Editor's Pick

Revealed: The biggest property turn-offs for homebuyers

Christina Hoghton
Written By:
Christina Hoghton

If you want to attract buyers, make sure your home is clean, fresh-smelling and tidy – with good Wi-fi

A lack of outdoor space, damp, bad odours and rubbish in a neighbour’s garden are just four of 20 reasons why your home might not sell, said GoCompare.

The price comparison site looked at the biggest property turn-offs and found a lack of outdoor space was the biggest no-no. Over half of buyers would now be put-off buying a property without a garden.

Neglected or poor home maintenance and bad housekeeping are also potential deal breakers. In addition to evidence of damp on walls or ceilings, the survey revealed that buyers are put-off by homes which are in a poor state of repair, had unfinished building work, or by signs of botched DIY.

Many home hunters are repelled by dirty, smelly properties – with concerns about both the home offered for sale and the condition of neighbouring properties. A significant number of people said they wouldn’t buy a home next door to a dilapidated property, or one with a rubbish strewn garden.

Below are the top 20 property turn-offs:

1. No garden

2. Damp patches, stained walls/ceilings

3. Bad smells (including odours from pets, cigarette smoke, damp, and food)

4. No parking

5. Rubbish strewn in a neighbouring garden

6. Property in poor state of repair

7. Property in a broadband black spot

8. Outdated electrics

9. The property’s proximity to a major road or motorway

10. A dilapidated neighbouring property

11. Property not connected to mains gas

12. Unfinished building work

13. Poor natural light/dark rooms

14. Small rooms

15. Poor mobile phone signal

16. Proximity to railway tracks

17. Neighbouring property is a student let

18. Old boiler or central heating system

19. Small kitchen

20. Dirty house

Ryan Fulthorpe from GoCompare Home Insurance, said: “Messy, poorly maintained or damaged properties are harder to sell. Potential buyers may struggle to see past the mess to fully appreciate the property or have concerns that the mess is hiding bigger issues. For example, they may be concerned that a musty smell, or stains on walls or ceilings could be tell-tale signs of a serious damp problem which might be expensive to remedy. Unfinished building work or botched DIY can be also expensive to put right and can detract from a property’s value and saleability.

“To help buyers see the potential in your property and give yourself the best chance of securing a sale, before you put your home on the market, make sure that it is clean, fragrant, and tidy. Also make sure that any outstanding maintenance jobs are dealt with.”