‘Number one fear’ buyers have during a house viewing – ‘sets off alarm bells’

Sarah Beeny: Things to look out for when viewing a property

Making the decision to put a property on the market can be a lengthy, drawn-out, and sometimes stressful process, so households want to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible to avoid any delays and sell their home as fast as possible. 

It is critical to look at the house through the perspective of potential purchasers – try to be as impartial as possible while assessing the property.

In other words, sellers should make it as simple as possible for potential house buyers to picture themselves in the property. 

Making a house more appealing to buyers by cleaning up rooms and gardens, repairing anything that may cause substantial problems, and even getting rid of obnoxious decor can all help to increase the demand for a home among buyers.

Estate agents at Greater London Properties have shared six “red flags” to look out for.

READ MORE: Four kitchen decor ‘mistakes’ to ‘avoid’ that can put off buyers

1. Damp/mould

No matter how much people fall in love with the rest of the property, signs of damp, mould and mildew are enough to discourage the vast majority of prospective homebuyers from buying a property. 

This is because it indicates an issue that might be “costly to fix”, for example damp spots, damaged ceilings, or collapsing plaster work.

2. Dim lighting 

Nobody appreciates spending time in a room that is gloomy and dingy, so sellers may want to consider upgrading to stronger light bulbs or placing lights in key viewing locations. 

Also consider changing heavy drapes or blinds to something lighter and more transparent and installing a mirror in the darkest area of the room to reflect light, making the room brighter.

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3. Cracks

The experts claimed that “the number one fear of home buyers is that the property they are considering to purchase may be concealing a pricey secret”, therefore noticeable cracks in walls or ceilings are “certain to send off alarm bells”. 

However, this does not imply that sellers should just improvise or attempt to conceal the problem. For those unable to solve the issue, they must tell the buyers up front that this is the case.

4. Obnoxious decor

Ideally, the goal is for potential buyers to be able to see themselves living in a house as easily as possible, which may include giving the property a fresh coat of paint before scheduling any viewings. 

The experts said: “It could be difficult for purchasers to think beyond personal decor choices if they are too excessive – imagine extreme wallpaper patterns or bright paint colours for example. Instead, go for non-offensive, neutral shades.”

5. Limited kerb appeal 

First impressions are very important when it comes to selling a home, and many choices are made before buyers even step foot into the property. This proves that sellers must display their home in the best possible light and take into consideration how it appears from the street. 

It is possible that the front door or windows need to be replaced or given a thorough cleaning. The property gurus suggested: “You could also include a welcoming flower bed and jet wash pathways in your landscaping layout.”

6. Wild garden 

If a home has a lawn with grass, make sure it has been mowed, the hedges have been trimmed, and the flowerbeds have been weeded before inviting potential buyers to visit the property. 

This applies to all garden areas, but especially to front gardens since this is the first impression that prospective purchasers will have of a home. 

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