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posted: 9/6/2012 1:00 AM

Biggest turnoffs when touring a home

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  • Any pet presence in a home can turn buyers off.

    Any pet presence in a home can turn buyers off.


Here are five huge turnoffs agents and their buyer clients see when touring homes and how to avoid them:

• Pets and their stuff: No potential buyer wants to see a dirty cat litter box next to the breakfast table or Fido's bitten, saliva-filled bone on the sofa in living room. Have a plan in place to keep the pet remnants at bay, the home tidy and your pet's stuff out of sight.

• Toys and baby supplies: If possible, have a toy chest or large closet dedicated to storing your kids' stuff. Also keep in mind buyers have a hard time with the more sanitary or personal items associated with infants. If you have a newborn, put a plan in place and allow 20 minutes to store baby items before a showing.

• Cluttered counters and dirty dishes: Kitchens and bathrooms help sell a home. If the counters are crowded with the blender, coffee maker, toaster oven and other items, it will appear that there is little counter space, or worse, that your kitchen lacks cabinet space. Clear the countertops and put away the dishes before leaving home for a showing.

• Personal items and toiletries: Don't stop with the kitchen; the same holds true for bathroom countertops as well. Clean the toothpaste off the sink and put away your prescriptions, open body lotion containers, toothbrushes and dirty towels.

• Toilet and toilet seat: The last thing anyone wants to see is a dirty toilet, so make sure the toilet seat is down at all times.

Most home sellers won't make these mistakes, but for the 20 percent who do, these five turnoffs could mean the difference between a full-price or lowball offer -- or worse -- an offer on a competing property.

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