8 red flags putting people off your property

Feb 20, 2023
The last thing you want is to have a negative impact on potential buyers and tenants with things that can easily be avoided. There are many small things that you might not notice but that immediately stand out to viewers.
Tim Leonard, personal finance expert at NerdWallet, has shared eight red flags that could reduce the likelihood of someone making an offer on your property, and how to avoid them.
A smell is often the first thing buyers notice when they enter your home, and bad smells can put someone. Whether it’s from pets, smoking, damp or dirt, a lingering bad smell won’t go down well.
It’s worth a deep clean to get rid of stale smells at the source. It can be beneficial to use odour neutralisers, room sprays or candles. Don't overdo it though and don't underestimate the power of opening a couple of windows to let fresh air circulate.
A fresh and pleasantly smelling home will create an inviting environment and give a good first impression.
Kerb appeal refers to the attractiveness and aesthetic appeal of the property. An overgrown front garden, overflowing rubbish bins or dirty windows indicate poor kerb appeal.
When cleaning and tidying before a viewing or photography, don’t forget the outside of the property. Make sure leaves are swept, litter is lifted, weeds and overgrown plants are tended to, and the front door is inviting. If you have some money to spare, invest in some planting and paint.
Most people’s first impressions of a property are through photos online – and usually on a mobile. Make sure your images are good quality, well-lit, and clutter free. Poor quality photos could put people off from arranging a viewing.
If you have clothes, possessions and general clutter around the property, this will have a negative impact. Clutter of any kind is a turn off as people won't be able to see their possessions in position or imagine how the space can work for them.
Less is more so keep photos, ornaments and personal items on display, to a minimum. Too many possessions and too much personalisation can make the place seem smaller with less scope for viewers to stamp their own personality.
As it’s your property, you might think that you’re the best person to show people around. However, this is rarely recommended. It could make people feel uncomfortable, rush around the property and ultimately put them off.
Usually it’s best to let estate agents conduct the viewing, as they are experienced at pointing out the best features, and knowledgeable at promoting the benefits of the property and the area, to appeal to specific needs.
To avoid a bad first impression, make sure the property doesn't feel too hot or too cold. The optimum temperature will make the property more welcoming and also avoid questions about whether the heating system works properly.
Now, more than ever, buyers need to feel confident that they’re not going to be let down by a broken, old and inefficient heating system during winter. It might be worth considering upgrading a failing boiler to a newer and more efficient model to assure buyers that the heating system won’t let them down for years to come.
Damp is probably the biggest turn off to potential viewers. If there is damp anywhere it should be properly treated. If you're selling the property, failing to address this issue will not only reduce interest but is likely to come back to haunt you in a survey.
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