Every house has its little quirks and flaws that make it unique. As the homeowner, you’ve probably learned to live with them over the years. Maybe you just never got around to fixing them; or maybe you think they add charm to your home. When you’re trying to sell a house, however, potential buyers might not see the same charm you see. In fact, some of them might be red flags to buyers. Here are just a few of the little flaws that could be a big deal to buyers.

Tiny Closets

You’ve managed to live with small storage spaces, so shouldn’t any potential buyer be fine with your smallish closets? Not necessarily. With all the new construction and custom-built storage options on the market, small closets can be a deal breaker for some buyers. If your closets are particularly tiny, think about having a contractor fix them up. At least get an estimate to show buyers how much it would cost if they want to expand any closets after closing.

Torn Window Screens

Who knows how or when those annoying little rips showed up in your window screens? They might not bother you, but they’re actually a warning sign to buyers to be on the lookout for other little red flags around the house. It’s in your best interest to replace or repair any torn or missing window screens before you begin to schedule showings.

Unsavory Odors

Sometimes we’re immune to the odors others can smell in our homes. The culprit could be a pet (or pets, as the case may be), mildew, smoke, general mustiness, or any number of other sources. When we’re around certain scents on a daily basis, we tend not to notice them as much as a “fresh” nose would. Have your Realtor® or another trusted person do a quick check to make sure everything smells fresh and clean.

Cracks in Walls, Ceilings, or Flooring

Cracks both big and small can be warning signs of a much larger underlying issue. To provide peace of mind for potential buyers, you might want to think about hiring a professional to inspect your foundation before you put your home on the market. That way, you’ll be able to disclose to buyers whether those cracks are just due to general settling of the house or potential foundation issues.

Stains on Walls or Ceilings

Remember that water leak you had fixed years ago? Remember the stain it left behind on the ceiling? If you’ve lived with it this long, it obviously doesn’t bother you, but it’s another definite red flag for buyers. Be sure to remove or paint over any stains that might be present on walls and ceilings.

Mystery Light Switches

We can’t even tell you how many home showings we’ve had where buyers have found a mystery light switch that doesn’t seem to do anything. A switch that doesn’t seem to do anything raises questions. Is the wiring just old? Is it safe? If you have a mystery switch in your home, do your best to find out exactly what it does. Hire an electrician to inspect it and make sure everything’s safe. If it just controls an electrical outlet somewhere in the room, be sure to either label it or plug a lamp into that outlet so it’s obvious that the switch controls it.

Dripping Faucets or Slow-Draining Sinks

Buyers are always on the lookout for plumbing problems, and a dripping faucet, a slow-draining sink, and low water pressure are definite red flags. Have a plumber come in to address any of these little issues to make sure they aren’t indicative of a bigger problem.


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