4 Things Home Buyers Will Hate About Your House

Know what could kill a sale before it does.

As a home seller, you don't want to sabotage your sale. These four problems are among the biggest buyer turn-offs, and most of them are easy to fix without spending a ton of money.

Haunted House Landscaping

Does your yard looks like the Addams family owns it? Time to tidy up! Beyond mowing the lawn, pull or trim anything that's dead or on its way out. Add a splash of color by planting annuals.

Funky Colors

If you humored your kids with kelly green and bright pink rooms, and yourself with a purple den, it's time for that stuff to go. Choose a warm, neutral color like, beige, ivory, taupe or grey, with white trim.

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Wall-to-Wall Carpeting

Even if it's not moldy shag, carpet can be a deal-killer, especially if it's on the main floor. Satisfy buyer expectations with hardwood or laminate. If you must stick with carpet, make sure you get it cleaned.

Pets on the Loose

Sorry, not everyone is a dog person. Or cat person. Beyond making sure the place doesn't smell like your furry friends, you need to find a way to get them out during showings. Indoor cats are the trickiest problem. Consider limiting them to a room or the garage and make sure your agent knows.

And that's not all. See eight more things your buyers would hate (and how to fix them) 12 Things Home Buyers Will Hate About Your House

Patricia Mertz Esswein
Contributing Writer, Kiplinger's Personal Finance
Esswein joined Kiplinger in May 1984 as director of special publications and managing editor of Kiplinger Books. In 2004, she began covering real estate for Kiplinger's Personal Finance, writing about the housing market, buying and selling a home, getting a mortgage, and home improvement. Prior to joining Kiplinger, Esswein wrote and edited for Empire Sports, a monthly magazine covering sports and recreation in upstate New York. She holds a BA degree from Gustavus Adolphus College, in St. Peter, Minn., and an MA in magazine journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School at Syracuse University.