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5 Easily Fixable Things That Scare Buyers Off

This article could help potential buyers OR sellers, so make sure you stick around to see the things that might typically make buyers balk that are easily fixable and which can quickly increase the value of a house!

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Messy landscaping

  • For Sellers: The yard is the first thing potential buyers will see, so it needs to be well kept. After all, some buyers are so picky that as soon as they see something that they don’t like, they’ll write off your house without a second chance. Make sure that your yard is nicely mowed and kept before any showing so that you give yourself the best chance of selling your home.
  • For Buyers: If you drive up to a house that looks like it’s straight out of a horror film, take a second to evaluate if it’s just the yard that’s giving you the creeps or if it’s the house that’s truly the issue. If it’s just the yard, don’t get scared off. Even if you want to completely overhaul the landscaping, it will probably only cost you about $3,000, which is only a small portion of what you’re likely to spend on a house with a better aesthetic.

Personalized walls

  • For Sellers: If you’re someone who has made your house your own and filled with all of your favorite colors, that’s alright, but it’s likely to decrease the desirability of your home to all but your kindred spirits. Most buyers will have a hard time picturing themselves in a house that feels too lived in, so if you’re looking to sell your house fast, you’ll probably need to paint the walls a more neutral color.
  • For Buyers: Seeing past crazily colored walls can be extremely difficult, especially when the walls are paired with noticeable decor, but its important to keep in mind that you can always ask for a painting allowance in your offer. That way, you can use their creative choices to make the house exactly what you want instead.

Popcorn ceilings

  • For Sellers: Yes, they’re nostalgic. Yes, they’re a pain to replace. But popcorn ceilings are synonymous for most buyers with asbestos and outdated decor, so if you have any spare cash, replacing popcorn ceilings is a must. The good news is that it typically only costs about $1,500 to replace the ceilings in your home, and it might make the difference between selling and not selling.
  • For Buyers: Popcorn ceilings are awful. There’s no way around that. But they can also be fixed, so keep in mind that for about $1,500, you can completely change the feeling of the house. Plus, the fact that the house that you’re interested in has popcorn ceilings might be the thing that allows you to get it for a lower price when others choose to cross it off of their list when they get scared off.

Clutter or Mess

  • For Sellers: This should be simple: Don’t have it. Clutter and mess are some of the most avoidable things to have in a home that is on the market, but they’re also the things that will stand in your way the most with picky sellers. If your agent hasn’t given you a list of things that you need to remove before putting your house on the market for showings, keep your eye out for the article that we’ll be coming out with soon with a list of the items that should always be tucked away when your house is on the market.
  • For Buyers: While the only excusable situation for a messy house is a foreclosure, as a buyer, if you can find it in your heart to overlook a seller’s disorganized habits, you might still get a great house out of the deal.

Weird Smells

  • For Sellers: All houses have a smell to them. It’s an inevitable fact of life, and it can be easy to get used to that smell as a home owner, but you need to make sure that your own comfort in the home doesn’t cause you to overlook a strange smelling home. Whether it’s from pets or smelly kids, you need to eliminate the odor before allowing people into your home so that you don’t scare them away at the door. Pro tip: Try baking cookies right before a buyer comes if your house is one prone to strange smells.
  • For Buyers: A bad smelling house can be difficult to look past, especially if that bad smell is from mold or other more permanent elements of the house. However, there are many things that can be done about smells, so before giving up on a house completely, make sure that you give the internet a quick search to see if there’s anything that can be done.


These tips have been brought to you by Maria Sims Group, a company dedicated to making sure that you’re in the best home for you. If you have any questions about our company or would like to ask about a personalized list of homes that would fit your needs, please reach out. Our homepage can be found at or you can call us at 404-805-0673.

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