Main Content

Home Buyer Dealbreakers

{Reading Time: 4 minutes}

The 2021-2022 real estate boom has been absolutely historic, with homes often selling far above asking price.

But even in the hottest Seller’s Market, some things just can’t be overlooked.

If you’re planning to sell your house, these are some of the most common home buyer dealbreakers that could keep offers away or make them much lower than you expected.

1) Foundation Issues

Every home is going to experience a bit of settling over time. But major foundation issues can cause a domino effect of other problems in the home, including uneven flooring, windows that won’t close properly, and water intrusion. Repairs can be costly — in the tens of thousands, to be exact — and if significant enough, they could prevent a home from selling altogether.

How to Fix It: Foundation repairs require expertise beyond general contractors. Foundation engineers and repair specialists can help you determine the extent of the problem, the solution, and your course of action. Sellers can potentially address minor repairs by reducing your listing price. However, you’ll very likely have no alternative to addressing major foundation repairs before even considering listing any property that is not clearly offered as a major renovation project.

2) Roofing

The top of the house is as important as the bottom. A roof in disrepair or at the end of its life can lead to severe issues, including water damage, mold, and rot. Unless they’re looking to completely tear down/renovate the property, or want this specific property no matter what, Buyers will most likely pass on a home that will need an entirely new roof in the next few Tile Roof Damage - Home Buyer Dealbreakersyears.

How to Fix It: General roof maintenance includes cleaning gutters, trimming over-hanging branches, and keeping the roof free of debris. If you’re not sure how much life is left in your roof, hire a licensed roof inspector to assess the exact extent of the damage and cost of the repair work. If you already know the roof has surpassed its life expectancy, arrange to replace it before listing. Even with the price of a new roof taken off the final sale of the home, many Buyers will not be interested in having the mess and chaos of replacing the roof as their “housewarming” experience.

3) Inadequate Electrical System

In this day and age, households are powered by technology, smart appliances, and computers, which means a greater demand on the electrical system. Older homes may not be properly equipped to handle the draw, leading to constant disruption, outages, and even fires. Potential Buyers equate an old electrical system to a major disruption in their day-to-day lives and will probably opt out of the purchase.

How to Fix It: In short – have your home rewired by a certified master electrician. This will cost thousands of dollars, but the return on investment pays off. A home offering a new, efficient electrical system translates to safety and monthly savings on energy bills – each a major plus for Buyers.

4) Water Issues

Whether it’s inefficient or old plumbing, flood zones, or poor weatherproofing, a house with water problems is considered a house with forever problems. Water is the most destructive and invasive home issue, causing a domino effect of costly repairs. Mold growth and polluted water intrusion not only destroy the interior of a home, but can cause health hazards. Additionally, insuring a home with a history of water issues can be expensive, and some insurance companies won’t cover it all.Wood Floor Water Damage - Home Buyer Dealbreakers

How to Fix It: First, have your home inspected. This will uncover any water damage, which can range from minor to extremely costly to repair. Then, if any damage is discovered, hire a certified water damage restoration professional. This is not a job for a handyman. Neglected, accidentally overlooked, or improperly remediated water problems can become irreversibly catastrophic, as well as pose serious health issues. Note that Florida currently requires Sellers to disclose anything that could substantially impact the value of the property. The Florida Association of Realtors has a Flooding Disclosure form that Sellers can voluntarily use.

5) Bad Remodeling

There was a time when Sellers were encouraged to freshen up rooms without concern for quality, and just concern themselves with “good-enough” optics. But in the age of HGTV, Trading Spaces, and Houzz, everyday people have a keener eye for patchwork and shoddy cover-ups without need of any experience beyond regularly tuning in to their favorite home design shows and websites. Savvy Buyers see bad remodeling and repair work as untrustworthy, and may start to wonder what else Sellers are “trying to hide.”

How to Fix It: Most Buyers overlook minor cosmetics, such as old paint and outdated fixtures. However, for problems such as holes in walls or broken tiles, wise Sellers undertake the relatively minimal effort and expense of properly fixing such unsightly, but easy-to-fix damage. Additionally, painting the interior of the house a light neutral color, pressure-cleaning all exterior areas including the roof, and cleaning up landscaping to promote curb appeal are key maintenance tasks when preparing a home for sale. Whether hiring a proven handyman or going DIY if you have the skill, quality basic maintenance and cosmetic work is worth the time, money, and effort to encourage Buyer confidence

Every home has its concerns, but Buyers and Sellers can usually negotiate through them with good faith repairs or price reductions (as best suits the circumstance), with certified inspections and, most importantly, with fair and open dialogue.

If you’re thinking of selling but have some concerns over property conditions, and aren’t sure whether to address them yourself or make concessions for Buyers, get in touch with us for a no-obligation, no-cost consultation.

We’re here for you every day of the week!

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x