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Revealed: the top turn-offs for homebuyers

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Written by: Christina Hoghton
29/06/2016
Homebuyers make decisions with their nose on property viewings, with unpleasant smells proving the biggest turn-offs.
Top of the list of turn-offs is the whiff of damp, followed by the stench of smoke, and the pong of damp dog, according to a survey by Harron Homes.

The housebuilder added that an unclean property was cited as being offputting by 38% of respondents, and noise was also likely to deter a third of potential buyers.

A lack of storage, clutter and outdated fixtures and fittings were highlighted by homebuyers as undesirable, while greasy smells and single glazing were also no-nos.

No time to lose

The survey of 1,000 homebuyers and 1,000 sellers highlighted that nearly half of UK buyers (43%) decide whether a house is, or isn’t for them, within the first five minutes of viewing it, so sellers need to do all they can to prepare for a viewing.

In fact, the decision making starts earlier than that, from the moment a buyer sees a property advert.

When looking at a property listing, the biggest turn-off for buyers is if it doesn’t have any pictures available (58%) – however 7% of UK house sellers admit to not including photos on their listing.

Poor quality photographs and a lack of a floorplan are equally annoying to buyers and likely to put them off even viewing a property.

Papering over the cracks

In an attempt to show your home in the best light it’s tempting to conceal certain problems from viewers but not only is this potentially fraudulent, it infuriates homebuyers. Almost half said sellers should avoid covering problems up, but one in 10 sellers admitted to doing exactly that – hiding cracks in walls or failing to point out leaks within a property.

While this might mean they get a quicker offer, a thorough survey is likely to pick up problems, risking a buyer that walks away, or wants to negotiate a cheaper price.

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