Damp, poor maintenance and a lack of parking all rank highly when it comes to property turn-offs among UK house-hunters.
A Top 10 list of the things that put potential purchasers off has been compiled following research from an online comparison website.
The results show that 67 per cent of people would be deterred from buying a property which shows signs of damp.
Bad smells, poor DIY and no garden are also included in the ‘no-no’s’.
The Top 10 reported turn-offs*:
1. Damp patches and stained walls/ceilings (67 per cent)
2. Poor state of repair – including rotten windows (60 per cent)
3. No parking (55 per cent)
4. No garden (54 per cent)
5. Unpleasant odours (53 per cent)
6. Unfinished building work (53 per cent)
7. Poor natural light (46 per cent)
8. Small rooms – like the ones pictured above and right (45 per cent)
9. Bad DIY (42 per cent)
10. Small kitchen (40 per cent)
However, with some attention to detail, clever de-cluttering and simple interior design tricks, sellers can turn a potential negative into a positive – with these tips…
The real crux of a Spring clean, to make or at least give the illusion of more space, is de-cluttering. In preparation for viewings, pack away any items that may make your home look crowded. Potential buyers will want to imagine themselves in the property with their belongings. Ensure any drying laundry is hidden from view, and if you use part of your home as an office, clear away any paperwork.
Looking good – inside and out
As well as considering a neutral look for the interior of your home, with an all-over lick of magnolia or something similar, think about the exterior of your property. Check and repair any garden gates or fences, paint window frames and clean window panes, clear paths of weeds and make the entrance to your home inviting with some freshly planted pot plants. Giving your home kerb appeal is the first step to engaging with a buyer.
Keeping it simple
Less is more, as the saying goes – and you don’t have to spend a fortune when it comes to interiors. A few strategically placed throws and rugs to tone down any patterned sofas or carpets will bring older interiors up to date. Create some optical illusions by placing furniture at angles around the room, and don’t forget the mirrors.
Make the most of your space
When you have a small kitchen, every inch of space counts. We probably all have more gadgets than we need or use, so put them away out of sight and leave worktops clutter-free. Make the most of drawer or cupboard space, shelves and racks can also address the storage issue.
If like the majority of homeowners you use your garage for storing everything but the car, keeping it clutter free will give viewers an idea of how much space there is. They may have their own ideas for garage use – so keep tools, Christmas decorations and other items stored in boxes or hooked on the wall. Don’t hide this vital space under a pile of ‘junk’.
Whatever the size of your outdoor space – from a window box to a small courtyard (and larger garden if you have one) – now is the perfect time of year to start thinking about adding colour; either through potted plants, spring/summer flowering bulbs or shrubs. Make the most of the view by cleaning the windows inside and out.
Finish off any of those DIY jobs, you’ll feel better for it and so will your potential buyer.
Keeping it fresh!
Ensure that all pet odours are eliminated before any viewings. Place some air fresheners or reed diffusers around the home, or add fresh flowers for an extra touch. The smell of freshly brewed coffee is often a winner.
Su Snaith, Head of Estate Agency for Harrison Murray (part of The Nottingham Building Society), said: “Spring is the perfect time of year for sellers to kick-start the moving process and for buyers to be inspired.
“Showing a property off to its true potential, with just a few simple tweaks, could be just what clinches the sale.”
* Source: compare.com