The Five Biggest Turn-offs For Homebuyers

A lot of sellers don’t listen to their real estate agents, so we’ll tell you what your agent wants to say, but can’t say to you and this is it – your agent can’t get you the price you want unless your home is in pristine move-in condition.

That means no sticking drawers in the kitchen. No leaning fences. No rust-stained plumbing fixtures. We could go on, but maybe we need to make it clear. If you have even one of following “turn-offs,” your home won’t sell.

Buyers can get instantly turned off. Here are their five biggest turn-offs:

  1. Overpriced for the market
  2. Smells
  3. Clutter
  4. Deferred maintenance
  5. Dark, dated décor

Overpricing your home

Overpricing your home is like trying to crash the country club without a membership. You’ll be found out and escorted out.

If you ignored your agent’s advice and listed at a higher price than recommended, you’re going to get some negative feedback from buyers. The worst feedback, of course, is silence. That could include no showings and no offers.

The problem with overpricing your home is that the buyers who are qualified to buy your home won’t see it because they’re shopping in a lower price range. The buyers who do it will quickly realize that there are other homes in the same price range that offer more value.


Smells can come from a number of sources – pets, lack of cleanliness, stale air, water damage, and much more. You may not even notice it, but your real estate agent may have hinted to you that something needs to be done.

There’s not a buyer in the world that will buy a home that smells unless they’re investors looking for a bargain. Even so, they’ll get a forensic inspection to find out the source of the smells. If they find anything like undisclosed water damage, or pet urine under the “new” carpet, then they will either severely discount their offer or walk away.


If your tables are full to the edges with photos, figurines, mail, and drinking glasses, buyers’ attention is going to more focused on running the gauntlet of your living room without breaking any Hummels than in considering your home for purchase.

Too much furniture confuses the eye – it makes it really difficult for buyers to see the proportions of rooms. If they can’t see what they need to know, they move on to the next home.

Deferred maintenance

Deferred maintenance is a polite euphemism for letting your home fall apart. Just like people age due to the effects of the sun, wind and gravity, so do structures like your home. Things wear out, break and weather, and it’s your job as a homeowner to keep your home repaired.

Your buyers really want a home that’s been well-maintained. They don’t want to wonder what needs to fixed next or how much it will cost.

Dated décor

The reason people are looking at your home instead of buying brand new is because of cost and location. They want your neighborhood, but that doesn’t mean they want a dated-looking home. Just like they want a home in good repair, they want a home that looks updated, even if it’s from a different era.

Harvest gold and avocado green from the seventies; soft blues and mauves from the eighties, jewel tones from the nineties, and onyx and pewter from the oughts are all colorways that can date your home. Textures like popcorn ceilings, shag or berber carpet, and flocked wallpaper can also date your home.

When you’re behind the times, buyers don’t want to join you. They want to be perceived as savvy and cool.

In conclusion, the market is a brutal mirror. If you’re guilty of not putting money into your home because you believe it’s an investment that others should pay you to profit, you’re in for a rude awakening. You’ll be stuck with an asset that isn’t selling.

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How to create fun kid’s spaces


If you have been thinking about creating a fun space for kids in your home but don’t know quite where to start, or are struggling for ideas, know that you’re not alone.

Maybe soon you will be creating or recreating a space in your home just for kids. There’s no shortage of ideas or inspiration for such a project, whether your aim is a space for education, for play, or just a place for kids to call their own.

When creating a fun space for kids, there are some tips to make it truly kid-friendly. Here are a few:

The point of view – Remember, kids are smaller, and how they see a room from a lower level will be different than yours. Put some thought into placing items – chalkboards, shelves, wall art – at a lower eye-level so kids have access to all that they need, along with kids-sized tables and chairs. This blog about a homework area looks at how to keep things simple, sorted and not distracting.

An inviting space – Consider what you would like the children to be doing, and create a motivating invitation. For an art area, like these on Pinterest, go beyond just placing art supplies out; create a comfortable and inspiring area that’s prepared with everything they need to be creative within arm’s reach. Similarly, if your goal is a space for reading, prepare pillows, blankets or a comfy beanbag or chair to invite them to sit and stay awhile.

The right colors and design – Think about what your design invites kids to do rather than how it looks. Use bright colors where you can – on the walls, for accessories (like chairs or pillows or baskets) or even floor tiles in rugs – to help inspire creativity. Pinterest has many ideas on how to explore using different colors and shapes.

Try a theme – The best spaces for kids will invite them in and get them to stay, and an overall theme might be an idea if you have the space and the resources. Whether you’re considering a play area, homework area or an entire bedroom, themes like these on Houzz help create fun and inspiring spaces. Kids will feel comfortable in these types of spaces and will love a space they can call their own. With some careful consideration and planning you can blend colors, design and functionality to create spaces like these spaces on Pinterest.

