Home Property 5 Things That Put People Off Buying A House

5 Things That Put People Off Buying A House


If you’re looking to sell your house, or you’re looking to add value to your property with the eventual intention of selling for a profit there are a number of things you can do to increase the likelihood of selling. Some features of a house can put individuals off, for example size and location, but those are down to preference. What we’ll look at in this article are the unnecessary problems that can be fixed.

An honorary mention goes to the price, as if you have an unrealistic asking price, you may struggle to sell. Negotiation is always part of the buying and selling process, however recent studies showed that many first time buyers fear negotiation with just over 50% regretting not challenging or discussing the asking price. An unrealistic asking price could be the difference between someone making an offer or walking away, so getting a good valuation is key. However, that comes once you have worked on getting the property ready for sale.


  1. Bad Smells
    Have you ever walked around the supermarket, then approached the bakery section and noticed the smell of the bread being baked and suddenly decided you wanted a baguette? That’s no accident. The smell is added intentionally to get us to act. Smells can be powerful, both positively in the case of the supermarket bakery and negative in the case of a bad smell.

    If your house viewers smell a bin, a damp or last night’s potent food smell, you may put them off. Even if they don’t consciously notice the smell, they could get a bad feeling from the house.

    Neutralise bad odours and if there are any ongoing problems that are causing bad smells (for example damp), make sure you deal with the issue before putting your property on the market.

  2. Awkward Layout
    Occasionally houses have rooms in awkward positions in the house. For example, a bathroom on the ground floor or a dining room separate from the kitchen so people have to carry food through the house to get there. These sort of layout issues are generally found in older houses, and sometimes it’s not worth fixing these problems as the cost outweighs the benefits, but it can certainly put off potential buyers.

    An awkward layout can sometimes be created by putting big furniture in the hallway, reducing the space to get past or by overcrowding the living room with too many sofas. These are easy fixes, so make sure you can move through the house easily and comfortably.

  3. Noise
    If people are looking around your living room or bedrooms and they can hear the traffic on the road outside, it could put them off making an offer, or at least cause them to drop their valuation of the property. Cutting down noise from outside is one of the many benefits of double glazing but fencing outside the property can also help. This does of course have drawbacks as it can block views and sunlight in certain places.
  4. Damp Patches and Stains
    In certain areas damp is more common than in other areas, but for those who live in older houses, it can unfortunately appear in lots of places around the property, creating nasty looking marks on the walls and ceilings.

    In a 2016 survey by GoCompare, 71% of respondents said they would be put off buying a property if it had damp patches and stains. Damp can stain the walls and ceilings dark or even black, can create a nasty smell and can cause the plasterwork to crumble. It can unfortunately be expensive to fix, but is so off putting that it really should be sorted before putting the house on the market.

  5. Poor Natural Lighting
    Rooms with a good level of natural lighting feel so much nicer and welcoming than those without. Many buyers can be put off if they walk into a dark living room in the middle of the day. Sometimes the location of the house can be the cause of darkness, but there are things you can do to improve the situation.

    Better, brighter lightbulbs can add some artificial light and better, lighter blinds can help too. You can also clean the windows to make sure as much light can get through as possible and rearrange furniture if anything big is blocking the natural light.


These five issues can be fixed in most cases. Sometimes cheaply, sometimes not so cheaply, but they should all help make the house more sell able. They may not necessarily add value to the property (although switching from old windows to double glazing may help) but they can stop people walking away with a bad impression.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here