real estate

10 surefire ways to scare off homebuyers

Dirt, grime and filth
Dirt, grime and filth © Perry Correll/

Dirt, grime and filth

Nothing will turn off a homebuyer faster than showing a house with filthy floors and kitchen counters where new life-forms are evolving.

"The No. 1 biggest mistake is not getting the home in the best possible condition. That's huge," Goldwasser says. "I won't even represent sellers at this point unless they are fully aware of how important it is to get their home in the absolute best condition that they've ever had it in."

Goldwasser recommends that sellers make an extra effort, from steam-cleaning tile and grout to replacing carpets.

"If the carpets are old and smelly, you should put in new," he says. "If they're relatively new, you should at least have them shampooed."

Cannon agrees that grime can derail any showing.

"The home should be neat and clean and free of all debris," Cannon says. "If it reeks of cats or the kitchen sinks and counters are so filthy that it almost looks like the food is moving, I won't even want to come in."

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