It takes Less Than Five Minutes for a Buyer to Leave Your "Not Ready For Market Home"!

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Trinity Brecksville Ohio

It takes Less Than Five Minutes for a Buyer to Leave Your "Not Ready For Market Home".

I am having quite a busy January considering I live in Cleveland Ohio. I have been out with several buyers this week and I noticed the same common theme that I have been noticing for quite a while.

walking awayA (non investor) buyer will leave a home in 5 minutes or less if it feels, smells, or looks not ready for the market. You have heard me say before that a seller has one chance to impress the buyer or that buyer will move on. Your home then becomes just a distant memory.

The first impression a buyer gets when they walk up to the front door usually sets the tone for the showing.

It is difficult for most buyers to focus on the good stuff if:

It smells bad....musty, moldy cigarette smoke, overpowering air fresheners, pet odors

It feels uncared for....when a buyer notices enough little things that it makes him wonder what else might be wrong with the house

It does not appear ready for showings...laundry on the floor, dishes in the sink, cobwebs on the ceiling, dirty appliances

I will be the first to acknowledge that some sellers simply do not have the finances to make any improvements, but some of the above items do not cost any money.

rubber glovesDishes and laundry can be put away, appliances can be cleaned and so can the cobwebs. I remember a home I sold once that had a purple commode, sink,and bathtub with green shag carpeting as an accent color but you could eat off the floors as it was that clean.

So if you can't make major or even minor repairs, strive for spotlessly clean!


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Stella Barbour
NoVa Brokers LLC - Vienna, VA
Principal Broker, Serving Virginia and Maryland

It takes only an hour for the seller to make a great improvement on cleanliness.  One hour could do so much for the property.  I hate showing properties that are not ready for the market.  It is such a turnoff to buyers.

Jan 21, 2012 02:24 AM #1
Barb Szabo, CRS
RE/MAX Trinity Brecksville Ohio - Cleveland, OH
E-pro Realtor, Cleveland Ohio Homes

Stella, I couldn't agree more! Have a great weekend and thanks for stoppping by.

Jan 21, 2012 03:27 AM #2
Sidney Kutchuk - Realty Works Temecula Kutchuk - Realty Works Temecula
Realty Works Temecula - Temecula, CA
Realty Works Temecula

Barb:  Great advice and warning at the same time about what can happen to unprepared sellers!

Jan 21, 2012 04:26 AM #3
Tina Maraj
RE/MAX Cornerstone - Fullerton, CA
Top Agent in Fullerton 2016-2018 714-403-7901

So true. A bad smelling house can make a potential buyer walk out right away!

Jan 21, 2012 04:59 AM #4
Amanda Christiansen
Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843 - Fort Wayne, IN
Christiansen Group Realty

Great stuff Barb.  Last year I was showing homes in the $400,000 range.  YOu would think all of these homes would be spotless and perfect right?  Not so.  One of them smelled like dogs.  Terrible smell.  We walked out in the first 30 seconds.  

Jan 22, 2012 01:00 AM #5
Barb Szabo, CRS
RE/MAX Trinity Brecksville Ohio - Cleveland, OH
E-pro Realtor, Cleveland Ohio Homes

Jane, It is happening more and much to choose from that buyers can be picky.

Tina, yes, and odor detracts from whatever may be good about the home.

Jared, For me, since I have never owned a dog, I am very sensitive to the odor. Even clients of mine that have pets, don't like it when a home they view has a pet odor.

Jan 22, 2012 05:46 AM #6
Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

This was a quote from Pat Kennedy..." If you can smell it, I can't sell it!"


Jan 24, 2012 11:37 AM #7
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Barb Szabo, CRS

E-pro Realtor, Cleveland Ohio Homes
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