Sealing the Deal: 8 Deadly Deal-Breakers for Prospective Homebuyers

Industry Observer

Every home has its quirks, and they’re often what gives a house character. Unfortunately, when it comes to selling your home, potential buyers may not find your fixer-upper as charming as you do.  These are the deal-breakers that may be ruining your chances to sell your home for top dollar.

A dated kitchen

A dated kitchen is a deal-breaker for many buyers because kitchens are one of the most expensive rooms to update. In addition, a kitchen that looks outdated can make a home feel old, which may be a turnoff for potential buyers. Outdated appliances are especially noticeable because of their appearance.


One reliable fix for a dated-looking kitchen is to upgrade to stainless steel appliances. Stainless steel appliances are an excellent choice for kitchens because they can last a lifetime and are easy to clean. These stain-resistant alternatives also complement any style of kitchen. If you’re preparing your house for the market, stainless steel dual fuel ranges are an attractive choice.

Dead animals

Dead animals are a deal-breaker because they are considered to be contaminants. For example, dead rodents in the attic or termites in the walls could keep buyers away because of their potential to cause health problems. And because dead pests can be a sign of an unruly pest problem, they are harmful to property valuations and best dealt with before the house goes on the market. 

Dirty carpets

Carpets can accumulate dust, dirt, and debris over time. Because prospective homebuyers are ruthless critics who know what they want and can sniff out messes, spills, and dirt-related dealbreakers in seconds flat, making a stellar first impression is key. Buyers will insist on carpeted areas in mint condition, free from traces of dog hair, lint, or caked-on footprints. 


Unfortunately, the hustle and bustle of daily life tends to be unforgiving when it comes to your carpets. Carpeted areas can quickly become dirty with pet hair or spills. Pet hair is a deal-breaker because many people are sensitive to pet fur and dander. To keep the house looking clean and allergen-free, hit the carpets with a good steam cleaning. 

Bad water pressure

Good water pressure can make or break a home. If you have insufficient water pressure, it could be holding back potential buyers. When prospective buyers tour a property, they’re on the hunt for the amenities, such as relaxing hot showers and a reliable washing machine that can cut through deep-seated stains, that will set this home apart from competitors vying for buyer’s attention. If your water pressure is too low, these luxuries will be far out of reach, spurring hesitation in buyers. 

Peeling paint

Peeling paint is a deal-breaker because it can give buyers the impression that your home hasn't been well-maintained, which might leave them wondering what else you've overlooked. It's also unattractive and won’t help your house look appealing to house hunters.

Rotten smells

No prospective buyer likes to step into a home that reeks of last night’s dinner, pet feces, or a combination of the two. A rotten smell in your house sets their minds whirring with a list of possible culprits, from dead rodents to rotting carpet and drywall. The smell of sewage is also a deal-breaker because it can suggest a leak somewhere in your pipes or septic tank.

No dishwasher

A dishwasher in the kitchen is an amenity that many buyers want. It may be hard to sell your home if you don’t have one because many buyers won't want to use the sink to hand-wash their dishes after a long day at work. A dishwasher can save time and energy, and most homeowners consider them essential.

Due Diligence

It's essential to give your home a good inspection before deciding to put it on the market. If any of these deal breakers are present, you may be able to fix them quickly, but if not, it might help to wait until you can correct any issues. In the long run, you’ll be able to land a better deal for your home, and the new owners will have a much nicer place to hang their hats. 

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