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Revealed: house hunters’ top property turn-ons and turn-offs

Kit Klarenberg
Written By:
Kit Klarenberg

A survey has revealed what turns prospective buyers on and off properties during viewings, with cleanliness and well-kept gardens coming on top, and bad odours and mould decreasing a property’s appeal the most.

The study, commissioned by Teplio, an online estate agent launched by TV property guru Sarah Beeny, identified a number of measures sellers can use, and a number of things to rectify or avoid, to up the appeal of their property.

Topping the list of turn ons, which would add to the appeal of a property, were:

  1. A neat, well-kept garden (48%)
  2. Cleanliness (43%)
  3. Fresh internal paintwork and décor (43%)
  4. Well-kept houses next door and on the street (39%)
  5. Pleasant smells and odours, including coffee brewing, mild scents and bread baking (36%)
  6. A friendly owner (35%)
  7. A recently renovated blank canvas that’s ready for them to put their own stamp on (21%)
  8. Freshly cut flowers in every room (16%)

However, the biggest turn offs, which would decrease the appeal of a property, were:

  1. Mould in the bathroom and on windows (50%)
  2. Off-putting smells (e.g. pets, grease food, moist and cigarette smoke) (49%)
  3. Clutter (43%)
  4. Uncleanliness (40%)
  5. Scruffy looking next door properties (35%)
  6. An unkempt garden (32%)
  7. An unfriendly owner (26%)
  8. Lots of pets (16%)

“Cleanliness, a lack of clutter and a neat, well looked after garden are all simple things to achieve, as is fresh paintwork – these things really can make the difference between achieving, and not achieving, a sale, so sellers should take note,” said Beeny.

“If you want to make your property appeal to potential buyers, go all out to make it as attractive as possible by removing unnecessary clutter, giving it a good, deep clean and tidying up the garden. Don’t cook strong-smelling food ahead of viewings and invest in some great air fresheners or room scents.

“It’s also interesting to see the temperament of a seller can have such a big impact on prospective buyers. If you’re showing people around your property, it is imperative you’re polite and friendly. You should also be able to answer any questions the buyer has, so make sure you know your stuff before showing people around.”