Does Your Listing Have a ‘Blooper Room?’

June 18, 2019

The phrase “blooper room” is being used by real estate professionals to describe problematic spaces that turn off potential buyers to an otherwise ideal home. Just one room in the house that badly needs work could make prospects look the other way entirely.

Apartment Therapy recently spoke with some real estate pros about rooms that could potentially be the “blooper room” of your listing:

A dated kitchen

If the kitchen is out-of-date and clearly requires an entire renovation, buyers will likely pass on the property, even if the rest of the house is to their tastes. You don’t have to pay thousands to bring it up-to-date, but just a few upgrades may move it past blooper room status. For example, in a dark, dingy kitchen, some fresh paint on the cabinets may help freshen it and lighten the entire space up.

A dark basement

An uninviting, gloomy basement can be a spooky turnoff. “Your first step should be to paint everything white with a waterproof paint (in case of potential water challenges that could potentially arise),” Ian Wolf, a real estate pro with Douglas Elliman in New York City, told Apartment Therapy. “Even if it’s an unfurnished basement, this will clean and brighten the space.”

The random small room

Some homes may have a cramped space that seems too small to be anything useful. That can cause buyers to hesitate, particularly if the area is left unstaged and empty. “Paint it white, declutter, invest in lighting, and remove old carpeting,” Susan Abrams, a real estate pro with Warburg Realty in New York City, told Apartment Therapy. “You might want to convert that small or dark room into a walk-in closet to make it have more value to a potential buyer.”

A blah laundry room

The laundry room is an important space in the house to many home shoppers, and a depressing laundry room could be your listing’s “blooper room.” Laundry rooms can often feel like cramped spaces, so brightening up the space is even more important. Buyers want “that bright-white, tiled temple that evokes cleanliness, order, and control,” Debbie Weiss, a real estate pro with Keller Williams Santa Monica, told Apartment Therapy. “They want the bottles of Tide lined up just so and a pile of snow-white towels stacked on the folding table—and they want them on upper floors.” 

Overall, most real estate pros say many “blooper rooms” in a house can be solved with a fresh coat of white or off-white paint.

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