These are the top turn offs for home buyers – fix them or lose a sale...

Large cracks in walls and stains on walls, floors and ceilings are named as the major turn offs on house viewings

Cracked exterior brick wall
(Image credit: Roger Hunt)

Looking to sell your home? If your house is cracking up or your toilet won’t flush, you’d better get your tool kit out or you can kiss goodbye to potential buyers for the home you're trying to sell. Large cracks in the plaster on the wall and ceilings, and bathroom fixtures that don’t work properly have been named as the biggest turn offs for people looking for properties.

And Sell House Fast property investment company, who conducted the survey among Brits who’d been on house viewings, said house owners would need to fix these issues to increase their chances of a successful sale to anyone other than a person who had plans to gut it all.

Why? Well, a huge seventy six per cent of the people asked said they got a bad first impression if they saw cracks or stains on the surfaces, including the floors, ceilings and walls. And 71 per cent turned their noses up at loos that wouldn’t flush or taps with poor water pressure.

In third position, 66 per cent said they were wary of potential safety issues when they saw exposed wires, and 63 per cent were concerned about the trip hazard of damaged or uneven flooring.

And just over half of those questioned admitted they’d be put off by a heavily damaged and worn out kitchen, no doubt mentally adding the price of ripping it out and replacing it to the cost of buying the property.

cleaning stains from a carpet

Scrubbing away stains can make a house more appealing to buyers

(Image credit: Getty)

But there is something despairing sellers can do to try and entice purchasers, and it starts with a very thorough clean.

Sell House Fast found that nearly three quarters of estate agents suggest taking a cloth and cleaning products to the fridge, microwave and oven before a viewing. Mayur Shah, an estate agent from London, says, 'Those viewing properties can be extremely judgmental. If they see multiple household appliances in a less than satisfactory state, they will then conclude that the current occupiers have not looked after or adequately maintained other parts of the property. Pay equal attention to cleaning the small as well as big features as they form an overall picture of the property'.

And 68 per cent of agents recommended mowing the lawn, removing weeds and trimming overgrown hedges and bushes. Mayur Shah added ‘Property seekers now more than ever before place a real emphasis on gardens. In some respects, putting the same light on a garden as they would with other rooms inside the property. Always remove dead plants, cut unappealing shrubs, mow overgrown grass, add colourful plants, get rid of litter and replace any damaged fences before conducting any viewings.’

And as a last small change, take down the family photos and artwork – 59 per cent of estate agents believe this allows prospective buyers/renters the chance to better imagine themselves in the property and makes it feel less like it is someone else’s home.

Alison Jones
Assistant Editor

Alison is Assistant Editor on Real Homes magazine. She previously worked on national newspapers, in later years as a film critic and has also written on property, fashion and lifestyle. Having recently purchased a Victorian property in severe need of some updating, much of her time is spent solving the usual issues renovators encounter.