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These 8 things will put off potential purchasers

3 months ago
These 8 things will put off potential purchasers

47, 38, 8. What do these numbers have in common? According to different studies, they represent the number of seconds it takes for a home to make a first impression with visitors.  

While there is a difference in the duration, these numbers are united in telling sellers they have less than a minute to impress – a tiny window of time. In fact, most viewers will barely make it through the door before they’ve made up their mind.  

It’s helpful to know what property elements hopeful buyers find distasteful and even disgusting, so we’ve trawled through the different reports to bring you the repeat offenders.   

1. Unpleasant odours

A survey by Independent Network powered by VEKA discovered visitors found foul smells hit them first. Always air a property before a viewing by opening windows, avoiding cooking pungent foods beforehand and neutralising pet odours by removing the source. Just be wary that too many candles and diffusers may suggest you’re desperately trying to mask a bad smell.  

2. An uncomfortable temperature

Independent Network’s poll also found a home that was too hot or too cold was the second aspect most noted by visitors. The World Health Organisation (WHO) suggests 18 degrees is the ideal temperature for healthy and well-dressed people.  

3. Dust and dirt

Independent Network’s top 10 aspects that made an impression also included whether or not a home had been vacuumed (3), dirty windows (6) and dusty ornaments (10). A home that appears in need of a clean gives the impression that it’s not cared for, which can negatively impact perceptions and even damage the home’s value.  

4. Overflowing bins

A separate study into how people appraise homes found rubbish really was…rubbish! The research, commissioned by Febreze, found 61% of respondents would make a harsh judgement if the bins were overflowing. Always start viewings with empty bins and fresh bin liners to minimise odours as much as junk, not forgetting bins in bathrooms and bedrooms.   

5. Overgrown gardens

There’s been a lot in the press about Japanese Knotweed, Bamboo and other invasive plant species devaluing properties, so potential buyers are hyper alert for issues. Unkempt gardens have always been cited as off putting but now there are extra reasons to be careful regarding which plants are growing and how well they’re pruned.   


6. Signs of mould or damp

Windows running with condensation, tell-tale black spots, peeling wallpaper, bubbling paint and a musty smell are all signs of mould or damp – a negative cited as the ‘biggest turn off when a potential buyer is viewing’, according to the finance experts at NerdWallet. If buyers are not put off, they may want to haggle on the property price. Treat the cause of the damp as well as the surface issues.  

7. Clutter

We were hard pressed to find any property presentation advice that didn’t mention clutter. Clutter often comes across as chaos – not the lifestyle you want to sell to would-be purchasers. Focus on areas visitors see when they first arrive – front gardens, porches, hallways, bannisters and the living room.  

8. Lack of kerb appeal

If you’ve only got eight seconds to make an impression, your property exterior will be the main focus. Creating kerb appeal involves getting fences, gates, paths, driveways, windows, lawns, plants and front doors in the very best condition possible. Tips include polishing door hardware, adding pots of flowers to the doorstep, hiding bins/recycling boxes and removing litter. If you have off-street parking, move your vehicle somewhere else and tell your viewers they can park there.   

Now is a great time to get your home in shape, book a valuation and place your property on the market. Contact us and we can start the sales process.

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