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Perfect Guest Bedroom


Often times our spare bedrooms end up being untouched spaces or unofficial storage units where all of our miscellaneous belongs get shipped off to. Creating a space for houseguests that is inviting while still versatile for your needs when no one is visiting can be a bit of a challenge, but with a few simple touches you can ensure your guest bedroom is no longer an underutilized area of the home. Your first step is to clear the clutter. This is especially true when guests are due to arrive soon. Investing in storage boxes and bins for your personal items ensures you won’t need to clear all of your belongs each time someone visits and it also keeps the room airy and appealing for your guests. You also don’t need to settle on boring and unstylish plastic storage bins either. Here are some inspiration photos for storage containers that can add a stylish flare to any room: Check out this unique storage idea for utilizing the space under your bed: Having trouble organizing your closet trinkets? Take a look at this organizational idea:

The next step to making your guests feel at home is to set the scene with extra pillows, blankets and towels placed out for easy access. Adding in a small vase of fresh cut flowers is a perfect way to gain some extra hospitality points as well.  If you have your seasonal clothes in the drawers in your guest room, you can still accommodate your guests with some inexpensive luggage racks so clothing is easily accessible. Here is a visual list of a few more items you may want to include: When it comes to beds, the common thought is a queen or king sized arrangement. If you find yourself with a higher traffic of visitors, you may want to look into the two twin bed configuration. Here are some ideas on how to implement this design style:

Details make all the difference when it comes to guest bedrooms. Having a motion-sensor night-light plugged in alleviates the confusion when shuffling around an unfamiliar place in the dark of the night. Make sure the light bulbs in the table lamps work and the television remote has batteries. Another welcoming touch is having a toiletry bag ready and available in your guest room for your future visitors. Include that with some extra towels, a washcloth and toilet paper. This will keep your guests out of the linen closet searching for these essentials and you happy.

Something simple and elegant like this: universally appealing.  Some other great touches are hyper-local magazines, brochures of attractions nearby, a list of your address and cross streets and a spare key. This is an obvious fit for visitors renting but also perfect for friends and family. When it comes to the time of the year where you have your home all to yourself, it’s nice to add some elements into your spare room that give you incentive to use it more often. Daybeds provide versatility and invite you to use the room any time. Add some of your favorite books, which can lead you to using the room as a quite space to read and offers your guests some more entertainment.

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Trends for modern tech-smart homes


The latest and greatest in technology isn’t limited to a gadget you can hold in your hand or the computer that operates your car. More and more, they can be embraced inside your home.

Home technology is a hot industry, and some of the latest trends and products can give you a smart-home that makes your living space technically savvy. Not only will these advances in home technology make your life easier, but they also represent top-selling features that can add value to your home.

Here’s a look at some examples of the latest in technology for your home:

Complete home integration.
The day is nearly here when you can run every subsystem in your home from a mobile app. Nearly. But today you can experience the convenience of running all of the systems – lighting, audio, video, security, HVAC, cameras, etc. – from any touchscreen for complete control of nearly everything in your home, like this product from

Make your flatscreen (almost) invisible.
Many homeowners want the latest in flatscreen television technology but don’t want to stare at the huge screens when they’re not watching. No problem. Check out this pop-up ceiling lift on, a transparent TV (like this one designed by Michael Friebe), or even a mirror that turns into a TV.

User-friendly ovens.
You can have a kitchen like the Jetson’s with an oven that has a built-in Android tablet, allowing you to search online for restaurants, surf for recipes and control the oven from a mobile device. offers a look at Dacor’s Discovery smart oven.

A magic mirror.
How about a fully functioning mirror that has a built-in display connected to the Internet so that you can browse the web, watch videos, check the weather and more — all while getting ready in the morning? Check out this version from

Monitor energy usage in real-time.
New sustainable energy solutions can eliminate standby power completely, shut down appliances for brief periods, and study your daily habits in real-time that affect your homes’ energy consumption. Integrating this systems combines renewable energy and energy conservation.

Toilets of the future.
Toilets continue to become more advanced, like the Numi Toilet that has a touchscreen interface, built-in speakers, motion detection and can connect via Bluetooth.  Others, like this example from that uses less than a gallon per flush, focus on conservation.

Home theater trends.
Nearly everything is new when it comes to home theater trends, especially when it comes to the convergence of web-based mobile apps and streaming internet content.  Internet-enabled devices bring everything on the Internet to your TV, and it can all be controlled from a mobile device. Wireless media systems are continually innovative and withproducts like Apple TV you can access podcasts, internet radio and music from cloud storage.

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Five great weekend home improvement projects


A home improvement project is always a fine idea. A home improvement project you can get done in one weekend is an even better idea!

Worthwhile home improvement projects don’t always have to interrupt your life or leave you living in a construction zone. Not only can many be completed in one weekend, but they won’t have to break your budget, either. There are plenty of home improvement projects that require a small investment in time and money, and will have a long-term impact on your home that you can enjoy for years.

Polish your patio
Transform your outdoor patio or relaxation area by installing pavers or flagstone to create a defined area. No concrete is required, and you can install an entire patio in a day. Add atmosphere and character with some potted plants, overhead light strings, a fire pit and a bistro set or other comfy seating.

