Nothing congers up dollar signs more than electrical issues. In fact, 46 percent of buyers are shocked enough to walk away. “It is a large expense for any buyer to take on, but for investors or those looking for a big remodel it’s just part of the cost of doing business,” says McAuley. For example, if a buyer is planning on a major renovation, they are going to install new electrical anyway. But for those desiring move-in ready, this could zap their interest in buying. Outdated electrical isn’t the only dangerous thing lurking in your house; watch out for these hidden dangers in your home.
Not enough natural light
How many times have you heard a home buyer on TV walk into the room and exclaim, “I love the natural light!” “Lack of natural light or dark rooms are a drawback for many buyers,” notes McAuley. While adding a window or opening up a room to bring in more natural light are options that aren’t hugely expensive, 43 percent of buyers consider it a turn-off.
Dilapidated neighboring property
It’s a shame to find the perfect home only to discover the property next door is run-down. Unless the neighbors plan on doing renovations or moving soon, 43 percent of buyers say it’s a no-go and move on. “An unsightly mess is probably going to bother you more as you own and invest in your own property,” cautions McAuley. “Remember, you can make a house what you want, but you can’t change the lot or location,” says McAuley.
House is near a busy road
“A house located near a major road or highway is a big negative. It will bring noise and traffic and even if a buyer is OK with it, it will be difficult to resell down the road,” cautions McAuley. Not surprisingly, 43 percent drive off on this one.
Small room sizes
“Large, open spaces are the rage among home buyers in today’s market. The small, choppy rooms so popular in the 50s and 60s are a big turn off,” notes McAuley. Buyers may have a difficult time imagining the possibilities if the walls were torn down to create an open floor plan or they don’t have the budget to do it. Either way, 40 percent close the door on these houses.
“If you’ve ever had people over for a dinner or party, you know that no matter how much space you have in your home, the kitchen is where everyone ends up hanging out,” says McAuley. A small kitchen or one that is closed off is a huge deterrent whether you’re a frequent dinner party host or not. According to Realtor.com, the kitchen is the favorite room of a home for 80 percent of buyers. It’s no wonder 39 percent lose their appetite and look for something more substantial. No matter the size you can make your kitchen look expensive with these tricks.
Bad DIY projects
DIY can get ugly quick and it can be expensive to fix. A crooked towel bar or a ceiling fan that isn’t quite centered aren’t likely to send buyers running, but bigger DIY projects like doors that don’t completely shut or gaps and buckling in flooring steer 38 percent of buyers away. “A bad DIY can usually be fixed, but no buyer wants to pay for updates they don’t like or that look cheap,” says McAuley. You have to see these DIY fails to believe them.
Student housing is next door
It’s often a rite of passage for newly independent college students to host parties, with blaring music, and general chaos all hours of the night. Of course, there are exceptions and maybe the tenants will be quiet. But who knows what kind of tenants will be there the next school year? “Student housing can be a nonstop revolving door and there are usually too many unknowns for the buyer,” says McAuley. The thought of too many nights of lost sleep deters 37 percent of buyers.
HVAC on the fritz
Nothing says “cha-ching!” quite like faulty or old HVAC systems. Heating, cooling, and ventilation are major components that are costly to repair and/or replace and 37 percent of buyers get cold feet and walk away. But if a buyer is set on the house McAuley suggests the buyer factors in the cost of replacement and deduct from the price of the home before making an offer.
Dislikes exterior finish
A quaint stone cottage is cozy and charming but not a popular exterior for 31 percent of buyers. “It’s not a mainstream or popular look and the house may stand out as inconsistent with the neighborhood,” says McAuley. “A buyer could look into replacing the exterior if the price is right which could be possible since the seller is likely dealing with a much smaller pool of buyers.” Read on to find out the biggest regrets of first-time homebuyers.