What puts potential buyers off your home?

publication date: Feb 20, 2014
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books

Join NowWhat puts potential buyers off your home?

According to a recent survey from Gocompare, the top turn offs for buyers are things like damp patches, stained walls and ceilings, followed by property in a poor state of repair.

I think this depends on what buyers want though. In today’s market, these kind of things will either put them off as they are after a ‘show home’ property, which doesn’t require any work. However, other buyers (like me) love properties such as these, as they are usually wrecks which need doing up and that’s the kind of property I like to buy.

Show home or wreck?

My advice to sellers, is always to either sell a home as a ‘show home’, in other words all the rooms are done to the same high standard, or sell it as a wreck to someone who wants to do it up.

No garden
Number three on the list is 'no garden', but this depends on where you live and whether you enjoy gardening or not. Londoners don’t fool themselves that having a garden is very likely, even if they do get one, it’s likely to be pretty small.

House smells
I do agree that even if your home isn’t a show home, with their number four reason for not buying a home – bad smells. Unfortunately, much as any pet owner tries to make sure the property doesn’t smell, it’s difficult to disguise it, as are strong cooking smells or cigarettes.

So whatever you do, make sure your house doesn’t smell at all if you are trying to sell it, and get a ‘straight talking’ friend in for their honest opinion!

Poor natural light
This is another one that doesn’t work for everyone. Agreed, most people like a light home, but if it’s a country cottage you want, which is what I own, then that’s not really possible without extensive expenditure. So if you are selling a poorly lit home, just make sure you present it at its best, so without clutter and if required, bring in a local lighting specialist as you’d be surprised how much they can help ‘lift and light’ rooms.

Bad DIY and unfinished building works
This is definitely a put off and you need to get the work done. If you don’t, you are likely to end up knocking more off the price of the house than it would cost to get it done – and your property will stick on the market for longer. So if you are trying to sell and have wires hanging off the walls, areas that aren’t plastered, or windows without curtains or blinds, you need to get these jobs finished.

Small and out of date kitchens and bathrooms 

The main time when small kitchens and bathrooms are a problem is when you have a big family home, but have a small galley kitchen or bathroom.

The reality is though, you can make alot of a small space these days – especially with bathrooms where some companies do specially small sinks, loos and showers.

And most buyers I meet, want to put their own kitchen and bathroom into a property at some point, even if it’s not at the start - unless they are buying a new build.

When I sold my mum’s house in 2012, we made sure things like the boiler and heating were working fine, we had no bare wires and we were honest it needed a new kitchen, re-wiring and re-decoration. If we would have spent money doing it up, we wouldn’t have had so much interest as people were buying mum’s house ‘for life’ so were keen to ‘put their stamp’ on it.

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For more details on 'The top 20 property turn-offs for potential buyers'visit the Gocompare

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