10 Things That Can Hurt a Home’s Value

Previously, we looked at things that could improve the value of your home. There are also many things which can hurt your chances of selling your home and/or getting the price you want for it. These things can range from easy fixes to things that are completely beyond your control. Knowing what factors negatively affect your chances of selling your home and what you can do about them will give you an edge if you act on these problems accordingly. Knowledge is not only power, in this case, it can also be money in your hand. These are ten factors that make selling a home harder, and what, if anything, you can do about it.

10. Pet Hair or Odor

Potential home buyers can be very shallow people. Many do not care how much you love your dog or cat. If there is hair everywhere from your furry friends, people can and will be turned off by it. Odors are a much bigger problem. Very few things turn potential buyers off quicker than foul odors in a house they are trying to picture themselves living in. No one wants to live with that. The good news is, these are things well within your control to fix. Clean up, deodorize, and get the place in shape before letting potential buys have a walkthrough.

9. Inclining or Declining Driveways

Having a steep driveway, whether upward tilting or downward, is something that can be extremely frustrating. This is especially true in areas that experience frequent inclement weather. Having to put a parking brake on every time you park your car in your own driveway is a pain. Having to deal with flooding or ice on top of that can be disastrous. Not only can it be potential hazard to your car, but the ice or water can result in a danger to you, or your home’s new residents. Sadly, there is not much that can be done about this. Any possible fixes are likely to cost extraordinary amounts of money. This is one problem you would likely have to live with.

8. Odd Colored Paint or Flooring

People tend to be more comfortable with neutral colors in a home. Some people love to put their unique spin on the color palate, but this can hurt them when they try to sell. Because of the preference most people have for neutral colors, having something that sticks out like a sore thumb is a problem you may want to fix before putting your house on the market. This is a slightly expensive and time consuming fix, but it can add value to your home that may be a great help in selling it.

7. Being on a Main Street

People are not crazy about the idea of having to fight rush hour traffic to get out of their own driveways. Living on one of the main roads in your town can decrease the attractiveness of your home significantly. This is something that you have no way to fix once you already live there. It can even get worse if the town decides to widen that street and you wind up losing a huge chunk of your front yard. This tends to be a big reason why houses on the main thoroughfares are generally either cheaper homes or decent homes set way back on their properties.

6. Clutter

Much like the pet issue, people’s own messiness can negatively impact potential home buyers. If you have tons of stuff laying around, potential buyers will have a much harder time picturing themselves living in your home. Thankfully, this is generally an easy fix. Pack it up, rent a storage shed and stash the junk away while you are trying to sell the house. There are typically companies who will even assist with this. “Staging” a parcel of real estate is a booming industry as it provides a very valuable service to sellers.

5. Power Lines

Another problem home owners have no control over when selling their houses is the house’s proximity to power lines. No one wants to live close to these things. They have been associated with many ill effects on a person’s health. Not many people are willing to make the sacrifice to their well-being that would come with living too close to these bad boys. Even a hefty drop in listing price may not be enough to keep people from getting scared off at the site of the metal monsters.

4. Outdated Fixtures

Having a kitchen or bathroom that looks as though it has not been updated in about twenty years can turn people off in a hurry. People tend to want shiny new things. It is a shallow approach to life, but it is still a reality that people looking to sell their house have to live with. Replacing these fixtures can be awfully expensive, so one has to weigh the benefit against the cost. Speak with a real estate agent about the impact on value replacing outdated fixtures would have before you make any decisions about what to do.

3. Keeping the House Dark

Keeping the blinds and curtains drawn all the time can make a home look like a tomb. Artificial light helps but nothing is more inviting to potential buyers than natural light. Unless you or your buyers are vampires, there is no reason not to open those curtains and blinds and let the light in. It is quite possibly the easiest fix a homeowner can make to help their chances of getting a sale.

2. Neglecting Repairs

Many people looking to sell their homes will fall into the trap of neglecting needed repairs to the home, even if they are minor. The logic is that it will be the buyer’s problem when the closing goes through. That is, of course, assuming there is a closing. Not taking care of repairs can have a serious negative impact on the value and marketability of your home. The ability to fix the problem depends on the severity and cost of the repair in question. Some can be easy and cheap, others can be a nightmare. Again, speak with your real estate agent about the viability of doing the repairs before making a decision. By neglecting these issues, you are doing yourselves more harm than good.

1. Bad Floor Plan

Having a poorly designed house can be the biggest deterrent to homes sales. If the rooms are too small, or the floor plan is a jumbled mess, people will have little use for a house like that. Sadly, this is also something that most homeowners have little to no control over. One can try to make additions to the house or renovate, but it is usually pointless if you are not going to be staying in the house, as the cost would tend to far outweigh the benefits.