6 Scary Sights at an Open House that Makes Buyers’ Blood Curdle


A house can look perfectly normal at first glance. However, just one of these strange or off-putting features at an open house can make buyers run screaming in the other direction.

Don’t scare off buyers – if you’re guilty of any of these home horrors, rectify the situation before you let any other potential sales tour your home.

6 Strange Scenes You Never Want to See at an Open House

Instead of a house of dreams, these scenes present buyers with a house of horrors.

1. A Weird Smell with No Obvious Source

Any unpleasant odor spells disaster for a showing, but sometimes it can get weirder. Sometimes, there’s no obvious source for the stench. If a smell permeating a home is unidentifiable and awful, you can bet buyers will turn around and never look back.

2. An Army of Locks on the Front Door

Sure, some people are just really careful. “Better safe than sorry” is a common motto, after all.

However, when a homeowner has more than two or three locks on their front door, something is off. A couple of deadbolts, a chain, plus a sliding lock will make buyers wonder what the threat is in the neighborhood.

3. Really, Really Taste-Specific Art

An appreciation for art is fine, but creepy paintings, a taxidermy obsession, or any other art that’s off-putting will stick in buyers’ minds rather than the home’s selling points. Eclectic taste is a matter of preference, but sellers need to stash it away for the showing.

 4. “Repairs”

A home in a state of half-repair will look chaotic and crumbling, even if it’s being improved. Similarly, a home with obvious shoddy workmanship will not win favor with buyers. If the work isn’t done, or needs to be redone, the house shouldn’t be on the market.

5. A Snarling Pet

Buyers show up at an open house hoping to see great architecture, the features they want, or at least a home worth their consideration. Present them with a snarling, unfriendly dog or hissing/yowling cat at the outset, and you’ll leave them with such a bad impression, they’ll forget about the good stuff.

6. Dust, Dirt, or Cobwebs

Buyers want to see a house at its very best when they’re out shopping for real estate. A home coated in dust or adorned with cobwebs will appear neglected at best, and haunted at worst. Only the most determined buyers will be able to see past the grime.

Make Your Showing an Open House, Not a Haunted House

For an effective home showing, every single detail is important and needs attention. To avoid presenting buyers with a house of horrors, sellers need to keep things clean, neat, neutral, and welcoming. Sure, it may be boring, but the point is to let buyers imagine themselves in the home. That’s the key to a great sale.