3 Frightening Things in Sellers' Homes That Can Scare Buyers Silly

Having a beautiful home in an exquisite environment is not a most suitable reason for buyers to show interest, it could contain an item or two that happens to scare the pants off anyone who walks through your door. That might not really be an issue if you don't like guests, but it could very well be a big problem if you're trying to sell your place!

The raw truth is that it doesn't take much to scare off home buyers—with so much on the line, even the smallest detail can give them a shiver or low-spirited feeling they can't shake. So, in case you want to make 100% sure your home-selling efforts aren't getting tripped up on some freaky feature you overlooked, check out these things home buyers and their agents have come across during their house hunt that made them get out – and quickly.

Horrible smells

"Horrible smells" or a vague scent of your beloved pets or mold are going to cast a pall over a home showing. “Almost every home has a unique smell, and the owners rarely realize it," says Jerry Koller, a Realtor® with International Home Realty in Irvine, CA.


For this reason, many real estate agents bake cookies, which serve dualpurpose as both an air freshener and a buyer-seducing snack.

"Of course, it’s smart to try remedies such as Febreze or candles," Koller says. "But sometimes you just need to replace carpet before putting your house on the market."

  1. Dust and dirt

    Sellers, do not exciteyourself thinking that those cobwebs are just part of your Halloween décor. Your house needs to be spotless to attract the buyers, says Bly, who has seen everything from dusty faux plants and dried flower arrangements to grimy shower tile and—total gross-out alert! — unflushed toilets or clumps of hair in the drain.

    So whether it’s an oven that’s never been cleaned, a fridge with 6-month-old Chinese food, or a laundry room piled high with dirty clothes, remember that people want to buy a home that looks shiny and new

    Too many locks

    Glenn Phillips, CEO of Lake Homes Realty in Birmingham, AL, discovered a deal breaker for one of his clients: a wildly excessive number of door locks that prompted the family to wonder what the danger was. Thieves? Stalkers? SWAT teams?

    Granted, maybe the seller was the "better safe than sorry" type. Still, anything beyond two locks per door doesn't generally sit well with buyers. As Phillips explains, "Given a choice, most people won’t buy in places they think are unsafe."