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The Hateful Eight- 8 Things Homebuyers Will Hate About Your House

I ran across an article recently titled “15 things home buyers will HATE about your house.   At first glance, I wondered if I would agree with the assessment, if it was location-specific and if I could, based on my personal experience, add a few of my own.  

I also polled the agents at Home Selling Team, on their experiences with home buyer objections. We are a team of 13 full-time professional Realtors with vast knowledge and a varied perspective from working with buyer clients of all ages and economic abilities in Eastern Connecticut. 


  1.   Popcorn Ceilings:  Accumulates dirt, impossible to clean and hard to paint. Buyers like popcorn. At the movies-not above their heads.

  2.   Wall to Wall Carpet:  Especially shag carpets, and especially when it includes the kitchen and bath. Yes, we’ve seen it.

  3.   Vanity Strips:  Nothing says inexpensive and welcome to the ’70s like a strip of round globe lights over your bathroom mirror. You can replace it with something at Home Depot for under $25.  Frankly, you'll be amazed you haven’t replaced it before now.

  4.   Dynamic Duo:  Brass Lighting Fixtures & Cheap Acrylic Faucet Handles.  A package deal of bad taste. Replace for under $100 and redeem yourself.

  5.  Steep Driveways:  Steep doesn’t bode well for the winters we’ve been experiencing.  We all have seen the cars parked at the bottom of a long dark driveway coated in black ice in the dead of January at midnight.  Steep driveways also can be a challenge for aging residents and small children.  

  6.  Shared Driveways: Thanks to technology and our increasing isolationism, most buyers do not like the idea of sharing the financial responsibility of driveway maintenance or engaging socially with the sharer in the interest of just getting home and into the garage.  If an encounter is unavoidable, the buyer may feel pressured to wave or smile— a deal breaker for some.  Life no longer requires a village, just a long single use driveway as far from your neighbors that you can get. This objection will likely impact your sales price.  A maintenance agreement is great but does not address the social anxiety that is likely to prevail. 

  7. Funky Colors: Painting a room for whimsy, romance or adventure is great while you are living there, not so much when you are selling. Your job, expressed in a neutral palette, is to aid the prospective buyer in envisioning their future selves comfortably ensconced in your lovely home.  

  8.  Odors: This includes pets, smelly bedding, dirty clothes, teenagers (especially athletic ones), mold, mildew, food & cooking oil.  Please do not deep fry a turkey while your house is for sale. Please eat your fish in a restaurant while your house is for sale.  We recommend that our sellers have a days-notice on all showings.  This gives the seller ample time to clean up the kitchen and air it out as necessary, take out the garbage, make the beds, change the sheets if necessary, empty the litter box, and stash the laundry in the washer or some location impervious to a buyer’s nose.

Speaking of showings, our day-before-notice is sometimes unpopular among agents who are requesting showings within a few hours of the initial request.  We continue to stand by this recommendation as we have found that most of the short notice showings are unqualified buyers generated via Zillow or some other syndicator and rarely produce a bonafide offer.   We feel that there is no need to stress about the condition of your home when the showing is likely to be unproductive.  

Advice to sellers:   You get one shot at a good impression when someone comes through the door.  If you've made this list in some way,  it would be wise to attempt to eradicate some of these issues before you put your home on the market, not after.  Some objections you will not be able to overcome or manage for financial or practical reasons and that's okay.  Good smells, good paint, good stuff, all make for good vibes when a buyer is weighing your property against another in a similar demographic.  Replace.  Resolve. Repaint.  Refinish.  Repair. Refresh.  Relax.  Your Work is Done.  

Other relevant info:

20 Tips to Sell Fast and For Top Dollar

8 Things You Need to Know to Pass Your Home Inspection

How to Sell an Expired Listing 

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