Top 5 Reasons Why Buyers Will Not Enter A Home

Real Estate Agent with Thompson Company, REALTORS® 240.593.2860 MD594797

Many buyers nowadays will do extensive research online and pick the homes they want to see based on their findings. Their own research is (ideally) complemented by their agent's search and together they come up with a short list of homes to see.

Why a home won't make it on the short list, even if it meets all the buyer's search criteria, is a topic for a different blog post.

Why would buyers decide to pass on a home they had scheduled to (and been looking forward to) see?

Top 5 Reasons Why Buyers Will Not Enter A Home

Open Lock Box1. The house looks nothing like it does in the pictures online.

2. An important (to the buyer) adverse fact was not disclosed or obvious in the online property listing (the power lines or water tower right behind the house for example or the previously wooded lot next door is now a new construction site).

3. The neighbors' properties do not look maintained  (a junk yard next door, abandoned and boarded up properties, a Christmas display extraordinaire in June..)

4. Access problems: the owners or tenants were not aware of a showing, Fido who was supposed to be caged is clearly not in a cage, there is no key in the lock box.

5. Safety concerns. When we pull up to a property and the lockbox/door are open but nobody is around, we leave run. Fast.

Posted by

Andrea Bedard
Thompson Co., REALTORS®

Silver Spring, Maryland

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Comments (62)

Dr. Paula McDonald
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

Yes, I would run too from those situations.  An opened lock box is scary. 

Jan 25, 2015 12:24 PM
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

I once went to show a home and a huge great dane with teath showing "greated" us.  We were out of there!  Woof.

Jan 25, 2015 01:05 PM
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Andrea - I've had many buyers pull up to a house and decide not to go in, frequently because of the neighborhood or just the way the house itself looks from the curb.

Jan 25, 2015 01:09 PM
Carolyn Nelson
Realty One Carolina, LLC - Burlington, NC
Your Triangle to Triad Real Estate Expert!

I showed a house this past weekend and there were way too many cats roaming the property which smelled of cat urine. We never made it pass the driveway!

Jan 25, 2015 06:52 PM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Or getting hit with the strong smell of mold as soon as the front door is opened...


Jan 25, 2015 07:15 PM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

I hope home sellers will read this post. Thanks for the list.

Jan 25, 2015 10:56 PM
Kate McQueen
Realty Associates Texas - Cypress, TX
Tailored service for your real estate needs!

Have experienced the "oh gosh no, let's don't go in" when you drive through the neighborhood and find that too many homes are in poor condition, FIDO is a problem, and the surrounding homes/lots are something that could contribute to external obsolescence.  

Jan 25, 2015 11:01 PM
Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices

It happens to people coming from out of state, where they see a house, and it looks nice, and the price is great, and they have no idea of the neighborhood. And when you are driving through, they tell you not to stop.

Jan 25, 2015 11:05 PM
Kevin Mackessy
Blue Olive Properties, LLC - Highlands Ranch, CO
Dedicated. Qualified. Local.

If you get a bad feeling when you roll up to the house, keep on driving. 

Jan 26, 2015 03:17 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

I think you hit it on the nose with these five reasons. By the way, I've actually had buyers refuse to go into a house because the sellers were home; they just wouldn't look at homes unless no one was there but me and them.

Jan 26, 2015 03:18 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Andrea,

I'm coming over from Patricia's post on her picks for the week. Awesome did hit the top reasons buyers don't want to enter a home!

Jan 26, 2015 09:05 PM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I recently went in a house we found open.  I made my clients go back to the car while I cleared the house.  In the end I think the occupants just left it open for our appointment, but it was creepy.

ps- so did your girls get a snow day today.

Jan 26, 2015 10:06 PM
Andrea Bedard
Thompson Company, REALTORS® 240.593.2860 - Silver Spring, MD
Fluent in Real Estate & German, M.A. ABR ASP CIPS

Thank you all for the comments! I've been busy showing the same clients with whom I just encountered #5, other homes.

Hi Tom, I had a listing with a dog in the property. It just didn't work. In the end, the sellers were able to find another solution. Only then did we get showings and we sold it.

I agree Brian.

Thank you Patricia Kennedy! I appreciate it/you and didn't mean to ignore you.. a busy schedule and snow days don't mix!

For sure Richie.

True Donald. And it takes awhile for GPS' systems to catch up with new developments and streets.

Thanks Ed and Tracy.

Hi Kathy, and I bet that the yard wasn't shown in the listing.

That's another good point Mike. Over-improving the listing pictures and the house looks nothing like it.

I've had that happen, too, Ron - more often than not because of odor!

It's hard to understand for some and, unfortunately, a hard lesson to learn Nick & Trudy.

Me, too, Rich.. it can be a real waste of time. On the other hand, also good for buyers to see that online property listings don't tell it all.

Thank you Sharon, sometimes it's a lesson that has to be learned. That's when feedback from other agents comes in handy.

Jan 27, 2015 06:44 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Home sellers and their agents need to understand the factors that become turn offs of prospective home buyers.

Jan 27, 2015 10:04 PM
Ron Marshall
Marshall Enterprises - Saint Michael, MN
Birdhouse Builder Extraordinaire

Andrea, these are all red flags that would certainly keep most people in the car to keep on moving!!

Jan 28, 2015 12:16 AM
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Andrea, definitely reasons NOT to go into the home.  Excellent post!


Jan 28, 2015 06:21 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Andrea - homeowners need to be aware to see that those things do not happen.  Unfortunately, the neighborhood issues are out of their control.

Jan 28, 2015 07:54 AM
Larry Johnston
Broker, Friends & Neighbors Real Estate and Elkhart County Subdivisions, LLC - Elkhart, IN
Broker,Friends & Neighbors Real Estate, Elkhart,IN

Good evening Andrea Bedard , and the list goes on.  There ae  lot of things, such as the photos showed the good part of the room, not the side with the water leak and the holes in the wall.  I showed on the other day where whoever was there last was taking knife and hatchet throwing prctice on most of the walls.

Jan 28, 2015 11:00 AM
Brenda Mayette
Miranda Real Estate Group, Inc. - Glenville, NY
Getting results w/ knowledge & know-how!

Exactly Andrea!  And isn't it funny to hear the replies such as "Well if you just went in you'd see what a great house it is!"  Maybe without your arm since Fido bit it off but...  ;)

Jan 29, 2015 10:02 PM
S. Leanne Paynter ☼ Broward County, FL
United Realty Group, Inc. - Davie, FL
Davie, Plantation, Cooper City & Weston Specialist

Andrea, this is so true.  I've actually come across each of the items you outlined.

Sep 14, 2015 06:56 AM