Selling Reno And Sparks Real Estate Blog


Top Reasons Why Your Home Is A Turnoff To Reno Home Buyers

So you have listed your home for sale and have had some really great traffic the first week it's listed but you still haven't receive any offers. Your Real Estate agent listed has it listed at a great price, comparable to all the other sales and listings in the neighborhood. Why isn't your home selling?

Here are a few reasons why buyers won't buy your house:

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1) Did the buyers just drive right by your house?

 Curb Appeal

 If the  outside of your home is uninviting, your lawn is dying and driveway is cluttered, buyers won't want to stop.

Be sure to keep the outside looking as pretty as the inside. Keep your lawn mowed and free of weeds. Pick up after your dog and/or children.

 Put away any clutter on the side of your house or in the front. Trim trees, bushes and plant fresh flowers (spring and summer months).  The walkway of your home should be welcoming to home buyers.

Don't make it easy for home buyers to check your house off their list even before they make it through the front door! A simple welcome mat is a great way to greet those entering your home.

2) It smells or has a peculiar odor!


 Did you recently cook fish for dinner? If so, anyone who enters yoru home will notice right away. Odor is probably the number one turn off for home buyers.

If you smoke inside, the entire house will smell like it. If you have pets, people will most likely notice simply from the smell.  Often times home owners have no idea their home has an odor, so if you are going to list your home for sale and you have a pet, ask someone who will be honest with you and will  tell you if your home smells. There are easy ways to help with the odors that get trapped in homes.


 3) You have pets and they greet everyone who enters your home.

Annoying / Happy Dogs

 Home buyers should not be distracted when entering your home. Allowing your animals to greet home buyers may be the only thing they remember after they leave the property.

 Many people are actually afraid of dogs or they simply do not like them. So if they see a dog at your house home buyers may want to simply stay put in the car.

 Try to make arrangements for your animals before you leave for work. Ask a neighbor to watch them, keep them locked in the garage or take them for a drive or walk while your home is being shown.

The fewer the distractions buyers have when first entering the more likely they will be to notice all the wonderful things about the home. Try to think like a buyer when you are the seller!

3)  Did you make your bed before you left the house? Put your laundry away? Are your breakfast dishes still in the sink and are your towels still laying on the bathroom floor?


 Dirty bathrooms are usually the biggest turnoff. Have everyone pick up used towels, wipe the counters off and pick up after themselves. Change the shower curtain,  buy matching towels and rugs to help spruce up a tired looking bathroom.

In the kitchen, put dirty dishes in the dishwasher or wash them and put them away. Never leave the home with dirty dishes on the kitchen table  or in the sink. It will be hard to get those images out home buyers minds. Sweep the floor daily and be sure to clean the oven and microwave.

The bedrooms should always look presentable. Make the beds everyday, put away laundry and shoes, clean out the closets, dust and put all toys away. Dust the entire house and open the curtains to let some light in!  If you need help with cleaning, I know a great Reno Cleaning Service who can help!


4) You want to hang around to help sell your home! You won't get in the way so you simply stay put!


There is nothing more distracting to home buyers than having the seller or any member of the family hanging around during showings. People rank right up there with pets when it comes to selling the home. The fewer distractions home buyers have, the better.

Do you want people to remember what a nice guy you are or what TV show you were watching during the showing or do  you want people to remember what an awesome home you have?

Don't stick around  for showings. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to leave before buyers  arrive and stay away long enough for the everyone to appreciate your home.

5) The house is to dark to notice what color the carpet is!

Dimly Lit Rooms

A dark home makes a bad first impression and is often considered another a huge turnoff to home buyers. If your home feels cold and dark, buyers won't buy your home. Try a few of these ideas to help brighten your home if it needs a little help:

  • Replace dim light fixtures or use higher wattage bulbs
  • Install additional light fixtures
  • Install (quality) sun tunnels or skylights
  • Remove heavy drapes to let the light stream through windows
  • Repaint some rooms with colors that reflect light
  • Trim tree limbs that shadow the house

Changing dark colors in your home are easy ways to brighten things up. Adding bright pillows to dark furniture and changing or buying new area rugs to match will make a huge impression.

6)Too many family photos

Personal Pictures

A home with too many family photos is hard for buyers to visualize what their art work will look like in your home. When getting ready to list your home, take down all those family photos and put away your collectibles. Try to think like a buyer and make things as simple as possible.

