The last thing sellers want when trying to sell their house is to inadvertently leave it looking less attractive than it might be, leading to lower offers or no offers at all. So, what are the biggest “icks” when buyers are looking for their next home and how can they be avoided? Property experts at Purplebricks have shared what these issues are and how to avoid them.
Vince Courtney, Chief Sales Officer at Purplebricks, said: “There are many things that put buyers off a home at a viewing – so make sure your property doesn’t feature any of the things that could make selling it tougher.
“A lot of it comes down to simply cleaning your home correctly. But, if you have deeper damage within the home causing issues, get it checked out before opening your home to buyers so that it doesn’t pose any further problems for you or a future owner.”
1. Mould patches on the wall
Sellers who have mould on their walls or elsewhere in the home should clean it off using household items, such as soap and water or bleach as soon as possible and repaint any stained areas.
The expert said: “It would put nearly 75 percent of potential buyers off choosing your home as their next home. To stop damp patches appearing, it helps to ventilate your home. This wouldn’t be the biggest turn-on for a potential buyer, especially if they have health problems which could be related to mould.”
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2. Mouse or rat traps
Nothing says welcome to this house like finding traps for mice and rats. According to the estate agent’s research, 65 percent of guests would “get the ick” from it.
Households that have problems with rodents or other furry home invaders, it would be a good idea to resolve any issues humanely before a viewing, as traps “will not create a good first impression”.
3. Nasty smells
It is understandable that a smelly home would put someone off. The expert found that 56 percent of Britons “would find it an issue”.
Vince said: “Opening doors and windows for ventilation and using candles, oil diffusers and air fresheners are all good ways to make the home smell nicer and fresher – but there’s no substitute for finding the root cause of the smell and getting rid of it for good.”
4. Mould and limescale in the bathroom
This is another feature of a home that would put as many as 56 percent of buyers off. The expert recommended: “Ventilate your home and use white vinegar on a cloth to scrub away limescale so your bathroom looks and smells clean.
“You can also help deal with steam and bathroom moisture by putting your extractor fan on and opening windows when it is possible.”
5. Cigarette smoke/butts
It goes without saying, don’t smoke when someone is visiting a home for a viewing. Purplebricks found that 55 percent of potential buyers wouldn’t take to it well.
Vince said: “Sellers don’t have to let buyers know if they smoke in the home, but it can damage a home in the long term by staining walls and ceilings. They’ll probably be able to smell it anyway, but it’s best off avoided.”
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6. Dirty toilet
As part of the cleaning routine for when a potential buyer comes, ensure the toilet is cleaned for obvious reasons. According to the figures, 55 percent of visitors would be put off by this.
7. Pests in homes – bugs and flies
The property pro found that 52 percent of buyers would be “turned off” by this. Thankfully, sellers can probably do something about it.
If a house has lots of bugs, try and find something that may be decaying in the home and get rid of it. If the numbers are fewer but they are persistent, use scents like lavender, citrus or pine to repel them.
Herbs and flowers planted in the garden can help. A mix of vinegar and soap in a cup allows households to trap flies.
8. Plaster peeling off of wall
If possible, it is worth getting a peeling wall replastered before listing a home for sale as it can make the property look “a lot more homely” to a potential buyer. Around 51 percent of house-hunters would be put off if they saw it.
9. Dog mess in the garden
Someone viewing a property for sale does not want to see or smell dog mess outside a home, so check the garden or outside space too before a visit.
In fact, more than two in five homebuyers (44 percent) would be “distinctly unimpressed”, claimed the expert.
10. Dirty underwear on the floor
This is another “easy way to put someone off” a home as 39 percent of buyers revealed they would be. Vince said: “Clean up after yourself by popping all your dirty clothes in the laundry basket, and double check the rest of the household have done the same.”