Top 9 Deal Breakers for Homebuyers Every Seller Needs to Know About

A majority of homes have drawbacks, drawbacks that could be deal-breakers for homebuyers when it comes times to sell. As a home seller, you might be under the impression these drawbacks are little, like needing new carpet or paint. However, drawbacks that are deal-breakers for most buyers are more than a coat of paint. Deal-breakers are usually costly or something a homeowner has no control over. So let’s take a look at the top 9 deal-breakers for homebuyers.

Top 9 Deal Breakers for Homebuyers Every Seller Needs to Know About

Old Roof

Roofs are extremely expensive to replace. In fact, it’s one of the biggest expenses a homeowner may face throughout their ownership. So it’s no surprise buyers don’t want to purchase a home that has an older roof. In addition to the expense of replacing the roof, it can also be difficult to obtain homeowners insurance. Not all insurance carriers will insure a home with an older roof and if they do the annual premiums can be outrageously expensive.

Bad Neighbor

Yep, it’s true your neighbor can make it impossible to sell your home. While your home might be picture-perfect if your neighbors is not it may cost you a sale. Nobody wants to live next to a neighbor who doesn’t maintain their yard or has a dog that is constantly barking. Sure, most cities have a noise ordinance and a barking dog can be reported, but who wants to take on that problem?

Strong Odors

From cigarette smoke to pet urine a strong odor can send a buyer right out the front door. A pungent food odor and toxic air freshener can do the same. While a food or chemical smell might go away after a deep clean, cigarette smoke and pet urine won’t. In fact, it can cost a lot of money to get rid of these smells. In severe cases, drywall and subfloors may need to be replaced and/or sealed. Not many buyers want to take on this type of project unless they are getting a phenomenal deal.

Top 9 Deal Breakers for Homebuyers Toxic MoldToxic Mold

There are over 100,000 different species of mold. While some molds are harmless there are five mold categories that are very toxic; Cladosporium, Penicillium, Fusarium, Aspergillus, and Stachybotrys. It’s these toxic molds that can cause major health issues and scare homebuyers off.

Now, not all sellers know if their home contains toxic mold especially if it’s not visible, you might be included in this category, which is why you may want to have your home tested for mold before listing it for sale. Having a “negative” mold report can put a buyer’s mind at ease and if it’s “positive” you can take the steps to have it professionally remediated. However, it’s important to find the root cause of the mold otherwise it may reappear. This is one of the many reasons why you need to hire a professional mold expert, not a general contractor or inspector.

Crummy Location

If your home sits on a busy road, is close to train tracks or a cemetery it can make for a difficult sale. Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do about where your home is located, but you can make sure to price it accordingly. You’ll also want to create as much privacy as possible if your home currently doesn’t have any. Landscaping can go a long way to improve a home’s appearance and reduce the noise level.

Polybutylene Pipes

Back in the mid-1990’s polybutylene pipes were banned because they were rupturing and causing property damage. This is one of the many reasons why homeowners insurance won’t always insure homes with this type of plumbing and if they do there may be an exclusion. Meaning, if the pipes rupture the homeowner is responsible for the damage along with the replacement of the plumbing, which can be costly. Therefore, it’s no surprise homebuyers won’t be interested in a home with this type of plumbing. If you have polybutylene pipes you may want to consider changing them out before listing your home for sale. At the very least obtain a few estimates so you know the cost and can price your home accordingly.

Foundation Issues

The integrity of a home’s foundation is important especially since it’s the main source of support for everything built on top of it. So if a home has a foundation issue it can send buyers running. Some of these issues are minor and may not need to be addressed. While other issues are major and will have to be addressed. Now, most foundation issues can be fixed it’s just a matter of having the money to do so. If you think or know your home has a foundation issue you’ll want to find out the extent and see if fixing it is an option.

Outdated Electrical

Outdated or faulty electrical can be a safety issue, which is one of the many reasons why buyers aren’t interested in homes with outdated electrical. In addition to the electrical outlets and wiring, the electrical panel matters too. Just like roofs, an electrical panel may be deemed “dangerous” making it difficult to obtain homeowner’s insurance. Not many carriers will insure a home that has an electrical panel manufactured by Federal Pacific, Zinsco, Sylvania, or Challenger because they’re deemed fire hazards. The average cost to replace an electrical panel is $700-$1,500. This is a minor expense in the grand scheme of things, an expense you should consider taking on prior to listing.

Ever wonder why a buyer won't view your home, submit an offer or cancel the contract? Here are the top 9 reasons buyers won't purchase a home.Click to Tweet

Final Thoughts

While a majority of buyers can look past paint and flooring they will not look past issues that are costly or will be costly in the feature. Nor will they look past issues that will interfere with their quality of life, such as a barking dog next door or a train whistle blowing throughout the day. As a seller, if your home has any of these deal breakers you should try addressing the ones you can prior to listing your home for sale. Homes with extensive deal-breakers can equate to a much lower sales price compared to the competition. Also, keep in mind deal-breakers will vary from area to area, so you’ll want to discuss the most common deal-breakers in your area with your listing agent.

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Additional Home Selling Tips

  • Are you looking to sell your home fast? If so there are several steps you can take to ensure you not only sell your home fast but for top dollar too.
  • Selling a home with kids can isn’t always easy. From trying to keep the house clean to getting everyone out the door for a showing it can become overwhelming. However, there are several things you can do to make selling with kids a little less stressful.
  • Do you want your real estate agent to hold an open house? If so there are several things to take into consideration. Such as, what are the odds of finding a serious buyer through an open house? How safe and secure will your belongings be? An open house is often an invitation for criminals.

About the Author

Top Wellington Realtor, Michelle Gibson, wrote: “Top 9 Deal Breakers for Home Buyers”

Michelle has been specializing in residential real estate since 2001 throughout Wellington Florida and the surrounding area. Whether you’re looking to buy, sell or rent she will guide you through the entire real estate transaction. If you’re ready to put Michelle’s knowledge and expertise to work for you call or e-mail her today.

Areas of service include Wellington, Lake Worth, Royal Palm Beach, Boynton Beach, West Palm Beach, Loxahatchee, Greenacres and more.

Top 9 Deal Breakers for Homebuyers Every Seller Needs to Know About
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Top 9 Deal Breakers for Homebuyers Every Seller Needs to Know About
Ever wonder why a buyer won't view your home, submit an offer or cancel the contract? Here are the top 9 reasons buyers won't purchase a home.

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Michelle Gibson Wellington Florida REALTORMichelle Gibson of the Hansen Real Estate Group Inc is a full-time REALTOR who has been specializing in Wellington Florida real estate since 2001. This veteran to the real estate industry has expertise in technology, marketing and social media.


Wellington Home Team | Hansen Real Estate Group Inc. is a full-service real estate brokerage specializing in residential real estate. As a customer-focused, quality organization, we achieve success one client at a time. Call 561-333-0446 or e-mail us today at [email protected]


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