8 Things that could make a buyer take a pass on a house

Real Estate Broker/Owner with JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571 10491201242

There are many things that can make a buyer take a pass on a house

Some buyers can visualize how a house could be transformed into the house of their dream, while others just can't.

So what are somethings that can make a buyer take a pass?

  • Dated Carpet
  • Wallpaper
  • 1 bathroom
  • Pet odor
  • Junky yard
  • Lack of air condition
  • Moisture in the basement
  • Appearance of the neighbor's property


Dated carpet

As a home seller you might reason, it is only carpet, and the buyer can change it out after the purchase.  Today's home buyer is not in the mood to fix stuff.  The fact is most buyers prefer to have wood flooring but if you have your home carpeted the carpet should not be dated .


Is your home covered in dated wallpaper? If so, you might want to replace it or better yet remove wallpaper before listing your home.  Most home buyers are just not into wallpaper.

1 Bathroom

In the past an entire family survived with just 1 bathroom, today's buyer won't, this is a reason some buyers pass on a house.

Pet odor

Pet odor is something you must address before trying to sell your home and I don't mean trying to use spray to mask the scent.  You have to replace carpets and wood flooring depending on how much damage has been done.

Junky yard

Do you have old cars, appliances and other stuff just sitting in the yard?  A buyer seeing this will immediately think that the inside of the home is not being kept up and will pass unless the home is priced really cheap.

Lack of air condition

Buyers today look for a cooling system,  If your home is without central air, having a wall or window  AC unit  as well as fans is helpful.

Moisture in the basement

Buyers do not like to see  moisture in the basement, this triggers the thought of mold and with so many suffering from allergies this is a big reason for taking a pass on a house.

Address the issues that could be causing the problem.  You might need to install a B-dry system, sump pump or regrade the soil around the house.

Appearance of the neighbors property

That's right, the appearance of your neighbors property matters.  This is somewhat out of your control, hopefully you have a good relationship with the neighbor and could tactfully suggest some clean up, right :)


There are many other reasons why buyers take a pass however these 8 are fairly common.

Copyright © by Jennifer Fivelsdal, all rights reserved-8 Things that could make a buyer take a pass on a house





Re-Blogged 6 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty 11/28/2012 09:23 PM
  2. Susan Haughton 11/28/2012 09:51 PM
  3. Tiffany Brodbeck 11/29/2012 02:28 AM
  4. Courtney Cooper 11/29/2012 03:04 AM
  5. Lenn Harley 11/29/2012 03:59 AM
  6. Ginger Harper 11/29/2012 04:05 AM
Home Selling
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Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

Good morning, Jennifer...this is a great list of reasons a house may not sell.... the toughest to deal with is the neighbor's property....

Nov 28, 2012 09:30 PM #7
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

That's a really good list of buyer rejection causes.  Even when I bought my own home years ago, I had to overcome the tangerine colored shag carpet, the big flowers on the wallpaper, and an unbelievable amount of clutter.  And, I'm in the business!

Nov 29, 2012 02:20 AM #8
Ilyce Glink
Think Glink Media - Chicago, IL
Best-selling author, award-winning TV/radio host.

Jennifer- Great information. The aesthetics of property help a buyer visualize his or her dream home, and it's hard to do that if there's a moldy basement and lingering pet odor! Thanks for shaing. 

Nov 29, 2012 02:32 AM #9
Karen Kruschka
RE/MAX Executives - Woodbridge, VA
- "My Experience Isn't Expensive - It's PRICELESS"

Jennifer  A truly knowledgeable broker can make their point concisely making it easier for the reader to understand - exactly as you have done here.  Buyers and sellers in Duchess County are fortunate to have your expertise available

Nov 29, 2012 03:05 AM #10
Kevin Mackessy
Blue Olive Properties, LLC - Highlands Ranch, CO
Dedicated. Qualified. Local.

Wallpaper is always a deal breaker.  There's just no wallpaper that looks good.  

Nov 29, 2012 03:18 AM #11
Jennifer Fivelsdal
JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571 - Rhinebeck, NY
Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection

Thanks for the feature, and I appreciate all the comments, will be back later to respond.

Have a great afternoon.

Nov 29, 2012 03:56 AM #12
Ginger Harper
Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage - Southport, NC
Your Southport~Oak Island Agent~Brunswick County!

Good Post Jennifer and a good list of why buyers may not buy the house. I think that we all have such a list and we can use that list to help the seller to do items that are much needed in the house..

Nov 29, 2012 04:06 AM #13
Charita Cadenhead
Keller Williams Realty - Birmingham, AL
Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama)

Not only are today's buyers not into wallpaper.  They are also not into quiting their day job to remove it.  Jennifer you've got this list down.

Nov 29, 2012 04:10 AM #14
Adam Brett
The Adam and Eric Group - Fullerton, CA
The Adam and Eric Group, Fullerton's Finest

Excellent post and good points you make here. Thank you for posting and congrats on the feature.

Nov 29, 2012 04:13 AM #15
Cody Sperber
Clever Investor - Chandler, AZ

My wife would immediately read into this just help the neighbor clean up his yard!  Great points.  Enjoyed!

Nov 29, 2012 04:15 AM #16
Jennifer Spanbauer Brodoway
Lethbridge Real Estate.com - Lethbridge, AB
just call jen

I just showed a great property today.  Great except for the smell of cat pee in the basement.  And it is priced well below comparable properties, but with that smell, it is not going to sell, unless it is to someone who can't smell.

Nov 29, 2012 06:11 AM #17
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

These are great tips. Moisture in the basement is #1 turn off. People are scared of mold and think it means mold.

Nov 29, 2012 06:40 AM #18
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

All these are prime reasons and as you pointed out, there are many others. What's important in regard to the ones you listed is the fact that they can be fixed! Sellers should do all they can to take care of potential problem areas.

Nov 29, 2012 06:45 AM #19
Paula McDonald ~ GRI
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279
Great list. The stinky odors are the ones that always get to me.
Nov 29, 2012 06:51 AM #20
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Jennifer this is an excellent blog and a very well deserved feature. Congratulations :)

Nov 29, 2012 08:49 AM #22
Jennifer Fivelsdal
JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571 - Rhinebeck, NY
Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection

Long day. thanks again for the comments and re-blogs.


Nov 29, 2012 11:45 AM #23
Rose King
David Tracy Real Estate - Friendswood, TX
Friendswood / Pearland / Houston Bay Area

These are all high on the list of buyer turn-offs. Wallpaper would be at the top of my list...ugh!

Nov 29, 2012 12:48 PM #24
Tamara Inzunza
RE/MAX Executives - Alexandria, VA
Close-In Alexandria and Arlington Living

All the right points here Jennifer.  Offering a credit to the buyer will usually not entice a buyer enough to make an offer because they just don't want to do the work.  They want to move right in and start enjoying their new home.

Nov 29, 2012 09:52 PM #25
Lloyd Binen
Certified Realty Services - Saratoga, CA
Silicon Valley Realtor since 1976; 408-373-4411

Yep, all of those things turn a prospective buyer off.  We don't have many basements out here; damp or dry we don't have many.

Nov 30, 2012 02:46 PM #26
Charles Stallions
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pensacola, FL
800-309-3414 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl.

All great things to watch for and use to ones advantage, knowledge is power.

Dec 02, 2012 10:25 AM #27
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Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection
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