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Things to avoid when selling your house - the biggest turn-offs for property buyers

Published: 12th September 2018

Things to avoid when selling your house - the biggest turn-offs for property buyers

There’s lots of advice as to what you can do to make your property more attractive. Let’s say, however, that, for whatever reason, you’re not in a position to make the sort of updates which would help to make your property more appealing.

You should, however, as a minimum, take steps to deal with issues which are known to be deal-breakers and which could prevent your property from selling - at any price. Here are five of them, along with some tips to fix them.

Bad smells

There are lots of reasons why bad smells can make buyers nervous, most of them boil down to the fact that a bad smell is generally a sign that something is wrong. Even if there’s not an actual definite problem, as such, a bad smell can be taken as a sign that the home owner doesn’t really take all that much care of their property, which in turn raises the question of what other issues the viewer might find lurking if they were to buy the property.

Alternatively it could suggest that there is an issue the home owner simply can’t fix, such as a bin area nearby. The way to deal with this is to make sure anything which could cause a bad smell is dealt with and this means being realistic about the fact that other people might not be keen on smells you cheerfully tolerate or may even have ceased to notice, like pets, or even, frankly, very young children in the nappy/potty stage of life.

When dealing with bad smells, you want to deodorise them, rather than try to mask them with room sprays. First of all, room sprays may not actually mask the smell, secondly the buyer may not actually like the smell of the spray, thirdly, a strong smell of room spray may give the buyer the impression that you are trying to hide a bad smell and make them even more concerned.

Obvious lack of maintenance

Unless you are actively selling your home as a “fixer-upper” and accepting that this will be reflected in the price, then you can assume your buyers will expect your home to be in a decent state of repair and any signs to the contrary are likely to disturb them. It may seem over the top, but it can be the little things which matter here. For example, if there are “DIY holes” in your walls, which you’re not using but haven’t bothered to fill in, then, again, the buyer may start wondering what other tasks you’ve ignored.

Similar comments apply to the likes of peeling paintwork, tiles in need of maintenance (or replacement) and cracked glass.

Dirt and stains, especially in kitchens and bathrooms

Very similar comments apply to dirt and stains. Not only do they not look nice, but they raise questions about the current home owner’s general living standards and hence what problems the buyer might discover at a later date if they were to take on the house.

In an ideal world, you’d have your whole house professionally deep cleaned before putting it on the market and then you’d just keep on top of the work they did. If that’s not possible, then you need to do it yourself. Generally speaking, there’s nothing particularly complicated or expensive about deep cleaning, it’s just time consuming and hard work. It also means doing all those occasional jobs you can ignore for most of the year, like giving bathroom tiling a deep clean and fixing the grout.

Household clutter

In addition to making buyers wonder about the home owner’s housekeeping standards, clutter can make rooms feel smaller than they are and indicate that there’s a lack of storage in the home.

If you know that you genuinely have too much stuff for your space you’re not up to decluttering at that point, then move some of your possessions into storage, even if it means paying for it. Only keep what you actually need in the property. If your problem is lack of organisation then either get organised or put stuff into storage until the property is sold.

Controversial items

Some topics just polarise opinion, religion, politics and sport being the classic three. You may think this is unfair, since items relating to controversial topics can usually easily be removed from the house, but in simple terms, they’re usually just more hassle than they’re worth.

The whole principle of selling a house (or indeed anything else) is to give a favourable impression from start to finish and you want to remove anything which could negate that.

If you found this article useful and you are considering selling your Manchester property then please contact our local area experts at Portfolio8 who are more than happy to answer any questions you may have. Alternatively, why not use our free online valuation tool to see how much your property is worth!

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