Even the best properties in the most booming economies can struggle to sell when something is “off” about it. Whether you are buying or selling, there are a few common real estate deal breakers that put up red flags and ruin what could otherwise be a successful sale.

Make sure you avoid making these mistakes when buying (and selling) or risk letting your dream home slip through your fingers!

1. Unrealistic price

It should come as no surprise that the most common real estate deal breaker is due to unrealistic expectations from the seller on price. In other words, it’s too expensive!

SOLUTION: Sellers need to be sensitive to what the market demands and sometimes this can be difficult depending on the price you purchased your home for and the current state of the market.

2. Reviewing the condo documents reveals issues with the building

Unfortunately not all buildings are created equal. Not even close. Don’t assume that everything is okay because the building looks great on the outside. The big problems always lie out of sight.

SOLUTION: Review condo documents prior to engaging in the sales process.

3. Issues with home inspection

If there are problems with your home, you need to find them and fix them before your potential buyer discovers them in a home inspection. This can negatively affect your selling price or worse lose a potential deal to sell.

SOLUTION: Always use a home inspector, whether you are buying or selling. If you are selling, make sure you invest in one prior to putting your house on the market.

4. Not qualifying for financing

It’s really unfortunate when a happy couple finds their perfect home after an exhaustive search, only to realize that they don’t qualify for financing!

SOLUTION: Make sure you see if you qualify for a mortgage before you start home shopping. This can save a lot of time and trouble for you by knowing exactly what is going to be inside your price range.

5. Bad tenants that don’t allow showings

Hopefully you don’t run into this issue but there are many ways a bad tenant can become a detriment to the sale of your home.

SOLUTION: Do your best to maintain a good relationship with tenants.

6. Sellers that stay home for showings

It can be awkward for prospective buyers tour a home where the owners are still around. You’ll have a much better shot at closing the deal if they can picture it being their home without you there. Having to leave the house for regular viewings might be inconvenient but it can quite literally make the difference between a sale and a deal breaker.

SOLUTION: Find something to keep you busy and out of the house when showings are happening. It will be tough for them to imagine it as their home when you’re still inside of it.

7. Homes that are not properly staged before being listed for sale

Homes that are not prepped and staged before they come on the market slows activity and can frequently result in not getting any offers. A well staged home represents it in the best light possible – don’t gloss over this area!

SOLUTION: De-clutter as much as possible and get rid of any unnecessary furniture. Don’t be afraid to consult your real estate agent for advice on this.

If you need some more help with home staging, check out my previous article on 12 Real Estate Home Staging Tips To Help You Close The Deal. I cover some of the easiest and most effective ways to impress prospective buyers, some of which cost very little money but make a huge difference!


Do you have any questions about real estate or potential real estate deal breakers like the ones mentioned above? Don’t hesitate to leave a comment below or reach out to me directly.

Posted by Chris Proctor on


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