Posted on 28th March 2014

Biggest Property Turn-offs

Marting Williamson, Head of Residential Property

By Martin Williamson, Head of Residential Property, Latimer Hinks Solicitors

While the property market is resurgent and many people are starting to tentatively put their homes up for sale, there are a number of important points to be aware of when doing so.

Some of the biggest buyer turn-offs have been highlighted in a new survey by GoCompare. Around 70 per cent of buyers said that they would not buy a property which had damp patches or stained walls or ceilings, while 63 per cent said that they would avoid homes that were in a poor state of repair. Even a cluttered room would put off 15 per cent of viewers.

Buyers were asked to rank how off-putting they found a range of factors when visiting a property for a viewing. Sixty three per cent were put off by the property being in a poor state of repair. Bad smells including pet odour and cigarette smoke were negatives for 56 per cent while unfinished building work concerned 54 per cent.

The standard of kitchens and bathrooms also came high on the list of things that would discourage people. A quarter of those surveyed said theyd be put off by an out-dated bathroom or kitchen. Dated or over the top décor came in at 14 per cent while the lack of parking would be a black mark against the property for more than half of those questioned (56 per cent.)

It may seem obvious to many that one of the key things vendors should be aware of when aiming to attract potential buyers, is to present the property in the best possible light.

If a family has small children, one of the simplest things home owners can do is to ensure that any toys are tidied away. There is nothing worse than potential buyers viewing a property to find clutter that could have easily been removed before a viewing. Similarly, if there are pets, sellers should ensure that any hairs are vacuumed away, including pet hair attached to furniture or cushions. Vendors should also try to be objective when they look around the property, and imagine the house as if they are viewing it for the first time through a strangers eyes.

Conversely, many potential buyers will try to imagine themselves living in the property during a viewing and having their senses offended by a lack of cleanliness or hygiene can be a real problem. Ironically however, cleaning up the kitchen and bathroom to give a sparkling finish can cost far less than other areas of the home in need of a complete makeover. Another tip is to invite a friend round to view your property to give an honest opinion. Dont worry or be offended if that opinion is critical, however, as its important to remember that any constructive criticism could be very useful.