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The top 20 property turn-offs revealed...

Tuesday 17 July 2018

Damp, bad smells, poor maintenance and broadband blackspots top list of potential homebuyers’ deal breakers, according to a new survey.

The research, commissioned by GoCompare home insurance, revealed signs of damp as the number one reason buyers would be deterred from purchasing a property, with other deal breakers including being in a poor state of repair, no parking and homes located in broadband blackspots.

69 per cent of people said they would be put off by damp stains on walls and ceilings, whilst 63 per cent cited bad smells – such as food, pets or cigarette smoke – as a big no no.

Outdated fittings and décor were also a concern for some would-be buyers with just under a quarter (24 per cent) saying they would be put-off by an outdated kitchen; 22 per cent by a dated bathroom and 14 per cent found outdated or over the top décor and carpets to be major turn-offs. Equally, outdated electricals/wiring would be a turn-off for nearly half, while an old boiler or central heating system would have 37 per cent of people looking the other way.

Poor maintenance and an unkempt appearance were also red-flags to potential buyers as 46 per cent of potential buyers would be put off by a dirty property. 31 per cent of respondents said they would deterred by rotten or broken boundary walls or fences and for 17 per cent, an overgrown garden would be reason enough to look elsewhere.

You can’t choose your neighbours – but for 37 per cent of prospective buyers, a student let next door would be off-putting, while 43 per cent would see a dilapidated neighbouring property as a considerable turn-off. And despite having excellent transport links, proximity to a major road or motorway would be an issue for 43 per cent of people.

Commenting on the research, Ben Wilson from GoCompare home insurance said: “Buying a home is a major investment and most people are put off by outdated properties or those in a poor state of repair. While dated décor can be remedied easily and relatively cheaply, major flaws from poor maintenance or badly botched DIY can be expensive to put right. In particular, if a property shows evidence of damp - whether it’s a stain or mouldy smell – it’s a warning sign, which depending on the cause, could be costly to repair.

“Our research also suggests that bad housekeeping is also a property deal breaker for many potential buyers. A grubby home and untidy garden may suggest the current homeowners are not only bad at housework but may have neglected essential maintenance to the property.”

Ben continued, “But while there are often design aspects of a property which can't be altered, like the location, whether it’s in a broadband blackspot, isn’t connected to mains gas or sewerage or, is close to a major road or motorway, potential buyers really just want to see that a property has been looked after by its current owners.”