10 things that put off buyers – and how to tackle them

If you’re trying to sell your home, you want your property to stand out in the crowd for all the right reasons. You only have a short period of time to make a potential buyer to fall in love with your home and you don’t want any minor faults to put them off, especially if they’re easily avoidable, and sometimes the most valuable things you can do to improve your home’s appeal are simple and easy to execute. Here’s our list of top things we know put buyers off and how to avoid them.

1.     Poor lighting

You want all potential buyers to see your house in the best light – literally! Ensure all lights are already on when your house is being viewed and that all bulbs are bright and working. Remember, a house viewer doesn’t know the reasons why you haven’t changed the bulb in a room you hardly ever use, or is a hassle to get to, and might think there is an electrical issue or assume there are other maintenance issues that haven’t been addressed. It helps add to the image of a house that’s well cared for.

If you have unique features that you think sets your property apart, make sure you get photos of that too!

2.     Bad odours

You can get used to the unique smells of your home, things like pets, cigarettes, even the bins, but they can really put off buyers. You want everything about your home to be as inviting as possible, so be sure to air it out thoroughly before every viewing, light a fresh candle or use an air freshener, and have a deep clean of all your pets’ items.

3.     Lack of good photos

Before a house viewer even sets foot in your house, they are getting their first impressions of it online, and lack of photos or poor-quality ones will immediately put them off. Instruct your estate agent to take plenty of professional standard photos of your home in good lighting and of every room. If you have unique features that you think sets your property apart, make sure you get photos of that too!

4.     Extreme temperatures

This may seem like a picky gripe, but if a house viewer walks into a house that’s either boiling or freezing, they’re going to think there’s something wrong with the property’s insulation or heating and be put off straight away. If you run hot or cold and run your home accordingly, make sure you adjust for a viewing. Ideally, a pleasantly warm house is the goal, as it lets the potential buyer know the heating does work and makes the place seem more inviting.

5.     Too many bright colours and patterns

While it’s great to have your home match your personality and having trendy, bold wallpapers and feature walls, when it comes to appealing to a wide buying audience you want to go more neutral. You’re trying to show the potential of your property and letting the buyer see what they could do with the space, instead of showing one very specific option. A can of white paint might make all the difference in a sale or a bump in the selling price.

6.     Clutter

You may think that you’ve completely tidied you home because everything is put away where it’s supposed to, but when it comes to home viewings it’s always best to put away everything extraneous. You want every room to feel spacious and full of potential, that means storing away personal items like photos, knickknacks, kids’ toys, even extra furniture. In the kitchen, you want all surfaces to be completely clear, so put away all appliances, food, and cookbooks.

7.     Poor maintenance

If a house viewer sees that you’re not taking care of the little details about your home, like seeing dents or scuffs of the walls, chips or bubbles in the paint, wobbly door handles etc. they’re going to wonder about the standard you keep the rest of the house in. It’s always a good idea to take care of these little things as they all add up in the bigger picture.

8.     Signs of damp and mould

Damp is often highlighted as one of the biggest turn-offs when viewing a property. It’s an indication of major issues in insulation and the condition you have been keeping the property in. If you have any damp or mould patches or stains, you should address the issue effectively. Don’t just try and cover them up as that will lead to further issues with the buyer down the line.

“A can of white paint might make all the difference in a sale or a bump in the selling price.”

9.     Noisy neighbours

This is an issue that is hard to deal with, as loud, disruptive neighbours will put buyers off, but these things are often outside of your control. It is tempting to not disclose that you have noisy neighbours and just have strategically timed viewings when they’re out, but you risk facing legal confrontations later if past problems you were aware of come to light. The best thing to do is invest in soundproofing measures in the rooms mostly affected by the noise.

10. Unkempt gardens

A poorly maintained garden can sometime feel indicative of the whole house, even if that’s not the case. It’s always worth putting some effort into sprucing it up before you even list your property as a pretty garden can vastly improve the photos advertising your property. A splash of colour and greenery can make a basic house stand out. Consider creating a sitting or dining area too to really show off its potential.

These tips are sure you add some extra appeal to your home, and we are always on hand to help any property with us get show home ready too! 

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