‘Basic mistakes’ which are ‘putting buyers off’ your home for sale

Mark Millar shares his tips for minimalist kitchens

Many Britons may be in the process of selling and buying a new home, so it is a great time to learn about the potential red flags people might find in your home, and the ones to look for. While there are no doubt plenty of things you would love to see in a property, from a large kitchen to a well maintained garden, there are also certain areas which may not be as appealing, according to experts.

1. Too much clutter

Home sellers leaving their homes cluttered and full of items they don’t even use is a common “mistake”, according to Penhaul and Philippa Stewart, Sales Director at David Wilson North West.

This can make a home extremely hard to navigate, but it can also decrease the size of the room, making it look smaller than it is.

A prospective homebuyer walking around a home which is cluttered is unlikely to envisage them living in that house at all.

To hide personal clutter, close off the space using a curtain, or take the opportunity to sort it out, moving times into a shed, loft or garage.

2. Check the thermostat before any viewings

Making homebuyers feel welcome and warm is just one step in them feeling at home in your property.

This means, if it is a cold day, make sure the heating is on a little to keep them warm while they are walking around, encouraging them to spend longer.

Equally, if a home is too hot, it could also deter buyers, so make sure it is at the optimum level for comfort.

According to Andy Kerr, founder at BOXT, this is between 18C and 21C in the winter months, and should be reduced accordingly when the weather gets warmer.

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3. Stay neutral

Penhaul said: “Unusual features – such as brightly coloured walls – can put off buyers who are looking for a more natural and traditional home that will suit their own furniture.

“Neutral colours are often seen as timeless and high quality and for buyers, they immediately see the cost and effort in repainting the walls to a neutral colour palette.”

Even if it is making the change of a few cushions, a few pieces of home decor, it could go a long way.

Carolyn Gagnon, an estate agent with Compass advised sellers to stick with a neutral colour scheme.

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She said: “The biggest advice when selling a home is to stay relatively neutral and have warm and inviting colours.

“You want buyers to feel the warmth of your home while being able to envision themselves living in it – soon.”

4. Focus on kerb appeal

Kerb appeal is extremely important, so focus on making your home appear in the best light possible, focusing on the front door, front garden and back garden.

If the front door needs a lick of paint, make sure it is done before any viewings, and also add some plants or hanging baskets if there is space.

In the back garden, make sure the lawn, decking and flower beds are well maintained as it may help buyers like a property more.

Amy Cutmore, home writer for Saga Exceptional, said: “Nothing is more frustrating than finding your perfect next home, but being prevented from buying it due to a lack of offers on your existing property. Well, actually, there is one thing that’s more frustrating – and that’s when the lack of offers is down to some easily fixable issues.

“Because while you may see nothing wrong with your characterful and cosy house or apartment – potential buyers might have picked up on some big red flags.

“Anything from your unique taste in wallpaper to a lack of parking or even a flickering lightbulb could have buyers running for the hills.”

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