350,000....then to $314,000. And their asking price was now $299,900. My mother told them $240,000 for the house. They refused because 'they bought a new house already' and that they  needed their asking price to pay for the downpayment.

Result: they didn't sell their house until 3 years later and lost the new house since they couldn't make the downpayment in time. Bonus: Their house only sold for $214,000. The people who bought the house, tried to flip it a year later (only painted the outside of the house) and had it for sale at $300,000. Once again, it didn't sell until a few years later and it was only for $210,000 (so they lost money). A company bought the house did a complete update on the kitchen (it was beautiful) and replaced the windows on the first floor and updated the bathrooms. The attic was also listed, but was sealed off which I don't understand as why would you advertise it if no one can get up there (the ladder was removed; I believe the insects were gone because I didn't see anything on this visit, but the panel was still broken) They were asking the same amount ($300,000) and it kept dropping every few months until someone bought it at $224,000? (It was in the $220,000 range)
Sep 26, 2013 9:30AM
seriously?  Did someone get PAID to write this?  Because I could do 1000X better!
Sep 25, 2013 8:12PM
home inspectors are marginal at best...foundation expert would be better to check out older home...plumber would be good too...take along a vacuum cleaner,turn on lights in several rooms and see if lights dim when vac is turned on...check window conditions very carefully...if you plan on sanding anything to remodel or renovate  - forget it - from experience i can tell you this consumes a great deal of time and never turns out to your satisfaction...walk out back-if you're accosted by insane dogs next door -DON'T BUY-....visit house at different times of day-note how many cars are left parked on street - this will tell you a lot about neighborhood...check area crime reports esp. summer time...take along a simple level tool...a super bright led flashlight i.e. fenix will uncover many issues...these simple recoms. can save you a lot of grief...
Sep 26, 2013 9:33AM
5. The house has no wall insulation in a climate where it is most definitely necessary for physical comfort.
Nov 19, 2013 11:37AM
#5- The neighbors, man, THE NEIGHBORS!
Sep 26, 2013 12:37AM
Here's something that's starting to break home sales all over the country. Solar Leases. It now cost so much less to purchase and own a solar system and keep the 30% federal tax credit and any available cash rebate, that it makes absolutely no sense for a homebuyer to assume the sellers remaining lease payments. Even if the home seller pays off the lease, most homebuyers today would rather buy a brand new system so they can apply the 30% tax credit to their income tax obligation and keep any available cash rebates, rather than keep the home seller's used, ageing solar system on their roof.   
Dec 17, 2013 7:35AM
When I was searching for a home, I fell in love with one and went to the neighborhood a few different times.  The first trip went fine, the second was questionable but on the third, I saw thugs walking down the street with a pit bull.  I would have never imagined it in that neighborhood.  I later found out that the neighborhood had a lot of foreclosures and rentals. 

While I have learned to look past weird paint colors, dark and weird represents a lot of work to me.  Many people want to move in right away and can live with walls that need painted.  But those dark weird colors represent something most people don't want to live with even temporarily.  Then you have to wonder, how many coats of paint will it take to cover that ugly green or orange. 

Sep 26, 2013 11:41AM
I walked into one house, and in the master bathroom there was a life sized semi-nude picture of the wife. Freaked me out!  NEXT
Aug 14, 2013 4:00PM
where do you look to see how the foundation is??
Sep 4, 2013 3:23PM
April Dykman, don't give up your day job at McD's yet. Your article is mostly opinionated bovine feces.
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