Top ten turn offs for house buyers

September 16, 2016

If you are trying to sell your home without success, it could be that you’re unwittingly putting people off. Recent research by Harron Homes, provides an interesting insight into what puts buyers off the most.

Considering that buyers typically decide within  0-5 minutes whether the property is of appeal to them,  get the basics right is vital.

When buyers are looking for a property to buy, in 90% of cases it begins online. Creating a great first impression is paramount – you want your property to stand out for all of the right reasons.  Lack of photos and poor quality photos  is the top bug-bear for buyers with a huge 58% saying that this puts them off the most when looking at listings.

The top ten turn-offs for potential buyers include

Appearance or smell of damp – 52%

Smell of smoke – 48%

Smell of dog or other animals – 40%

Unclean appearance – 38%

Noise from traffic or neighbours – 34%

Lack of storage – 32%

Property appears cluttered – 29%

Signs of outdated electrics such as old fixtures and fittings – 27%

Smell of grease – 26%

Lack of double glazing – 25%

 Artex ceilings were also considered a no-no, as was following the potential buyer from room to room while viewing.

Some turn-offs were things beyond the sellers control, such as shared driveways, lack of parking and shared gardens, but others could be easily remedied. Dirty bathrooms, unmade beds and dirty dishes left lying around were among the worst sights encountered by buyers.

What buyers can take from this research is, make the best of what your property does have, maximise all the positives. In many cases prepping your property for maximum appeal requires time rather than money and is more often a matter of what you remove rather than what you add. Northwood has created a detailed guide on how best to present your property for sale.  It is never too early to start the process – even before you bring in an estate agent to give you a valuation. If you would like further advice on how to achieve the best sale for your property or would like a valuation don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local Northwood office.


Northwood is one of the largest and most recognised estate agents in the U.K. and the leading supplier of Guaranteed Rent to give landlords complete peace of mind.

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