If you are in the market to buy, chances are in a few years you will be selling and upgrading your home in the next 5-10 years. The following scenarios are the most common problems that I encounter with houses that have trouble selling.
1. Houses with considerable road noise. Even if the home is not located directly on a busy street, if there is road noise, particularly a highway or very busy street, the home will have trouble selling.
2. Houses on a busy road. Most often people are scared of their children or grandchildren getting hit by a car, and the sound of road noise is again an issue.
3. Houses without a dining room. Generally people that are interested in buying a home cook, and they like to entertain. If the home does not have a dining room, it is my experience that the feedback from potential buyers is that they would prefer a home with a dining room.
4. Homes with too many stairs going up to the front door. If people have to envision carrying groceries up an unusually long flight of stairs, or if they are afraid grandma might not be able to come for a visit, too many stairs will be a significant drawback.
5. Homes with no yard or not much usable yard. Most people that invest in real estate envision being able to have some garden, or lawn that they can enjoy outdoors.
6. Homes without a garage. A garage is a must for most people.
7. Significant visible cracks in a foundation. If there are cracks in the foundation, this can spell significant trouble, even if a structural engineer is hired and does not express any significant concern, people envision the home caving in and the home will have trouble selling.
8. Homes with considerable pet odor or nicotine odor. People are terrified that they will not be able to get these smells out. The trouble is, the person living with the smell likely cannot smell it anymore. And these smells can be very difficult getting rid of.
9. Manufactured homes. Older manufactured homes are nearly impossible to finance. But, even a newer manufactured houses on a permanent foundation will not sell for what its counterpart stick-built home will sell for as they are considered by the market to be vastly more desirable.
10. Upgrades that are too personal. I recently showed a home that was in great shape, in a good price range. The buyers really liked it, but many of the upgrades were black. Black flooring, black cabinets, black exterior paint, etc. Thought most of the finishes were new, in the buyer’s mind, these finishes aren’t attractive and should be priced well as if it were a fixer. Try to keep any updates preferably neutral or in keeping with current style.
11. Homes without curb appeal. Certain types of homes have had too many additions or certain styles, such as split level homes, are considered to be not terribly attractive. When you are looking at a home without much curb appeal – ask yourself if another person would consider the home attractive. And if you are selling a home without much curb appeal, do everything you can to spruce it up – add some landscaping, some mulch, keep the yard tidy, possibly freshen up the paint, etc.
Many times people will still choose to buy homes with these drawbacks because the home fits all the criteria in any other way. Just make sure that before you write the offer, you are getting the best possible price for the home by having your agent perform a CMA. And if you are trying to sell a home that has one or more of these issues, do your best to price it accordingly.