Damp, dodgy DIY and nasty odours – the top 20 property sale deal-breakers

16th March 2015

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Damp patches staining walls and ceilings are the biggest deal-breaker for potential home-buyers according to a new survey from switching site Gocompare.com.

The analysis found that 67% of people would be deterred from buying a property, which showed signs of damp. Other property ‘no-nos’ include poor maintenance, wooden windows, no garden, stone cladding and indeed bad odours. The survey also found that unfinished building work and botched DIY jobs were sale stoppers.

Top 20 Property Turn-offs
1 Damp patches, stained walls or ceilings 67%
2 Poor state of repair, rotten windows, etc. 60%
3 No parking 55%
4 No garden 54%
5 Bad smells (pets, damp, food, cigarettes) 53%
6 Unfinished building work 53%
7 Poor natural light/dark rooms 46%
8 Small rooms 45%
9 Bad DIY 42%
10 Small kitchen 40%
11 Dirty house 36%
12 Stone cladding, render or pebble dash on outside walls 27%
13 Wooden windows 23%
14 Outdated kitchen 23%
15 Overgrown garden 21%
16 Artex or textured ceilings 19%
17 General untidiness 16%
18 Dated or over the top carpets 14%
19 Cluttered rooms 13%
20 Dated or over the top decor 13%

Ben Wilson, from Gocompare.com home insurance said: “If you’re looking to sell your home it’s important to make sure it’s well presented, both inside and out, to make it as appealing as possible to would-be buyers. Buying a home is a big financial commitment and most house-hunters will want to think that the property they’re buying has been well looked after by its current owners.

“So, it’s perhaps not surprising that our survey reveals that damp and poor maintenance are the top property turn-offs. Damp can be expensive to repair and may be an indication of a costly problem with a property such as a leaking roof.”

Unfinished or badly carried out work can be expensive to remedy and can detract from the value of your property as well as deterring potential buyers.

Wilson added: “Bad housekeeping can also kill a sale. During a viewing many buyers will try to imagine themselves living in the property, so a dirty home, nasty niffs and cluttered rooms can be a big put-off.

“They can also be a sign of other problems with the property – clutter could suggest a lack of storage space, while a dirty home may suggest to buyers that the house has been unloved and in a poor state of repair. So, a good spring-clean is one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to create bright, fresh airy rooms and increase the saleability of your home.”

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