The Top 10 Deal Breakers That Put Buyers Off Your Home

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Scruffy wall home

When it comes to selling a home, first impressions are everything.

From the moment a buyer walks through the door, they are forming an opinion about the property and deciding whether it’s the right fit for them.

Unfortunately, small details that may seem insignificant to the seller can quickly turn a buyer off and ruin their interest in the home.

Here are some of the top things that can put a buyer off during a home viewing:

1. Poor Kerb Appeal

The first thing a buyer will see when they arrive at a home is the exterior, so it’s essential that the outside of your home is well-maintained and attractive.

If the garden is unkempt, the paint is chipped, or the front door is in disrepair, it can give buyers the impression that the home has not been well-cared for.

Mowing the lawn, trimming the bushes and giving the fence a quick lick of paint are quick and easy things you can do to improve your home’s kerb appeal.

2. Strong Odours

Strong odours such as cigarette smoke, pet odours, and musty smells can be extremely off-putting to buyers.

Before a home viewing, it’s important to air out the home, clean thoroughly, and remove any sources of unpleasant smells.

Open the windows to let some fresh air before the viewing and consider placing fresh flowers or reed diffusers around your home to make it smell appealing.

Some people swear by brewing some coffee or baking bread before a prospective buyer arrives!

3. Clutter and Mess

A cluttered and messy home can give buyers the impression that the home lacks storage space and is not well-maintained.

It’s important to declutter, clean, and tidy up before a home viewing to give buyers the best possible impression of the property.

This will make your home appear more spacious as well as allowing potential buyers to better see how they can put their mark on the property.

4. Personal Touches

Personal touches such as family photos, political posters and anything too personal can be distracting and make it difficult for buyers to see themselves in the home.

While it’s important to make the home feel lived-in and comfortable, it’s also essential to remove any items that may be too personal or controversial.

Depersonalising your home is an important part of making a good first impression.

5. Poor Lighting

Poor lighting can make a home feel dark and uninviting.

Make sure you turn on all lights, open curtains, and keep blinds up during a home viewing to make the space feel bright and airy.

You could also install extra lighting, even if it’s some temporary lamps, to improve the brightness of your home during viewings.

If your home has limited natural light, you can make the most of what you have by keeping curtains and blinds open and placing mirrors strategically to reflect light.

6. Maintenance Issues

Dripping taps, squeaky doors, and cracked tiles can be a major turn-off for buyers.

It’s essential to fix any small maintenance issues before a home viewing to show buyers that the home has been well-cared for and is in good condition.

Many buyers create a mental list of how much they’ll need to spend on a home during the viewing.

If there are too many things that need doing, it can squash the sale.

7. Poor Flooring

Flooring can have a significant impact on a buyer’s impression of a home, and old, worn, or outdated flooring can be a real turn-off.

If the flooring in a home is in poor condition, sellers can consider replacing it or covering it with an area rug to improve its appearance.

8. Inadequate Storage Space

Lack of storage space is a major concern for many buyers, and homes that have limited storage options can feel cramped and cluttered.

If you home lacks storage space, you can consider installing additional shelving or cabinets, or clearing out clutter to create the illusion of more space.

9. Outdated Kitchen and Bathrooms

Kitchens and bathrooms are often the focus of a home viewing, and outdated fixtures and finishes can quickly turn buyers off.

If your home has an outdated kitchen or bathroom, you could update key elements such as counter tops, cabinets, and tiles to improve its appearance.

You need to balance out much you spend with the likely return on the investment, especially if you’re on a budget and trying to save money on your move.

10. Poorly Decorated

Poorly decorated homes can be a real turn-off for buyers, especially if the décor is outdated or unflattering.

If your home is in need of a decorating update, you could paint the walls a neutral colour to make it more appealing to buyers.

While white can seem boring, it creates a clean look and a blank canvas that many buyers find appealing.


By avoiding these common mistakes, sellers can increase their chances of making a favourable impression on buyers and selling their home quickly.

Remember, the goal is to present the home in the best possible light and make buyers feel like they are already at home.

I find that putting a bit of effort in to make your home as appealing as possible before viewing start often makes for a quick and easy sale.

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