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Biggest turn offs for homebuyers


If you want to achieve the best price possible for your property, you have got to try your best to set aside your personal attachment to your home and treat it like a business. Easier said than done, but take note of these common buyer turn offs. Remember you only get one shot at making a first impression.

Sellers or tenants hanging around for the viewing

If the owner/tenant is present on a viewing, chances are, the purchaser will not feel comfortable and will not stay at the

property for long. On a viewing a serious buyer will try to imagine themselves living there and need time. This may include imagining your prized kitchen being ripped, a wall being knocked out or new wallpaper being torn down. It is much harder for a viewer to do this if you are hanging around. Go away and trust the agent to do their job.

Messy house –

Viewers have high expectations. This has been nurtured by the many interior magazines, TV shows and show homes that the buyer has seen.

Instead of the drudgery of trying to have your property looking tidy all week, speak to your agent and decide on a couple of days in the week and commit to having the house pristine in those days. This will help with your stamina levels during the viewing process as you will need it.

Your Stuff –

Yes you have great taste but a buyer wants to visualise how they are going to apply their tastes. So de clutter, dump and de-personalise your property prior to viewings.


Chances are your used to your own smells but your viewer isn’t. Just look at the way hotels go to a big effort in trying to neutralise smells between bookings.

Get your carpets cleaned professionally, mop your floors and wash your curtains. If you have pets or teenagers wash them too! Stay away from sprays or plugins and consider scented candles or diffusers.

Dirty Walls and ceilings –

Painting is probably the cheapest way you are going to improve any property. It also creates a new smell. There’s nothing wrong with magnolia throughout and it is an easy colour to accessorise.

Over pricing your home:

With the availability or the price register and property portals, viewers are seriously armed and knowledgeable when it comes to the value of a property.

The old saying of “start high and we can always drop the list price” is a waste of everybody’s time. Many buyers wont book a viewing on a property even if it’s a little over their budget.

An accurately priced house will get more viewings and often will encourage competitive bidding. At the initial valuation ask your agent to tell you what they really think and maybe not what you’d like to hear.

Neglected gardens and boundaries –

Today’s buyers are very busy. They don’t want a property that will be high maintenance and a strain on their lives. Broken fencing, weeds, unpainted gates, wild hedges, uncut lawns are a pure turnoff.

If you don’t have the time yourself pay someone to do it. It’s an investment that will be paid back in multiples.

Cold house and dark corners –

Turn on the heating. It can’t be overstated the difference between a cold and warm house on a viewing. Lighting the fire is a great touch.

You could have the best insulated house in West Cork but if it’s cool inside on a viewing a buyer will question the future running costs. Also replace all lights not working and buy some inexpensive small lamps for the dark corners.

Best of luck with your sale.

Martin Kelleher MPAV (REV) MCEI is a Clonakilty based Auctioneer & Recognised European Valuer. 0238859111 www.martinkelleher.ie