Damp stains, stained walls and bad smells are the last thing a house buyer wants to come across when visiting a property, a survey amongst over 2,000 UK consumers reveals.

The study, carried out by comparison firm Gocompare.com, shows that 70% of house hunters would be highly unlikely to buy a house that has damp patches, discoloured walls or stained ceilings. Another 63% admit they would not even consider buying a home that is in poor state of repair with things such as rotten windows, while 57% would be put off by a property that doesn’t have a garden.

Bad smells, including odours from pets, cigarette smoke, damp and food can ruin the enthusiasm of 56% of would-be buyers, as would the lack of parking space. Poor light, dark rooms and unfinished building work would make 54% refrain from a purchase. Slightly over half (51%) of respondents said they would be turned off by small rooms, 44% mentioned a small kitchen and 43% pointed to bad DIY.

Visiting a dirty house would affect the decision of 37% of potential buyers, and seeing stone cladding, render or pebble dash on outside walls makes 25% of people turn on their heels. A quarter of respondents would also feel turned off by an outdated kitchen or bathroom, and 18% wouldn’t live in a house with artex, textured ceilings or plastic windows.

Buying a house is one of the biggest financial transactions of a lifetime and most buyers want to know that the property they plan to live in has been properly maintained, Ben Wilson from Gocompare home insurance stated. Sellers should make sure their house is clean, tidy and fresh-smelling before buyers look around, he added.

What are your biggest turn-offs when looking around a house? Is there anything you could add to this list?

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