GIVE the ICK the FLICK: Top tips on how to prepare your home for viewings as the UK’s biggest property turn offs are revealed

In a survey commissioned by conservatory installation experts ConservatoryLand it was revealed that almost two thirds (61%) of Brits regularly check property websites to find their dream home, even if they don’t intend to buy. What’s more, it seems it’s the younger generations are hunting for their dream homes more often than others, with more than three quarters (78%) of those aged 18 to 42 checking sites like Zoopla and Rightmove to try to understand how much they’d need for a deposit, or to see what their current options are in this cost of living crisis.

More than a quarter of those surveyed (28%) said they are actively looking and ready to buy their next property, but it seems that once they get to the viewing, many don’t feel confident in seeing the potential in those they do go and view. A fifth of Brits admitted that they weren’t able to see the potential in properties if they were unable to see past the current decor choices and properly envision their own furniture in the space.

ConservatoryLand spoke with HomeHow’s property and construction expert Natalie Mitchell to understand what sellers could do to ensure their homes were in the best possible state for potential buyers to view

The UK’s Biggest Turn-Offs

When asked about the biggest icks home buyers face when it comes to viewing properties for sale, weird smells were the top turn off with almost 50% of Brits saying this was the clincher for them to disregard a potential home altogether. 

Natalie’s tips to cover weird smells

“Boil a solution of white vinegar and water for around 15 minutes to help neutralise odours. Place some small bowls of vinegar around the home to help deodorise each room while you sleep. 

Ensure your fridge is clean, as this can be one of the main sources of smells. Use an opened box of non-toxic baking soda and leave this in the fridge to help soak up any bad odours. 

Use plug-in air fresheners to help promote positive smells around the home. Spray fabrics, rugs, and carpets with a fabric freshener to ensure musty smells are covered up.

Following weird smells, almost a third of Brits (32%) said that cracked floors were a turn off when viewing a potential home to buy.

Natalie’s tips to fix cracked floors

Paint over hairline cracks to improve their appearance and hide the crack. For larger cracks, try making use of rugs or move your furniture around a touch to help hide the cracks. If you have small chips or cracks in the floor, nail varnish can help. Use a small amount of nail varnish In the same colour as the tile and paint into the crack or chip. 

If you have larger chips or cracks, apply some ceramic filler. Simply mix the solution until you have a matching colour to your tiles, and then work it into the crack or hole and leave it to set.

Stained surfaces are the UK’s third-biggest ICK when it comes to viewing new properties. 

Natalie’s tips to cover stained surfaces

If you have a stain on a wooden surface, clean it with soapy water and remove any dirt, dust, or cobwebs. To dull the stain, lightly sand the surface with some fine sandpaper. Be sure to move in the direction of the grain. 

Wipe away any of the dust from the sanding process. Dip a rag in some deglosser and wipe the surface before allowing it to dry. Repair any scratches or holes with wood filler and then sand again to create a smooth surface. Brush on some primer and allow it to dry. Then, paint over the wood and allow it to dry. 

If your table or another piece of furniture is stained and you don’t want to go to the effort of repainting it, you can make use of things like table runners or table cloths to hide the stains.

Rounding out the top five biggest turn offs for home buyers are visible pet hair, and the clutter belonging to the current owners. Each of these concerns bothered almost a quarter of Brits (both 24%), and can easily be fixed, says Natalie.

Natalie’s tips to remove pet hair 

If your vacuum cleaner isn’t picking up all of the pet hairs in your home, use a long-handled squeegee on your carpet. Move the squeegee back and forth across your carpet to loosen any stubborn hairs, and then pick up all of the clumps of hair. 

Alternatively, use a thick tape to bring up stubborn hairs. The glue on the tape will ensure that even the smallest of hairs will get stuck to the tape. 

Make use of lint rollers on your upholstery items to clean up any stuck pet hairs on things like the sofa, cushions, and blankets. Keep on top of vacuuming at least a couple of times each week to ensure the pet hair doesn’t have a chance to accumulate.

There are some clever little tips that can help you hide your personal clutter, including the following:

  • Close off a cluttered space with a curtain
  • Hide your clutter in enclosed pieces of furniture
  • Save gift boxes for storing small items
  • Store items in unused spaces such as the garage or loft
  • Look for pieces of furniture that double up as storage, such as a storage bed 

The full study can be found here: https://www.conservatoryland.com/blog/the-uks-dream-home-must-haves/

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