Damp & Bad smells are the biggest buyer turn off during the property selling process

Jul 18, 2018

Home Insurance provider GoCompare has looked at which are the biggest turn off for potential buyers when trying to sell your home.

Finding the right buyer can take some time and the UK property selling process is full of potential slip-ups from down valuations, to gazumping to a sale falling through at the last minute. So, the last thing you want to do is put a buyer off at the early stages, particularly during the viewings process when it can be avoided.

GoCompare’s research has found that amongst the worst deterrents in the household, the smell of damp, poor maintenance and dire broadband speeds are amongst the worst! No parking, a messy neighbour and ongoing construction work were also potential deal-breakers.

The Top 10

Damp stains are the number one issues for UK home hunters, with 69% of people put off from damp stains in a home.

63% would walk out if the property they were viewing was home to an unpleasant odour such as the smell of strong foods, pets (particularly wet ones), cigarette smoke and damp.


#1 Damp


#2 Bad Smells


#3 Peeling Paint etc

Next in the list was the state of the property, with a poorly looked after home sporting rotten window frames or peeling paintwork deterring 59% of viewers from buying.

Finally, a lack of parking, poor broadband connectivity, unfinished building work, no garden, an archaic lack of a mains gas supply, messy neighbours and a dirty house complete the top 10.

What else?

We all want more space and so for 40% of viewers, small rooms were a turn-off. This was particularly apparent with the kitchen, with this room often the heart of any home, viewers weren’t keen on a below-par place to cook.

But size isn’t everything, and outdated properties with dodgy electrics were a no go for 50% of viewers, with 37% not interested in clapped out boilers or knackered central heating.

As well as size, the condition of the kitchen was also a concern for 24%, the bathroom for 22% and a further 14% wouldn’t buy based on dated décor and carpets.

The exterior of a home, too, can put certain buyers off, with 31% saying stone cladding, render or pebble dash on outside walls would have them running for the hills.

Neighbours aren’t always good friends

Just like your children, you can’t choose your neighbours, but potential buyers can choose not to live next to them to the detriment of your sale.

37% of prospective buyers would be put off by a student let next door, while 43% wouldn’t buy next to a dilapidated house.

When preparing your property for the market, always consider both internal and external factors. While you can’t completely change your home or those living next to it, a thorough clean and finishing those few DIY jobs can go a long way in helping you to sell. Put your pets out when you’re expecting viewers and save cooking dinner for afterwards.