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Sellers Beware! Check Out the 8 Home Issues Most Likely to Deter Potential Buyers

Nat Ferguson

I am a fourth generation resident of Seal Beach who enjoys writing about local activities, business and real estate...

I am a fourth generation resident of Seal Beach who enjoys writing about local activities, business and real estate...

Jan 29 4 minutes read

Before you start setting out the refreshments and "staging" your home for your first open house, you may want to check out these common house issues that often scare off potential buyers.

1. Roof

Roof issues are responsible for 39% of homeowners’ insurance claims, according to the National Roof Certification and Inspection Association. If your roof is nearing the end of its’ life (typical lifespan of a roof is 20 to 25 years for shingles), you might want to look into replacing it (or getting a certification showing that it’s good to go!). Keep in mind that most home inspectors don't inspect roofs so you will need to get a separate inspector to check on the status of your roof. 


2. Gutters

Cleaning out the gutters is never a chore anyone wants to do, but doing it may prevent thousands of dollars in damages. You might not see the results of your efforts right away, but after a good storm passes through, your efforts will be rewarded. 

3. Doors & Windows

This one may not seem like an important thing to some people. However, fixing creaky windows and doors can bring a 50% to 80% return on your investment! Also, while buyers may not notice upgraded windows and doors, they certainly will notice damaged ones. 


4. Appliances

Fashion trends may be taking hints from the 90s, but your kitchen sure doesn’t need to. Buyers know they can update appliances on their own, but old appliances might leave buyers wondering what else needs replacing. Additionally, if you're planning on taking any of your appliances with you, be sure to specify it clearly beforehand. 

5. Termites & Pests

Pests of any kind could be a deal breaker for a lot of people. Considering it doesn't cost a lot to have an inspection done, fixing this issue can help save you a lot of time and money in the long run. Make sure your buyers have peace of mind and get a termite warranty from a remediation company.


Most well-maintained systems can last up to 25 years. If your system is approaching its expiration date, it could be a good idea to look into getting a new one. Otherwise, it could be a potential area that buyers use to try to negotiate a lower price. Again, this is another aspect of prepping your home that won't cost much now, but can save loads later. 

7. Foundation

This is one to fix before your house is up for sale since foundation problems or cracked walls can be signs of bigger problems. Foundation issues are often costly to repair so be on the look out for these common foundation issue indicators: 

  • Misaligned doors and windows (could indicate a shift in the foundation)
  • Doors that stick or don’t latch shut
  • Windows that are difficult to open or that have cracks in the glass
  • Sloping floors or staircases (indicates a probable pitch in the foundation)
  • Cracked drywall
  • Gaps between the wall seams or between the wall and the ceiling
  • Large cracks in the exterior concrete
  • Water in the basement, crawl spaces, or around the perimeter of the home


8. Radon

Radon is typically found in basements or lower levels. It is a naturally occurring, carcinogenic, radioactive gas that’s formed from the breakdown of uranium. Considering it is the No. 2 cause of lung cancer, right behind smoking, this is another big one to fix right away. Additionally, you can't see or smell radon. Testing is the only way to know the level of exposure in your home. The EPA recommends radon levels above four picocuries per liter or higher in the home need attention. 


If you're considering the sale of your home this year, start by checking  the value via . Next contact your local, reputable real estate professional to determine the best plan to get your home ready for the market.

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