The Biggest Property Turn-Offs When Buying A House

property investment

Selling a property can be a rollercoaster. Making a great first impression is often imperative to making a successful sale. But if it’s your first time selling, you might not know what potential buyers are looking for.  

So, in this article, we are going to share the things people aren’t looking for. Avoid these turn-offs and you will be in with a chance of selling your property for the price you have asked for.  

An Untidy Exterior

Having an unkept front garden can turn buyers away before they even reach the front door. The exterior of your home literally provides the first impression of what your property is like and if you want it to be a good one, you need to make sure everything is tidy and well cared for. This might include a trip to the DIY store.  

A nationwide poll found that 23 per cent of Brits thought looking forward to a trip to the DIY store was a sign of being an official grown-up and 26 per cent thought being able to put up a fence meant you were now an adult. Whether you’re an experienced home renovator or it’s your first time selling a property, the exterior of your home is one area you shouldn’t overlook.     

Ensure your bins aren’t overflowing and that the pathway is clear and free from weeds. Take some time to repaint fences or walls and tidy up the garden. Just a couple of hours can make all the difference to your property’s selling potential.  

Signs of Damp  

Damp is extremely off-putting to buyers as it indicates a problem that can be expensive to fix. A survey by GoCompare found that almost 70% of buyers considered signs of damp an instant turn-off when viewing a property. So, it is essential to deal with signs of damp before putting your property on the market.  

This might include cleaning signs of damp off the walls, airing out the property to dry the walls, or paying for a damp survey so that buyers go in with their eyes open.  

Poor Presentation  

“Vendors typically have more chance of selling their property if it has been ‘dressed’, or ‘home staged’, to appeal to the widest possible selection of prospective buyers.” – Property Price Advice  

We know that the process of selling a house is a stressful one and often all the admin is enough to keep you busy, let alone the cleaning! But ensuring your home is as well presented as possible is essential for a successful buying process. Poor attention to detail such as dirty bathrooms, unkept curtains, crumb covered carpets, and nicotine-stained walls can all impact the buyer’s final decision.   

So, it is important to do what you can and have the property professionally cleaned before welcoming viewers inside. The cleaner and better presented your property is, the better your chances of making a sale. Sure, it’s an extra cost (either in terms of your time or finances) but it will be well worth it in the long run.  

Strange Smells  

It’s an unpleasant topic, but having strange smells lingering in your home or persistent odours from pets, cigarettes, or pungent foods can be detrimental when trying to sell your property. Unpleasant smells put buyers off. Not only are they unpleasant, but odours can make buyers question whether there are issues with the property itself, whether that be damage to the foundations, mould, or leaking walls.   

We think that it’s always better to be safe than sorry and that’s why we recommend airing out your home before viewings, using air freshener, or even lighting a few candles to rid your home of any lingering smells. These small efforts will help ensure you put your best foot forward.  

Noise Pollution   

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No – it’s the sound of the cars speeding by on the 

motorway that runs alongside your home. Whilst there isn’t much you can do about this; noise pollution is a huge turn-off for many buyers.   

A good solution, if you have the finance available, is to install double or even triple glazing. While a little bit pricey, triple glazing is a great way to drown out external sounds that might put buyers off your property. You will be amazed how keen buyers are to sign the papers when they realise your home is quiet and you can’t hear everything that’s going on outside.  

No Natural Light  

property investment

Light and warmth are two things most buyers are looking for when viewing properties and you will be amazed just how much these two factors can influence the buying decision. A poorly lit home with reduced natural light often looks and feels smaller than it really is, putting many buyers off making a purchase. However, resolving the problem of natural light and warmth doesn’t have to be difficult. Simply ensure rooms are well lit with warm lighting and that the curtains are open to let in as much light as possible. You could even add mirrors into rooms to reflect the light or paint the walls a lighter shade to make spaces feel larger.  

Final Words  

Selling a property can be very time-consuming and stressful, but we hope the above tips have given you some suggestions that could help streamline the process. Just remember, first impressions count so it’s important to do everything you can to put your best foot forward.  


Written by Julie Hanson

Julie is passionate about property – development, investment and portfolio planning. Along with husband Alec, Julie is actively building a property portfolio while helping others to do the same.


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