While most people aspire to become homeowners, research has revealed that around 80% people who have purchased a property have at least one noteworthy regret regarding their home buying decision. Staggering numbers considering buying a property is often the largest financial decision a person is likely to make in their life time.
When it comes to selling your property, making a good first impression is imperative. Our Guild agents share their expertise and identify the top 10 biggest turn-offs for prospective buyers and how to avoid them.
Clutter is not only distracting, but it could indicate that the property does not have adequate storage.
Nick Manson from Mansons Newcastle upon Tyne said: “De-cluttering is a great way to increase your chances of completing a sale, but that doesn’t mean that you have to part with your prized possessions. You can box them up and store them in the loft or garage. If this is not an option, ask family or friends to store them. Failing that, there is always the option of self-storage.”
Creating a clutter-free, minimalistic environment will help buyers visualize themselves living in your home. Additionally, too much furniture can make a property seem a lot smaller than it is.
No matter how pleasant your home appears, persistent odours such as the smell of pets, cigarettes, or pungent food can be detrimental when it comes to selling your property.
Simon Bradbury from Thomas Morris Cambridgeshire explains: “An unpleasant odour is sure to put off a prospective purchaser or tenant. Whether it’s the whiff of stale food, pets or even something more… ‘human’… make sure that your property is free of unwanted smells. Ask a trusted friend to give your home a ‘sniff test’!”
It’s better to be safe than sorry, so we suggest opening your windows to air out your property before a viewing and use air freshener or light a candle to ensure your home doesn’t smell unpleasant.
3. An untidy exterior
Overgrown, unkempt gardens are a big no-no. Abby Wheeler from Keats Estate Agents Haslemere said: “The first thing viewers see is the exterior. Ensure your bins are not overflowing and your pathway is weed free. Do whatever you can to make your home feel inviting from the outset. Don’t forget, our viewers have probably already done a drive-by before making an appointment.”
Most people expect their home to be a place of peace and tranquility. It may not always be preventable, but there are steps you can take to reduce unwanted noise from your property.
Mandy Thomas from Keats Estate Agents Haslemere said: “Upgrade your glazing or install sound proof fencing. Alternatively, try to avoid organising viewings at busy times of the day such as rush hour, when traffic will be particularly bad.”
5. No natural light
Light and warmth are two of the most important factors to attract a buyer for your home, especially in the colder months of the year. Angie Kraft from Simmons & Sons Henley-on-Thames explains: “A cold or poorly lit home can be an instant turn-off to potential buyers by making the property appear dingy and dark in places. If this is the case, it gives the impression of a house that is unloved and uncared for.”
Resolving this issue can be simple. Philip Trollen from Keats Estate Agents Haslemere said: “Natural light is very important as dark rooms are always off-putting. Ensuring the room is well lit, whether that be naturally or with staged lighting is quite simple to do. Make sure the curtains are open and remove those net curtains!”
6. Bad décor
Avoid controversial or quirky décor in your home as it is not to everyone’s taste. What you think is retro, others may consider dated. Bold colours and patterns can turn-off a prospective buyer, as it is important for them to see themselves living there and décor plays a huge part in this.
Simon Miller from Holroyd Miller Wakefield said: “Replace heavily patterned retro carpets, when purchasers are greeted with such a carpet all they see is decades of dirt and grim – I can guarantee the viewer will want to leave as soon as they’ve stepped through the door.”
7. Nightmare neighbours
Nobody enjoys noisy or messy neighbours, especially not a potential buyer. This is something you cannot change, but it is something you can manage. Whether their garden hasn’t been cleaned in years, or their pet dogs incessantly bark, get to know your neighbour and perhaps they may be able to help. If all else fails, organising viewings for when they are not home might be beneficial, too.
8. Poor presentation
Poor attention to detail such as: flaking paint on soffits, grubby kitchen units, tatty net curtains, unemptied ashtrays and nicotine stained walls are taken into consideration when viewing a property.
