6 Things that can put buyers off

Let’s put aside what adds value and attracts buyers for a moment and look into the reasons buyers might start mentally chipping away at the value of your house.

1. Odours

Prior to your first open home or viewing make sure your house is free of all pet smells, stale cigarette smells, stale food smells, damp smells or anything else that will give a negative first impression. Even if you can’t smell something, listen to your sales consultant if they say they can.

2. De-clutter

This is a recurring theme in any list of how to get your property sale ready and it can’t be overstated enough. Make sure all floors, surfaces, cupboards and shelves are free of piles of your own belongings, leaving only organised, purposeful items and one or two ornamental items that elevate the space rather than merely fill it. As well as making the house appear neat, tidy and well looked after, it will also help potential buyers visualise their own furniture and belongings in the property. 

If your budget allows you may also wish to consider having the property staged with rental furniture designed to appeal to your target market.

3. Dirt

The need to clean might seem obvious but it’s worth getting a fresh set of eyes (such as your sales consultant) to let you know what needs work – or even a professional cleaner through the property. They will notice things you may not, but a good place to start is to do a thorough clean of all floors, walls, skirting boards, windows and sills, mirrors and tiles. Cleaning and decluttering also extends to the outside where you should make sure you have cleared any flotsam from the garden. Also make sure the garden is weeded, all mildew is water blasted from surfaces and the fences and gates are well maintained.

4. Dampness

Especially in older, villa-style homes. Consider investing in a dehumidifier and give it a good workout before potential buyers view the property. Wipe any signs of mildew from walls, windows and sills. Make sure your bathroom feels light and well-aired.

5. Sellers on site

As a rule, potential buyers do not want you, the vendor, on site during a viewing. It will make them feels as though they are guests in your home, rather than buyers at a viewing. They will feel less free to give the property a good investigation and imagine themselves living there.

6. Temperature

It’s a bit of a tough one this as everybody is comfortable with different temperatures but try to avoid your property being too cold or too warm on viewing days. Aim for dry and comfortable.