What are home buyers checking when purchasing a house?

For years I have taken home buyers out showing them homes and it’s as much for them as it is for me. What I mean by that is if my buyer doesn’t like the house I still need to pay close attention because it may be perfect for another buyer I may be working with. So the whole time I am walking through the house taking mental and physical notes about the property. Better yet I am walking through the house with what we call a “buyers eye”. I am looking for all of the things that a buyer will be paying attention to and care about.

Many times when I go on a listing appointment to meet with people about selling their home I will go through this same exercise and walk through the house with a buyer’s eye. So what is a buyer’s eye and what are they looking for?

Signs related To House Condition

First, I am looking to see the condition of the house and many times I can tell how the home has been cared for just by looking at the flooring. Are the hardwoods scratched up, faded or worse? Is the carpet stained or matted? Are the baseboards scuffed, marked or dirty? How about the walls? Dirty, marks, handprints, or the kids color on them. Are the bathrooms clean and updated (mold in the shower or grout). Are the light fixtures and hardware 1990’s fake brass? Is it the original water heater, furnace, and air conditioner? Are the appliances original or at least clean? Is the landscaping overgrown and the grass brown? Is the exterior paint recent or is the trim rotting around the windows? Are the windows originals and do they seem to be in good working order. The basement window wells are full of debris, plenty of cobwebs or the windows throughout the house look as they have never been cleaned. These are all little telltale signs a buyer is looking for to determine if they like it and they believe it priced right. By no means is this the definitive list of items that buyers care about. This is just a partial list and I could go on and on.

Signs of Bad Condition Are Reducing The Price

Some homebuyers may be able to see around these things and still like the bones of the house, but I can tell you they have the calculator in their head running a mile a minute. As they walk through and find things wrong, things they don’t like or things they want to change they begin adding up the cost of those items in their head. Then if they decide to make an offer they total up the costs of these repairs/changes and take that amount of money off the purchase price.

Why It Is Important to Declutter and Depersonalize the House

You see, home buyers walk through a house trying to decide if it’s the right fit and everything they have been looking for. In order to do that they need to be able to see their stuff in your home (this is why taking personal pictures off the wall and de-cluttering is so important) and they need envision what it would be like to live there. Home buyers walk through your house with just two simple goals: Rule it in or rule it out!

If they find fault with any of the items I listed above chances are they are going to rule it out, but if they don’t find the issues mentioned above then there is a good chance to rule it in. My job in helping you get your home ready for sale is to walk through with a buyer’s eye and so when buyers come through for a showing they rule it in!

Dan Polimino is a Broker/Owner of the Colorado Dream House Team, Keller Williams Realty DTC. Contact the Colorado Dream House Team at 720-446-6325, team@coloradodreamhouse.com, coloradodreamhouse.com

All reported sales were not necessarily listed or sold by the broker and are intended only to show trends in the area.