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What could deter buyers from putting in an offer on your London home?

To successfully sell your home, you’ll need plenty of eager eyes on your property. That might be less likely if what buyers see or smell actively puts them off.

With this in mind, it’s helpful to know what the biggest turn-offs are for prospective property buyers. New researchs are revealing that damp, poor upkeep and bad smells are the main deterrents for would-be homeowners.

No parking spaces, the absence of a garden and unfinished building work were other things that could harm a seller’s chances of pushing through a deal.

Damp the biggest turn-off

No-one likes to see damp patches on the walls and ceilings of a property. So it’s little surprise that this topped the list of property turn-offs. 69% of participants surveyed by GoCompare are citing damp stains as the biggest thing to put them off a home.

Bad smells weren’t far behind. 63% are pointing unpleasant odours (from food, pets, cigarettes or damp) as their main deterrent.

For 59%, meanwhile, a property in a poor state of repair (peeling paintwork, rotten window frames…) would be the biggest turn-off.

If you can’t offer a parking space, this would be a downside to 56% of people. And homes located in broadband blackspots would deter 53% of those surveyed. As you’d expect, incomplete building work doesn’t really give off the best impression. 53% of people citing this as a major turn-off.

A lack of a garden would have over half (52%) of people casting their eye elsewhere. And a property not connected to mains gas would have 51% of buyers thinking twice.

The top 10 was rounded off by rubbish strewn in neighbouring gardens (48%) and a dirty house (46%).

The importance of appearances

They say appearances matter. And it’s definitely the case when it comes to selling your home. If your property doesn’t look the part, it won’t attract any buyers and your home will struggle badly to get sold. If your home has an tatty appearance, this is likely to actively dissuade buyers from putting an offer in.

While 46% are put off by a dirty property, 31% insisted they would be turned off by rotten or broken boundary walls or fences. An overgrown garden would deter 17% of buyers, whereas 15% would see cluttered rooms as a deterrent. Botched DIY jobs won’t help your cause, either, with 38% of eagle-eyed buyers stating this as a major turn-off.

You also need to be aware of natural light. Especially when it comes to holding viewings. Prospective buyers won’t like homes with poor natural light (some 43% cited this as a major turn-off), so try and ensure this isn’t the case in your home.

What’s more, although proximity to a major road might be handy for commuters, 43% of people would also see this as a reason to look elsewhere.

A dated home has little appeal

If your home is old-fashioned or stuck in a 1970s time warp, this is unlikely to enamour it to modern buyers. Some 24% would be put off by an outdated kitchen, while 22% said the same for an outdated bathroom. Similarly, 14% would be fazed by outdated décor and carpets.

An old boiler won’t endear your home to would-be buyers, either, with 37% of people outlining this as a big turn-off. Equally, outdated electricals would see almost half of buyers (46%) turning their nose up.  

Small is not always beautiful when it comes to trying to sell a home, the research found, with small room sizes and a small kitchen serving to put 40% of people off a property.

In addition, the exterior of your home could have an impact on your chances of selling. Some 31% said stone cladding, render or pebble dash on outside walls would be enough to put them off for good.   

Neighbours could have an impact

A student let next door would be a turn-off for 37% of people, while a dilapidated neighbouring property wouldn’t go down well with 43% of buyers.

Of course, you can’t do much about your neighbours. This is something that is out of your control. But, hopefully, you’ll be in a location where derelict properties are rare. In London, particularly in more central areas, this is largely the case, while student lets tend to be concentrated in certain areas close to universities. Even then, the days of the rowdy student house are starting to disappear. As a matter of fact students – bogged down with high tuition fees – place more emphasis on studying than other extracurricular activities.

It’s important to remember, too, that the ideal home doesn’t exist. People have different tastes and preferences. It’s likely that buyers  will find little flaws with your home or things they might decorate differently.

If, though, your home is clean, attractive and well-maintained, you should feel confident in your chances of getting it sold for a decent price. If you are able to offer parking space, a garden, fast broadband speeds and a home filled with natural light, you should feel even more confident.

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For more help on buying or selling a home in London, please get in touch with Atkinson McLeod. To find out how much your home could be worth in the current marketplace, you can request a free and instant online valuation.