Home not selling? What visual factors can turn home buyers off?

When selling your home there are many visual factors that may turn off potential buyers. On the flip side the very things that turn the majority of home buyers off maybe a golden opportunity for a buyer to save more cash on their future home purchase too.

Lets look at some of these visual factors because there are things you may want to know…why your home may not be selling.

Lack of curb appeal. What is the first impression from the street? Are weeds over taking your yard?  Is the grass long?  Has your dog decorated the lawn with polka dots or other things?  Is your exterior paint peeling?  Does your exterior paint color blend or clash with your interior paint colors? Does your roof need replacing or repair?

A buyers first impression of a house is from the outside first.  If they are already turned off by a lack of exterior maintenance, then they already have a bad impression of your home before they even walk inside. Once inside they will continue to look for more maintenance issues because the exterior has already set the tone.  

Color. To make a home flow the exterior color of the home should blend or compliment the interior colors. Although you may like a lot of colors inside or outside your home, there are certain colors that turn a lot of buyers off these include:

Pink – Other than a girls bedroom walls this is a paint color that doesn’t belong in any other room in your home and will be viewed as a make work project or renovation project.  Included in this mix is pink tile, pink carpeting, a pink exterior and pink draperies/blinds.  Even too much pink furniture or accessories can throw a buyers color prospective off.  

Mint green – This is a color that people either love or hate.  Seems that the majority of people hate it more than they love it though.  We had a small bathroom painted this color and many people came out of our open house commenting on the ugly bathroom color instead of focusing on the rest of the place which was painted in neutral creams and taupes.  After we repainted the bathroom the place sold quickly.  

Black, dark browns or dark grays – Although, not considered offensive colors, too many dark colors inside or out can make any place seem dark, dreary, dull or lack luster.  Dark colors can also make rooms appear smaller than they actually are depending on the lighting.  An exterior painted with black paint and dark grey trim can make the house look dungeon like, burnt looking, etc.  

On the opposite end, very bright intense colors – Consider bright intense colors like a caffeine jolt.  Some is okay, but too much can make you uncomfortable, jittery, anxious, etc.

Too much of a good thing – Painting the entire exterior and/or interior of a house all in the exact same color can make your home look bland, boring and plain.  To add interest you may want to use 2 or 3 shades of beige, taupe, etc. rather than just sticking with one tone throughout.

Ceilings – Some people paint their ceilings the same color as the walls or very dark colors.  Although, a room can look more intimate when the ceiling is painted the same color as the walls, it can also look as if the ceiling is closing in on you and make the ceiling height look shorter than it actually is.

Clutter – Too many ornaments, too much furniture, too many collectibles and too much stuff stored in your garage or basement can make rooms look smaller than they appear.  Make sure a buyer can walk around your home comfortably without following little maze like pathways and/or bumping into things. You may even want to consider storing items at a storage facility temporarily while your home is for sale.

Personal pictures – A buyer has to imagine themselves living in your home.  When they see your personal pictures everywhere this becomes much harder to do.  Plus, the buyer will get distracted looking at all your personal photos instead of really looking at your house. 

Cleanliness – Your home will not show well if you leave dirty dishes in the sink, dirty clothes on the floor, etc.  If you don’t have time to clean up you may want to consider a maid service temporarily while your home is up for sale.

Remember… Most buyers will overestimate repair/maintenance/painting costs by double to triple the actual price and deduct those amounts off their offer.  Your home may also take longer to sell because the majority of buyers prefer homes that are in move in condition compared to homes that need any type of work. Yes…even painting one room can be viewed as too much work for some buyers.


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. coconews
    Jul 23, 2008 @ 14:00:17

    I remember a couple homes we viewed in the past. One had nude pictures of the owners in the bedroom. The other had a lot of pets, a lot of flies flying around the kitchen and a garage that was cluttered from floor to ceiling. The pets cages were not very clean, so the home smelled bad too.

    At an open house a realtor followed me around to every room in the house and was only a foot behind me the entire time. I could even feel her breathing down my neck, literally!

    Have you ever gone to see a home for sale and been turned off? Why? Tell your stories here.

  2. MJH
    Jul 23, 2008 @ 16:31:01

    I saw a townhouse that was painted with bright greens, blues, yellows and pinks. It was like neon lights.

    Who needs coffee when you can wake up to that!

  3. M-
    Jul 23, 2008 @ 17:29:58

    I pity the realtor who’s trying to show this unit:

  4. coconews
    Jul 23, 2008 @ 18:31:06


    How about this one?

  5. M-
    Jul 24, 2008 @ 19:01:26

    Ouch, those colours are pretty brutal… I got a good kick out of it in the office today, though!

  6. Laura
    Aug 13, 2008 @ 14:49:35

    Have you seen the Rainbow House?

    05.07.08 : Rainbow House On Clipper St.

  7. coconews
    Aug 15, 2008 @ 11:47:15


    I have never seen the rainbow house. Quite colorful to say the least, obviously someone was very fussy to take the time to paint a house in that manner.

    When you own a house, paint what ever color you want, but when you sell a house you have to appeal to the masses, which means more neutral color choices.

    Live in it one way, sell it another way.

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