Biggest Buyer Turn-Offs in San Diego, CA Real Estate


by Roberta Murphy

What are the biggest buyer turn-offs in San Diego real estate?

I recall showing a home once and was met at the front door by a dog that didn’t growl, but had an attitude that was kind of sour. As we stood in the foyer looking at the living and dining room beyond, I felt someething hot hit my legs…and run down into my shoes.

By hiking his leg and whizzing on me, he got his point across. I screamed and ran into the bathroom to rinse off my leg and foot. My clilents laughed and took it in stride, but lost all interest in the home.

Hostile dogs aside, what are the top turn-offs for buyers?

Of course, the major turn off for buyers is an overpriced home so we don’t need to spend much time there. Here is a list that I’ve observed after working with so many San Diego real estate buyers.

1. Cluttered homes. Before putting your home on the market, be sure to de-bulk and remove clutter from countertops, tables, desks and all surfaces in your home. This is a great time to determine whether you want to bring all this “stuff” with you to your next home.

2. Odors. Cats, litterboxes and pet urine are the most common offenders with cooking odors running a distant second. This is a time to be meticulous about cleaning, making sure carpets are cleaned regularly and that litter boxes are maintained and out of sight.

3. Neglected landscaping. Clear the weeds, plant some flowers and mulch all garden beds. Water, fertilize and trim the grass regularly. Trim hedges and bushes that block views from windows and put new door mats by exterior doors.

4. Decor from last century. Buyers of all ages have become almost allergic to brass and gold fixtures. Remember the brass switch and electical outlet covers? The gold or brass faucets and doorknobs that were a “must” in all homes in the 1980 and even 1990’s? You might start replacing them with something a little more current. I recently showed a lovely home in the Jockey Club that my buyer loved–until she started looking at all the brass and gold trim she would have to replace. That became a focus of her attention and resulted in her buying elsewhere.

5. Difficult to show. Some sellers require 2 or 24 hours notice to show their homes. Or allow their home to be shown only on Wednesday afternoons between 2 and 4. Agents probably hate this even more than buyers because it can create scheduling difficulties.

If price and these 5 issues are dealt with, you could find your home sold more quickly than you might have imagined!