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Revealed – homebuyer's five biggest turn-offs and their financial implications

Estate and lettings agent, Barrows and Forrester, has revealed the five biggest homebuyer turn-offs and how much money each of them can remove from a home’s market value.

Shoddy upkeep of home and landscape

As simple as it may seem, the general tidiness of a property, both within the home and its landscape can make a massive difference to the homebuyer and can completely turn them off before they’ve even stepped inside the property.


In order to execute a successful display of your home as the seller, you will only require a broom, a pot of paint, and possibly a rented power washer to improve the property from the outside, which will leave it looking clean and tidy. Your garden will need to be trimmed down if it is overgrown and any clutter removed if it has been used as a dumpsite. The impact that the appearance of your home could have on potential buyers is significant, with an overall value reduction of more than 14%, or £38,600. 

Disagreeable neighbours

Living next door to a bad neighbour is a worst-case scenario for most people looking for a new home. Often times this could include neighbours being loud and making noise long into the night, constantly being outside in the garden partying, or possibly even committing rowdy or abusive behaviour towards those living around them. Sometimes, of course, it’s all of the above and more.

A property can struggle to garner buyer interest and homebuyers will move heaven and earth to try to avoid moving in next door to disagreeable neighbours. As the seller, this is unfortunate, because the asking price will have to be lowered by at least 10% and with today’s average house price, this means that bad neighbours cause a price reduction to the value of £27,376. 

Signs of pets

We are a nation of pet lovers, however, we’re also fanatics when it comes to cleanliness. Evidence of pet hair can easily remain in carpets, thus compromising the hygiene of the property, and the strong odours of animals in the air are a massive turn-off for buyers which could reduce their perceived value of a home by 4%, or £11,000.

Smelly and cluttered

As the seller, it is absolutely critical to clean and tidy their property before inviting prospective buyers to view it. Opening windows for a few hours and letting some fresh air in will eliminate possible smells and any odours that tend to linger in closed spaces. It would be a good idea to do this in the days leading up to a viewing. If a house is not clean and tidy it could knock off as much as 11% off the potential market value, totalling up to £11,000.

Inconvenient parking

One of the most important things for a potential homebuyer is a convenient and secure parking space. This could influence the value of your home tremendously, either boosting it by as much as £22,500 or stripping off 7% which tallies up to £19,500 in the complete absence of a parking option. 

Managing director of Barrows and Forrester, James Forrester, commented: “Homebuyers are an understandably picky bunch. They’re looking for their own version of perfection and this can differ wildly from one buyer to the next. So don’t take it personally if they aren’t all as enthusiastic about your house as you once were, or if it takes you a little while longer than expected to sell. Of course, there are plenty of things you can do to increase your chances of impressing a buyer and securing a sale, as well as plenty of things that can do the opposite.”

Forrester concluded: “Presentation is vital and you need to ensure you are presenting the best version of your property that you can, whether it be in the initial photos taken or during the viewing process. Failing to do so can not only reduce interest and see your home remain sat on the market for far longer, but it can also cost you when you finally do find a buyer.”


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