Buyers have different “deal breakers” when it comes to searching for the right house. Sometimes they must have a garage. Sometimes they need a fourth bedroom. Sometimes the yard has to be a certain size. And sometimes they just need to find a dining room large enough to hold their dining room table and 10 chairs.
The last “deal breaker” might seem like a unique one, but it’s really not uncommon for buyers to pass on a house because it won’t accommodate their furnishings. Right now I’m working with a buyer that enjoys entertaining and they really love their dining room table. It’s a substantial size and has been in the family for awhile, so we must find a dining room where it will fit comfortably. Buying a different table is not an option that they would consider and I really can’t blame them.
In this case, room size becomes the determining factor. But in other examples I’ve seen, room layout becomes an issue. Earlier this year, I showed a very charming house that had lots of windows in all of the bedrooms and a few of the bedrooms also had doorways out to sleeping porches. Furniture layout in these rooms was clearly an issue, even for the current owner. There wasn’t enough wall space to place a double bed flush against the wall, the bed was oriented kitty-corner to the wall. A dresser was blocking a doorway to the sleeping porch, simply because there was nowhere else for it to go. Those buyers liked the rest of the house, but decided to pass because they felt the bedrooms weren’t furniture friendly.
A final classic example is when a stairway to the second floor does not offer enough clearance to fit a queen sized (or larger) mattress. Hopefully if you’re a buyer with a queen sized mattress, you figure this out before you’ve closed on the property. When I’m showing houses, I try to keep a close eye on bed sizes when we’re looking at the bedrooms. If I don’t see any queen beds I’ll make sure I check the clearance on the stairs. If it seems like it will be a tight or impossible fit getting the mattress up the stairs, I’ll ask the seller’s agent to check with the sellers to see if it is actually possible to fit a larger mattress up the stairs. It’s often overlooked, but important to most buyers. This was a practice I picked up when I was working with a buyer that had a king sized bed. Bedroom size and stair clearance was an issue in many homes for them, so we were always checking on this.
As a seller, there is not much you can do about a buyer’s existing furnishings and how they’d fit in your home. But what you can do is to arrange your furniture in a manner that shows a room as functional and make it look as spacious as possible. Your agent or a stager should be able to help you with this and put your home in its best light. Your home still might not work for the buyer with the dining room table requirement, but will hopefully be more appealing to the majority of buyers that see it.