What gives us goosebumps when you look through a house for sale? A new study has revealed the biggest real estate rejections — and they’re relevant and instructive.
Thinking of selling your home? If so, you will probably prepare it for viewing. Spring is traditionally a busy time for the housing market. And at the beginning of the season, the online real estate agency Purplebricks presented 10 properties that potential buyers are the first to refuse.
In February, an online real estate agent conducted an online survey of more than 2,000 UK homeowners to find out what gives them “trouble” – to use the phrase Purplebricks – when looking for their next home. “Eek”, if you’re not familiar with the term, is used “to express a feeling of shock or dislike that makes you feel sick,” according to the Cambridge Dictionary.
Purplebricks explains: “The last thing you want when trying to sell your home is to inadvertently leave it less attractive than it could be, leading to lower or no offers at all.”
This is especially true given that, according to Zoopla, the buyer market is becoming more and more popular. Sellers lower their asking price by an average of 4.5% to secure a sale., Real Estate Portal said recently. This is the largest gap between the offer price and the sale price in five years.
So what’s the biggest “ick” of all? Drum roll, please. Mold and dampness on the walls. Yes, those pesky spots would turn off almost three out of four potential property buyers.
Not far from second place, 65% of homeowners would get “high” from finding mice and rat traps in their home. Who could blame them?
And in third place is the presence of unpleasant odors, as well as mold and limescale in the bathrooms. More than half (56%) of potential buyers would turn their backs on these discoveries.
Here is the full top 10:
Mold/humidity stains on walls – 70%
Traps for mice or rats – 65%
Unpleasant odors e.g. trash can, dirty bathroom, pet smell 56%
Mold / limescale in the bathroom – 56%
Cigarette smoke and/or ashtray cigarette butts – 55%
Dirty toilet – 52%
Beetles / flies in the house – 52%
Detachment of plaster from the wall – 51%
Dog mess in the garden – 44%
Dirty laundry on the floor – 39%
While some of them are not easy to fix (fixing plaster is not the same as a five-minute job), we have absolutely no idea who will let someone into their house without taking their dirty panties (number 10) or cleaning the fido. case up off the lawn (number nine). And you have to worry about buying a house from someone too lazy to flush the toilet before the visitors arrive (number five).
The good news is that you can sort out many of these nasty moments by putting on a pair of Marigold gloves and giving them a good cleaning and tidying up. Purplebricks themselves have come up with various cleaning tricks, including mixing vinegar and soap in a fly-catching bowl and removing limescale with vinegar on a rag.
What the survey results don’t address are more serious red flags. Issues that are likely to affect the buyer’s costs of maintaining the property, an insurance bill, or a mortgage offer, for example. Things that can make a big difference in what offer a buyer makes for your home.
“There are many things that put buyers off when viewing a home, so make sure your property doesn’t have anything that could make it difficult to sell,” explains Vince Courtney, director of sales at Purplebricks.
“A lot of it comes down to just cleaning the house properly. But if you have deeper damage to your home that is causing problems, check it out before opening the home to buyers so it doesn’t create additional problems for you or the future owner.”