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Most of the above mentioned home buyer turnoffs can be easily fixed and won't cost a lot of money. Doing the work and getting your home ready prior to listing it on the market will help get it sold fasterwhen its listed and will leave a great first impression not only on the home buyer, but on the real estate agent as well.

 Leaving a good impression will keep your home on top of every home buyers list of favorites.

Once you have your home ready to list, call me! I can list your Reno or Sparks Nevada home for you. As a licensed real estate agent here in Northern Nevada, I am here to help you get your home sold in a timely manner. Call today and I will be happy to help!

Top Reasons Why Your Homes Is A Turnoff To Reno Home Buyers


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Comment balloon 12 commentsTerrie Leighton • November 20 2010 01:05AM


Good job a lot of agent do not let their clients know what turns off clients.

Posted by Tim Lorenz, 949 874-2247 (TIM LORENZ - Elite Home Sales Team) about 8 years ago

Thanks Tim! I guess it can be hard to be honest to sellers when it comes to such personal things for some folks. But if your agent lists a home and the homes has a few of the "turnoffs," they should be able to tell the client so the house will get sold, right?

Posted by Terrie Leighton, Reno Real Estate Agent ~ Selling Homes in Reno (Ferrari-Lund Real Estate ) about 8 years ago

Terrie, that is a list that works pretty much everywhere!  Great post!

Posted by Tony & Darcy Cannon, The C Team (Aubrey and Associates Realty) about 8 years ago

Terrie - you covered it all, I think.

Some people just will not buy a house that has had a pet or smoker living in it.  Especially a smoking pet.  :)

Posted by Virginia Hepp - Mesquite NV REALTOR, Mesquite NV Homes and Neighborhoods - Search MLS (ERA - Mesquite NV Homes For Sale) about 8 years ago

Terrie you are right on the money. It makes a world of difference in a competitive market to have your home showing it's best.

Posted by Bill Gassett, Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate (RE/MAX Executive Realty) about 8 years ago

Terrie, GREAT post and wonderful advice for homeowners....but, how can there be annoying pets?  :-0

Posted by Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®, Giving Back With Each Home Sold! (RE/MAX Realty Center ) about 8 years ago

Thank you Tony, I agree, these home buyer turnoffs don't just apply here in Nevada, they are true no matter where you are selling.

Virginia ~ A smoking pet, you are funny!

Bill ~ It is not quite a sellers market right now so having your home in tip top shape for home buyers is really important if getting your home sold is your goal.

Kristin~ I know it is hard to imagine but there are lots of people who are turned off by pets and simply don't like them! lol

Thank you everyone for taking the time to leave a comment here!

Posted by Terrie Leighton, Reno Real Estate Agent ~ Selling Homes in Reno (Ferrari-Lund Real Estate ) about 8 years ago

Great suggestions - I recently previewed a home where the homeowner (who was on his way out when we got there) had forgotten to, um, flush the toilet, which my client couldn't stop thinking about...and the kitchen smelled as if he had fried a couple of pounds of bacon.  When I think of that house, I can still "smell" that odor!  So many little things can make a big (and negative) impression!

Posted by Susan Haughton, Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results. (Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545) about 8 years ago

Hi Terrie, our vacation home market has a few of these items to overcome - when the cabin has been closed up for a long period of time, it tends to smell- electric is also turned off, which can make the rooms dimly lit and this time of year they're cold, too!  You have great advice for sellers here, with large inventories, buyers don't spend a lot of time with stinky, dark, untidy or cluttered homes!

Posted by Mary Douglas, REALTOR, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado (United Country Ponderosa Realty, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado) about 8 years ago

Terrie:  Great post with a sense of humor that will get the point across nicely!

Posted by Sidney Kutchuk - Realty Works Temecula Kutchuk - Realty Works Temecula, Realty Works Temecula (Realty Works Temecula) about 8 years ago

Hello Terry and a great post and this could work for most cities ...

Vegas Bob

Posted by Robert Vegas Bob Swetz, Las Vegas Henderson Homes for Sale (Realty ONE Group) about 8 years ago

great post Terrie!    I hear it all the time about the pet odors or the smoking odors... it's truly a deal killer.   Enjoy your day!!!

Posted by Kara Casamassina, Boomers and beyond (International Property Management Group, LLC) about 8 years ago

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