Seller’s Don’ts = Buyer’s Do’s?


I just got back from an open house in North Tustin and I can’t believe how some sellers seem to turn a blind eye to obvious seller no-no’s. This house I just went to was beautifully redone. Upgrades throughout-new central A/C, new pool, new kitchen appliances, new tile floors, and more. But did the average open-house cruiser see any of it when walking through? Sorry owners, but no!

The sellers committed three major no-no’s in selling their house. The don’ts were all quick fixes, and yet, the sellers didn’t do them. First, carpet in the bathrooms! Gross. Okay, my parents have carpet in their bathrooms, so I have to be careful here. I know, I know… it feels good on your feet. The last thing a new buyer wants to deal with is bathroom kudos from people they don’t know embedded deep down in the carpet. Call it a mental thing, but it’s enough to scare people off. I say cheap linoleum is better than carpet in these grubby rooms.

The second major don’t this house had was in-your-face wallpaper. I could maybe overlook a little flowery wallpaper in a bathroom, but not a dark red-and-blue-stripped master bedroom. Even though I hate the idea of painting wallpaper, I think a nice neutral color would have made a world of difference.

The last major no-no this house had was massive and out-dated furniture. An old chair off in the corner, now that’s forgivable. An old heavy piece that takes up half (maybe more) of the master bedroom, I’m not so sure. In this case, this master bedroom was huge, but you really couldn’t tell. This oak headboard monster stood at least two feet from the wall and was right when you walked in blocking your view of the room. And, of course, it was accompanied by a matching set of chest of drawers, mirror, and nightstands. It was so tight, you almost needed to have turned sideways to walk between the end of the bed and the chest of drawers. Like I said, the room was huge. It was decent in width and very long, but you really had to step back and take notice.

While my husband and I were there, a few other families came through. We overhead comments of “Ewwwww! Gross! Carpet!” and “I don’t know, it seems kinda small.” It got me to thinking. While these are all easy fixes for a new buyer (and a seller!), this type of house might be a good deal. It’s likely that many buyers will quickly be turned off making the house hard to sell. And that’s when the best deals are to be had!

So, maybe seller’s don’ts really are what buyers should be looking for (and not running away from). My husband and I would have bought this house for the right price in an instant. The house had excellent bones and it had clearly been maintained well. All it needed was a new designer.

Sellers, don’t want buyers to run from your open house? Here are some articles to help you appeal to the average buyer:

How To Prepare Your House For Sale

Make Your Home “Anonymous”

5 tips to get your home ready for sale

Preparing your home through the eyes of a buyer