A better backsplash
A new ceramic or glass tile backsplash can turn an otherwise dull kitchen into a fresh new room. Once you have cleared the area, there are many options in terms of style, materials, pricing and levels of difficulty to install. If you don’t want to work with quick-set, there are even peel-and-stick sheets to make an easy project even quicker.

Get an edge
Update the edging around your gardens, planting beds and walkways can add significant long-term value be defining the areas with a consistent look. Even if you go for real stone or wood edging options, it only requires a little digging and leveling to create a professional look.

Add garage storage
Add some functionality to your garage by adding some simple to install storage features. There are hundreds of options in the garage storage category, from cabinets and shelves to hanging ceiling hooks. The work is simple, just make note of how much space you have to work with and take stock of the items you need to store. Once you’re done, you will be glad you did it.

Make a grand entrance
Make a better first impression in the entry area of your home by adding a few simple items that can bring a bit of style as well as double as extra storage if you lack a closet or built-in shelves. A small-scale table with drawers can be functional storage in the drop-off zone, or a padded bench with internal storage can hide winter accessories. A wall-mounted shelf can hang keys and display family photos.

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California Science Center


If you are looking for a fun place where you can interact with the exhibits, you need to take some time to visit the California Science Center. It’s a place the whole family will love. Before we get into what you can see and do there, let’s take a look at the history of this amazing building.

Located in Exposition Park in Los Angeles, the science center was first established back in 1951 as the California Museum of Science and Industry. The name change took place back in 1998, but plans to make the center something a lot more special began 5 years before that. It was in 1993 that a three-part transformation and upgrade was put into motion, with the first phase including the addition of the massive IMAX Theater that is now one of the most popular spots in the center. Phase II was more about the infrastructure, with parking added and some aesthetically pleasing changes made to the gardens and exterior of the building. The third and final phase – World’s Beyond – is still in the planning process.

Each of the exhibits are broken down into individual galleries, all of which present the information in an educational way, but also in a style that is fun and totally interactive. Best of all, the permanent exhibits in the California Science Center are always free to visit, although you will have to pay for parking, as well as for tickets to special exhibits and the IMAX Theater. One of the biggest exhibits, in more ways than one, is the Space Shuttle Endeavor, which is currently on display to the public. This is one that you will need to call ahead and make a reservation for, as it is incredibly popular and always very busy.

There are a number of special exhibits that travel into the science center for small periods of time. The majority of these are put together by other museums across the country. These change out regularly, which means there is always something new and exciting to see every time you visit. In fact, if you live in L.A. or the surrounding area, you might consider becoming a member so you can see all of the traveling exhibits for one low price.

There really is something fun for everyone in the family at the California Science Center. The center is open from 10am to 5pm every day, excluding holidays, which means you have plenty of time to go and take in the sights. You can visit their website or call them at (323) 724-3623 for more information. Why settle for a stuffy old museum where all the exhibits are stored behind glass cases when you can take a trip to the California Science Center and have a real hands-on experience?

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Nine kitchen organization ideas

Organized Kitchen Drawer

Let’s face it: An organized kitchen can make life a lot easier for those of us who spend a lot of time in the most-used room in the house.

Of course, it’s not always so simple, because most kitchens hold a number of items that don’t always fit together. But there are a number of clever items and simple tips to make your kitchen great again.

Beyond cleaning and re-organizing your kitchen to get rid of all the items you never use, here are nine additional organizational ideas for your kitchen:

The Lazy Susan – Yes, it’s an old-school idea, but they’re still around for a reason. Whether it’s as a built-in lower cabinet or a smaller counter-top version, they’re the ultimate space savers.

Drawer Organizers – When your drawers are full of things you can’t otherwise find or don’t use, it’s time to organize. From customized to removable, they come in a variety of sizes and materials that should be easy to clean. See these examples on Pinterest.

Sliding Shelf Organizers – Divide what you keep in your lower cabinets and organize them on sliding shelves like these, which provide easy access for items you use often.

Clear Containers – Group together similar, smaller items that come in packets or small boxes that are scattered about into clear containers like these. They can be stackable and are also great to keep cereals, spices and baking items fresh.

Stemware Racks – Free up your valuable cabinet space by installing stemware racks below the cabinets to hang your wine glasses. Plus, some can hold other items like wine bottles.

Hanging Pots and Pans – Anything you can hang somewhere else frees up cabinet space. Try wall-mounted pot racks or larger versions that hang from the ceiling to hang your biggest cooking items in easy-to-reach places.

De-clutter the Counters – Get rid of all the items that clutter your counter with wall-mounted basics like mail slots, magnet boards, key holders, shelves and spice racks to maximize your wall space.

Knife Storage – Storing your expensive knives on wall-mounted magnetic strips not only keeps them sharp, but makes them accessible when you need them and easy to reach without accidentally cutting yourself.

Door Storage – Whether it’s simple hanging hooks inside cabinet doors under the sink ormore elaborate systems on the back of a pantry door, utilize the backs of doors to organize otherwise cluttered areas.

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