Struggling to sell a property? There are a number of things that turn off home buyers so don’t panic!
Your first step is simply to try and establish exactly why your home isn’t appealing to buyers.
Start by asking the estate agent for any feedback they have received from people who have viewed your house.
Just remember that people aren’t always entirely honest about why they don’t like a property so you may have to read between the lines a little.
To help you out, here are our top 7 things that are guaranteed to ‘turn-off’ potential home buyers:
1) Poor Kerb Appeal
This is so easy to overlook, yet it’s so important. If the outside of your property isn’t up to scratch it may be turning people off before they’ve even stepped foot in your home.
Creating a good first impression is an essential step in finding a buyer.
Make sure any bushes are trimmed and the front lawn has been mowed. Make sure the guttering and fascias are clean and in full working order. If your front door is looking tired put a new letterbox and door handle on to bring it back to life.
In short, do whatever you need to do to get things looking up to scratch. A well-maintained front garden will show you care for your home and make viewers eager to get inside and see the rest.
Just keep in mind that the state of your neighbours’ gardens can also come in to play. If necessary, be prepared to offer to look after your neighbours garden too until your property sells!
2) Untidiness/Lack Of Cleanliness
Keeping your home clean and tidy is really important when trying to finder a buyer. Untidy or cluttered rooms make it hard for people to visualise themselves living there.
Dirty rooms, appliances, or furniture put doubt in buyers minds as to how well the property has been looked after.
Before your property goes on the market, it’s worth having a declutter and getting rid of any unnecessary items. The added bonus is that it’ll also mean you have fewer things to try and keep clean!
Really hate cleaning? If your property attracts a lot of enquiries it can be quite demanding to keep on top of the cleaning and tidying before every viewing.
That’s where hiring a cleaner could really help. While it’s a somewhat unessential expense, it’s only for as long as you need to find that buyer.
3) Serious Issues (Damp, Subsidence, etc)
If your property is suffering from potentially serious issues such as damp or subsidence, buyers may run a mile.
Few people want to risk expensive repair bills unless the property is their dream home or a potential bargain.
If your property has such issues the best thing you can do is rectify the problem. This may cost you substantial money but it may be the only way you’ll find a buyer at the right price.
As an alternative, conduct a survey and/or get quotes from qualified tradesmen who can fix the issue.
This way, you can show potential buyers exactly how much they will need to spend. This can then be built into your negotiations with them.
4) Lack Of Storage
Our modern gadget-rich lives have meant that our homes have become more cluttered than ever. This has coincided with a trend to turn any spare storage space into usable areas such as downstairs toilets or simply to gain a little more room size.
The result? Storage in houses is now at a premium.
While a toilet under the stairs will always be preferable for buyers than a plain old cupboard, it is possible to lose too much storage space.
If storage is tight in your home think about where you could put things. Can you board out the loft to hide away those Christmas decorations? Can you install more wall-mounted cupboards in the kitchen as an extra place to store those tins and jars?
Adding a little more storage space can go a long way to showing prospective buyers they could live happily in your home.
5) Rooms That Are Too Hot Or Cold
People want to feel comfortable in their home, and that means they need to know it will be easy to keep at the right temperature – no matter what the weather is outside!
If someone steps into your property in winter and it feels cold, they’ll assume the heating is inadequate or that the insulation is poor.
If a viewer visits in summer and finds rooms too hot, they’ll assume ventilation is poor and they’ll always be struggling to stay cool in your property.
Finding the right temperature and then using a thermostat or thermometer to ensure you stay at the right temperature is a sound idea.
It’s generally recommended that homes should be kept somewhere between 18°C and 21°C.
6) Lack Of Light
Dark rooms are a big turn-off for many people when it comes to finding somewhere to live.
If you have a room where there just isn’t enough natural light, consider whether it’s possible (or worthwhile) to install another window.
If that’s not an option ensure the decor is light and bright, the room is free of clutter, and that you’re using things like mirrors to bounce as much light around as possible.
Even in fairly well-lit rooms, it’s often a good idea to open blinds and curtains fully and turn on a few lights to make your rooms feel brighter and more welcoming to potential buyers.
7) Dated Installations
If your property looks dated, it’s likely to put off a fair share of buyers.
It’s not just the cost, it’s also the hassle of removing things like wood panelled walls or polystyrene ceiling tiles.
But it’s not just the aesthetics. If your electrical wiring hasn’t been updated for years, or your boiler hasn’t been replaced for decades, potential buyers are likely to be put off.
That’s because many people will see such things as essential, yet expensive updates they’ll need to make.
What About Features That Help A Property To Sell?
So, we’ve covered a number of things that turn off potential home buyers but what about the things that turn them on?
There are a number of features that help properties to sell and may encourage buyers to turn a blind eye to the ‘turn-offs’. These include:
- Open plan living room/kitchens
- A recently updated kitchen or bathroom
- A south facing garden
- Good local schools & amenities
- Parking for at least one car
Some of these you won’t be able to do much about, your property either has it or it doesn’t.
Some you may be able to add but you’ll have to weigh up whether the cost of adding it is worthwhile.
Whatever approach you decide to take, just remember that there are plenty of things you can do to sell your house faster.
Once you do find a buyer, remember there’s a knack to negotiating a higher sales price for a house, you just have to approach it in a non-emotional way.