10 things that will put off buyers when you’re selling a house

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  • Sure, you could brew some fresh coffee to entice buyers, but if your house has one or more of the following issues, you're going to struggle...

    If you’re selling a house – or are thinking about putting your home on the market – this is essential reading. A new survey by Porcelain Superstore asked 1,596 people what would turn them off a property. And the results are in…

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    10. Bad plumbing


    Patched-up pipes and squeaky cisterns will not win you buyers. Best get the plumber round, pronto.

    9. Too close to neighbours’ houses


    We Brits really don’t like being overlooked.

    8.  No parking/garage


    A lack of parking can push up the price of insurance premiums, so this one doesn’t come as a surprise. In fact, 84% of those asked said they wouldn’t buy a house without a driveway.

    7. Risky crime area

    Another no-brainer. Although the survey did through up a few more unusual things that had put people off buying in the past. One said they wouldn’t buy on a street where any of the homes were rented, and another was adamant they couldn’t live in a place where the neighbours wore tracksuits. That’s OK – we’re not sure they’d want to live next to you, either!

    6. No garden


    Image caption: Polly Eltes

    Given we have a reputation for being a nation of keen gardeners, we’re surprised this isn’t higher on the list. Then again, spending every weekend weeding and mowing won’t appeal to everyone.

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    5. Bad/nosey neighbours

    Just over 50% of those surveyed said they’d want to meet their neighbours before moving in. So you might want to go on a charm offensive before any viewings.

    Having young children or pets next door came out as a big turn off, with 52% declaring they wouldn’t live beside families including either. Is it just us, or does that sound a bit mean?!

    4. The size of the house


    Image credit: Brent Darby

    Size, matters, people. Though not quite enough to make it into the top three.

    3. The condition and structure of the house


    According to the survey, fixer uppers aren’t what most buyers are looking for. And if you’ve ever seen The Money Pit, you can’t really blame them!

    Most of those asked expected to have to make a few decorate changes, but a whopping 86 per cent drew the line at installing a new bathroom or kitchen, and a mere 12 per cent were brave enough to take on extensive building work.

    There’s more bad news for anyone with a particularly ‘out there’ decorating style, as 56 per cent would refuse to buy a house if they hated the existing decor. So think twice before you go mad with the diamanté wallpaper or leopard-print fabrics.

    If this news has you reaching for the paint brush, the preferred colour for a living room is white, with 36 per cent of the vote, followed by grey (17 per cent) and blue (13 per cent). 45 per cent of people are looking for a white bathroom, though blue (20 per cent) and grey (16 per cent) are also acceptable. White also came out on top as the best colour for a kitchen, with 40 per cent of the vote.

    Oh, and don’t forget to get the duster out before a viewing. Filth is a real no-no, with 64 per cent saying they wouldn’t buy a home that was dirty. Besides showing the property in a poor light, it’s also seen as a sign of poor maintenance, and suggests potential problems could be lurking around every corner.

    2. The price and any extra costs

    No one wants to pay over the odds for a property, so you’d be wise to value your home sensibly. Get quotations from at least three local estate agents and don’t be greedy. A keenly priced home could trigger every seller’s dream – a bidding war.

    1. Location, location, location


    Image credit: Polly Eltes

    Of all the above, it’s the one thing that’s not going to change about your home, no matter what you do. Well, unless you buy a caravan. So we’re almost relieved that this is at the top of the list.

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    Incidentally, the perfect house, according to the survey, should have an all-white, modern interior, away from main roads and with a private driveway. It should be ‘not too big and not too small’ and liveable from the outset. If only Goldilocks ran an estate agent!

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