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When buyers decide to start looking at properties, they generally connect with a real estate agent and tell the agent what size, price range, location and amenities they seek. Sometimes buyers have a clear picture of what they want and sometimes they do not. “But every buyer knows instantly what they do not want” says expert and author, Barbara Jennings, of the Academy of Staging and Redesign.

While buyers may not know how to articulate what they want, they have no problems expressing what they do not want. So here are some basic aspects about homes that buyers do not like and that homeowners should try to avoid:

1) Dead plants in the front yard. You’ve no doubt heard the phrase “curb appeal”. A home should look fabulous and inviting from the street. If it does not, buyers won’t even stop. They just keep driving.

2) Broken or cracked asphalt in driveway or front steps. Presentation is half the battle. But if your presentation fails leading up to the front door, many buyers won’t bother going inside as they have already experienced a negative impression that is hard to overcome.

3) Unpleasant odors upon entering. If the house stinks, you can probably bet it will be written off the list then and there.

4) Old rundown kitchen and baths. The kitchen and bathrooms are the most important areas of a home to modernize. Since they are both the hub and the source for cleanliness in the house, they need to be up-to-date and clean and free from any problems.

5) Bright colors everywhere. Buyers do not want to have to change the carpets and wall colors. They want the colors to be neutral so they will blend with their furnishings.

6) Cluttered rooms, messy rooms. Buyers want owners to stage a home with good taste and demonstrate they loved living in the home. Buyers want to believe they will love living in the home too should they place an offer on the table. They want owners to stage home in attractive, workable ways to help them envision living in the home.

When homeowners look at their property with “buyer’s eyes”, they usually get a different perspective. Owners should inspect their properties with the scrutiny of someone who is extremely critical. It should cease to be viewed as a “home” and instead be viewed as a “house” or raw asset. The more an owner can detach emotionally from the home before putting it on the market, the better chance they will have of getting buyers to pay attention to their property thus keeping it on the buyer’s list of possibilities.

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About the Author

Barbara Jennings is author of 14 decorating books: Decor Secrets Revealed, Rearrange It, Home Staging for Profit, Home Staging for Yourself, Staging Portfolio Secrets, Staging Luxurious Homes, Arrange Your Stuff, Advanced Redesign, Pro Art Consulting, Where There's a Wall - There's a Way, The Secret Art of Hanging Art, Great Parties! Great Homes!, Getting Paid, and Wall Groupings!

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