Pets and dirty dishes among most 'disgusting' things putting off potential buyers – but what else?

See other factors deterring potential occupants and tips to improve house viewings

Property viewings are, for the most part, a joy. Snooping around other people's houses, and of course potentially find a new home of dreams. But sometimes it's not such a pleasant experience, if said houses are not 'viewing ready' or presentable.

As it turns out that is so often the case more than you'd think – as almost half of Brits have described a property viewing as 'disgusting'. Citing filthy carpets, dirty dishes in the sink and the smell of cats as some of the most prominent reasons.

Related: Martin Lewis warns despite stamp duty cuts now might not be good time to buy - here's why

The recent study of 2,000 adults also found clutter and general mess are also among the most off-putting things, when viewing potential new homes.

Dirty dishes in kitchen sink next to white marble kitchen counter

(Image credit: Future PLC/James Gardiner)

The research also reveals the plight of not putting together a strong selection of photos for online viewing to entice renters and buyers is causing issues. With three quarters of those polled saying how important it is to have visuals of the property before they even consider going to see it in real life.

Worryingly, 56 per cent admitted they had been put off a property before even viewing, purely because of the pictures taken of the inside.

So could it be bad photos that are preventing you from selling or renting your home?

Tips to improve house viewings

Cleaning products in green caddy

(Image credit: Future PLC/Holly Jolliffe)

To help avoid making a bad impression there are some savvy tricks of the trade landlords employ. Those include baking bread, brewing fresh coffee and hiding all evidence of pets – all to catch the eye of the potential renters and buyers.

Research found the average adult spends an average of 70 minutes cleaning and tidying a home before a viewing.

Most likely because the most popular ways to present a home in the most attractive light are said to be vacuuming everything, ensuring the house is tidy and looking free from clutter.

Related: 10 things that will put off buyers when you're selling a house

Online lettings portal Mashroom has created a series to show people how to make the perfect first impression.

Over four bitesize episodes, interior designer Mo Vernon offers further tips on how to stage your home and shoot the perfect showcase video to attract renters.

Have you been put off buying a house for any of these 'disgusting' reasons?


Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.