Lizanne Simmons from Penny & Sinclair Oxford said: “First impressions are massive and we often find ourselves apologising for the sights of the less cared for properties. We always arrive early to a viewing to open the windows, curtains, close the lids to the toilets and pull a duvet into position here and there.”
Simon Bradbury from Thomas Morris Cambridgeshire said: “Dirty kitchens or bathrooms are not a nice thought and certainly not something that a viewer will want to see. My best advice: have the property professionally cleaned before going to market.”
Small and affordable fixes such as: freshening up the paint work, or having your home professionally cleaned will make a world of difference and worth it in the long run.
9. An unexpected problem
Martin Moore from Morris Marshall & Poole Mid Wales said: “There is nothing worse for a viewer than turning up to find there is a significant issue with a property which they were not aware of such as a structural defect, a problem with something in the neighbourhood or compromised accommodation. It is a wise precaution to maintain compliance with Consumer Protection Regulations, but it also makes good business sense – the viewers are more trusting of us and willing to discuss the issues and the available solutions.
10. An over zealous vendor
It is common for a vendor to want to take part in the viewing or show off their DIY aspects of the property. However, vendors being present at viewings may not always be a good thing.
Stephen Ingram from Penny & Sinclair Oxford said: “A seller that follows the viewer around is never well-received. With the best intentions, those scenarios always highlight why it’s best to leave it to your agent.”
Take a step back and let your agent do the work, it is their job after all and you will thank them later.
Are you looking to sell your home? Contact your local Guild Member for help through the moving process.
Which Room Convinces you to Buy your New Home?
When you step into a house there is naturally one room which buyers gravitate towards. The important question is, which room convinces you to buy? If you’re looking to sell your home it is useful to know which room to prioritise for open houses, images of the property or facts about your home.
Read what some of our Guild agents had to say about their experiences of which rooms convinces people to buy.
Simon Davies, Branch Manager of Norman F Brown said: “I believe the kitchen is the heart of a home. The current trend is a space where everyone can be together. Historically this was the sitting room, but recently there is a shift to living kitchens, especially if there is an open-plan design with the sitting room. The best kitchen I have seen interlinks the garden with French Doors or Modern Bi Folds to bring the outside in and make the garden more inclusive.”
Simon Bradbury, Managing Director of Thomas Morris said: “The room which I believe most convinces a buyer to purchase a home is the hallway, although it’s not technically a “room”. Normally, it’s the very first internal part of a property that a buyer will see. Therefore, the hallways establishes the tone for their experience with the rest of the property by setting a positive or negative level of expectancy. The hall should be bright and feel warm (or cool depending on the time of year) and inviting. Clutter should be put away to make the area appear more spacious. Air fresheners, diffusers, scented candles or flowers are simple, but effective methods to enhance a buyer’s first impression of a property.”
Simon Miller, Partner of Holroyd Miller said: “Open-plan kitchens create the lifestyle of family and friends coming together in a space that can accommodate eating, drinking and socialising. The kitchen is normally the most expensive and time-consuming room in a home to decorate or renovate. A kitchen already supplied with good quality appliances and high-end worktops are favourable. Buyers are usually looking for minimum effort, focusing on moving in and opening a celebratory chilled bottle of fizz.”
Steve Wayne, Director of Benjamin Stevens Estate Agents said: “The centre of any home is often thought of as the kitchen. Depending on the size of your kitchen, it can often be the social hub of any home. It is where loved ones come together and a space in which you can get creative, both in design and culinary delights. The advantage of an eat-in kitchen allows for communal meals and socialising. Good food and communication makes for a happy household.”
Jenny Owen, Head of Marketing for Sawyer & Co. said: “A room with a view is always a great selling point for buyers. A well-fitted, spacious bathroom is really popular and at the moment.”
Pav Lotay, Account Manager for the Guild of Property Professionals Head office said: “For me, the living room is the most social space in a property and the area which I spend the most time in. This is the room that stands out the most and would convince me to buy. I look for a homely property: a spacious living room where I can see myself having guests to visit and putting up a Christmas tree.”
Are you looking to sell your property? Contact one of our Guild agents today. Find your nearest office here.
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