What Home Buyers Don't Want to See in Your Home

What Home Buyers Don't Want to See in Your Home

While renovations will improve your home in so (SO!) many ways, it is important to realise that when you are selling your home, there are a handful of elements that are actually unattractive to buyers. Unless a homebuyer is looking to completely tear down and renovate a house, most potential buyers would prefer to move into something that is up-to-date, contemporary and habitable. 

Even if you plan on living in your home for the foreseeable future, these tips are perfect to help rejuvenate your space in the meantime for you to enjoy! When executed properly, these tips can be a great way to accrue both financial and aesthetic value over time! Whether you are looking to sell your home now, or in the future, consider incorporating these five tips which either make or break your property! 

Image Credit / Catherine Cornelissen / Mayfair Penthouse


storage

Clutter is not only a pet peeve, it is also a turn-off for buyers. While we become accustomed to our own clutter and live with it, homebuyers definitely notice! 

Consider for a moment that you are in the homebuyer’s shoes and you notice that there is a lack or shelving, concealed cupboards or wardrobe space — you wouldn’t be happy! In fact, you would probably be mildly anxious thinking about where all your belongings would go!

On the plus side, you can take almost any empty space -- such as landing, hallway or architectural recess -- and turn it into beautiful built-ins. Built-ins can also help tie a room together and frame structural features, such a fireplace, so it's a win-win! Even if you have a flat wall along one side of a bedroom, living room, hallway or office — you can take that wall and build out 50cm-100cm to create storage cupboards. 

Avoid having more than three countertop appliances in your kitchen and attempt dividing your bookshelves into thirds: one-third books, one-third decorative (vases and pictures) and one-third empty. 

You will likely already have picture frames and some books lying around, so select a few that you can use decoratively! Purchasing inexpensive but aesthetically pleasing vases or ginger jars online can serve a dual purpose as they will not only add attractive features to your home-for-sale, but you can also enjoy them in your new home! 

“I usually start in the closet... your closets should be half-full, with nothing on the floor. Why? Because most people looking for a house have outgrown their previous house. Showing them that you've still got room to grow gives them a reason to buy.” 

Julie Dana, Home Stager


outdated fixtures & lighting

There’s a reason why the past is the past! Not one buyer wants to see tarnished doorknobs, disco-esque lighting fixtures or dare we say, old ceiling fans! (All you have to do is type ‘outdated home’ in Google and you’ll see the visual we are referring to!). Nothing says 1970s like a Hollywood-style strip of bare, round lights over your bathroom mirror. Replace these old, dated fixtures! The investment of a few hundred pounds is definitely worth it! We suggest covering up spotlights, which are harsh and unattractive to the eye, with a soft shade instead or go for a feature pendant. 

You don’t want to have so much lighting that you can’t tell switches apart, however you should aim to have a few light sources, types and at different heights with dimmers. To break that down: in a kitchen, aim to have recess lighting in the ceiling, a couple pendant lights over countertops / islands and concealed lighting beneath cupboards. This enables you to use lighting at different times, for different functions.


CEILINGS

Staring with your ceilings: popcorn acoustic ceilings are an artefact from the 1960s and 70s and will age your home significantly! These bumpy or swirly textures are conducive to covering up construction flaws and ceilings so you will want to get rid of these ASAP as they do not serve any aesthetic (or functional!) purpose whatsoever. They are difficult to repair, hard to clean and catch dust easily. A buyer will realise these lengthy, costly and exhausting tasks and as a result, could walk away without any interest. 

You can easily Google how to remove popcorn ceilings as a DIY-er, but you can equally hire somebody to do the job for you. Depending on the aesthetic you are going for, you could alternatively conceal popcorn ceilings with panelling, coffering or planks. 

Panelled ceilings with standard planks work well in white or painted in a colour. They are great options for coastal homes!

Coffered ceilings add depth and height to your space. A great aesthetic for a contemporary home


floorinG

As a general rule of thumb, carpeting throughout a house (upstairs or downstairs) can actually be unattractive to buyers. Not only does carpeting absorb odours but also retains stains, making carpeting super unhygienic. (Just because you think you concealed that red wine stain, it doesn’t mean the carpet is clean!). 

 Statistics claim that most prefer either a beige (55%) or grey (24%) colour-way and tend to install carpeting predominantly in bedrooms and basements. People will often aim to keep their kitchens, bathrooms, living and dining rooms either tiled or in hard wood flooring as they tend to be on the ground floor and used the most throughout the day. 

If you are looking to install carpeting, then we suggest it is neutral, clean and flat. Any carpeting that is too shaggy is reminiscent of a bygone era and raises questions regarding cleanliness and hygiene. 


Environmental fibres such as wool, sisal, jute and blends have been growing in popularity. They are both sustainable and great for indoor air quality (so they are wonderful options for those with asthma or allergies).


walls

While we love bright colours, a scarlet-red accent wall or lemon-yellow children’s bedroom could put off potential buyers. Choose a warm neutral colour such as beige, ivory, taupe or light grey for your walls which will create the illusion of space, making your space look larger and brighter, as well as welcoming! For any ceiling coving or skirting boards, we advise painting this in a pure white colour.

“Fun colours are for living, but neutral colours are for selling.” 

Chrissie Sutherland, Home Stager

Always test a paint colour in your home. I would recommend trying several walls in the same room to see how the sunlight and incandescent light hits the paint. You'd be surprised at how it can sometimes alter the colour!



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