How not to sell a home: the 20 biggest property turn-offs revealed

How not to sell a home: the 20 biggest property turn-offs revealed

Selling property – as well as showing it to prospective tenants – can be a tricky business, but you can make it easier by avoiding these common mistakes…

With huge sums of money being handed over in any property purchase, buyers have a right to be slightly fussy when they’re looking around a potential new home or property investment, and the same can be said for renters looking for their next pad.

New research conducted by GoCompare into what buyers find the most off-putting features in any home has revealed that damp – or more specifically, damp stains on walls and ceilings – was the number one turn-off with 69% of people saying they’d think twice about investing in any home that had this lurking within.

While it is unsightly, damp can also be costly and difficult to resolve, particularly in older homes if they are badly insulated and single-glazed, which is probably why most people would walk away. As a prospective tenant, the idea of living in a home which might be prone to damp isn’t an attractive one, which is why any landlord or investor with damp problems in their property would find it easier to let it in the long run by resolving this issue.

Bad smells such as food, pets or cigarette smoke were next on the list for 63% of respondents despite this being a relatively easy to fix problem depending on the cause and extent, while a home in a poor state of repair with rotten window frames and peeling paintwork was a no-no for 59% of people.

Here’s the full breakdown of the top 20 things that put people off buying a property:

  1. Damp stains on walls and ceilings – 69%
  2. Bad smells (e.g. damp, food, cigarettes, pets, etc.) – 63%
  3. Property in poor state of repair (rotten window frames, peeling paintwork, etc.) – 59%
  4. No parking – 56%
  5. Broadband blackspot – 53%
  6. Unfinished building work – 53%
  7. No garden – 52%
  8. Property not connected to mains gas – 51%
  9. Rubbish strewn in neighbouring gardens – 48%
  10. A dirty house – 46%
  11. Outdated electricals/wiring – 46%
  12. Poor natural light/dark rooms – 43%
  13. Dilapidated neighbouring property – 43%
  14. Proximity to major road or motorway – 43%
  15. Small room sizes – 40%
  16. Small kitchen – 39%
  17. Bad DIY – 38%
  18. Student let next door – 37%
  19. Old boiler or central heating system – 37%
  20. Stone cladding, render or pebble dash on exterior walls – 31%

Self-certified Sophisticated Investor

Please read

I declare that I am a self-certified sophisticated investor for the purposes of the restriction on promotion of non-mainstream pooled investments. I understand that this means:

I am a self-certified sophisticated investor because at least one of the following applies:

I accept that the investments to which the promotions will relate may expose me to a significant risk of losing all of the money or other property invested. I am aware that it is open to me seek advice from someone who specialises in advising on non-mainstream pooled investments.

High Net Worth Investor

Please read

I make this statement so that I can receive promotional communications which are exempt from the restriction on promotion of non-mainstream pooled investments. The exemption relates to certified high net worth investors and I declare that I qualify as such because at least one of the following applies to me:


Sign up for first access to new developments and exclusive property investment opportunities.

We send limited and targeted emails on new launches and exclusive deals which best fit your areas. We are trusted by over 30,000 active buyers as their source for new stock.

  • New property developments
  • Professional market reports
  • Property deal alerts
  • Development updates
Manchester property investment


Receive trending news straight to your inbox and stay up to date on all of the property market trends and advice.

Established since 2005 we are a leading voice of authority and commentary on the UK property market. Our news is trusted by Apple News & Google News.

  • UK housing market
  • Mortgage & money
  • Buy-to-let landlords
  • Guides & advice

Talk to us

Speak to our UK property experts today:


+44 (0) 333 123 0320

Open from 9am-6pm GMT


+852 6699 9008

Open from 9am-6pm HKT