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Sellers warned: Stains and smells send buyers running

Christina Hoghton
Written By:
Christina Hoghton

It’s the little things that linger in the mind of a viewer, and can put buyers off even the most perfect of properties

The majority of Brits can’t look past cosmetic renovations when it comes to finding our dream home, according to research by Principality Building Society.

For many of us, this stretches as far as being put off by bad smells and dirty stains, despite the fact that these are both cheap to rectify.

In a survey of 2,000 first-time buyers across England and Wales over half (54%) said they would be put off buying their dream home if they got a whiff of a bad smell in the property.

Nearly a third would pass on the perfect property if it had stains on the walls, while a stained carpet would deter a quarter of us (25%) from putting down that deposit. So while sellers may not consider these things important, they should at least open the windows and clean the carpets if they want to attract buyers.

Principality Building Society said the results show that many hopeful homeowners could be cutting themselves short when house hunting, unwilling to compromise on the small cosmetic house renovations to get their dream home.

Customer director Julie-Ann Haines said: “With so many first-time buyers hopeful to get on the housing ladder, we need to look past the decorative issues a house might have and see its true potential. So many of us are avid watchers of home makeover programmes and pick up great DIY tips along the way, but why are we leaving the learning on the sofa and not applying the tricks of the trade to our own homebuying process?”

“First time buyers shouldn’t worry about carpet stains or bad smells which can be easily cleaned or removed at an affordable price, but see beyond the décor which might not be to your taste anyway.”