The biggest turn-offs and must-haves for potential housebuyers

The biggest turn-offs and must-haves for potential housebuyersAt Engel & Völkers, we know that there’s much more to selling a property than simply putting a ‘For Sale’ sign in the front garden and waiting for the offers to roll in. There’s an art to preparing your property for market, carefully making it as attractive as possible to today’s homebuyer. If you want to sell your home quickly, it’s important to disguise any off-putting features and highlight desirable attributes – and ensure you’ve made the right judgment on which elements fall into which category. Although everyone has their own individual list of ‘must-haves’ and ‘don’t-wants’ when they’re considering which home to buy, there are still some general rules that are well worth following.


You’re selling a lifestyle

This is the first and most important thing to remember. The people buying your home will have an image of their ideal self in mind, which they want your home to complete, so play up to this as much as you can with elegant, modern features that suggest a refined and comfortable lifestyle. Studies have shown that Aga cookers and roll top baths add value to a property, while 1970s design features like avocado bathroom suites have a negative impact. Believe it or not, 15% of buyers have even admitted that they would pay more for a property that had a luxury car parked in the driveway.


Don’t let your personal taste take over

It’s no secret that people love to decorate once they buy a property. Putting your own stamp on a house is what makes it a home, but selling up means allowing potential buyers to picture themselves living there instead. However you feel personally about magnolia walls, 20% of buyers are more likely to make offers on homes with neutral colour schemes, while the same figure would be immediately put off by old-fashioned DIY paint effects like rag rolling. Painting over your feature walls could save you a few weeks on the market, so it’s worth the short-term cost.


Attract, don’t distract

People aren’t buying your furniture, they’re buying your property, so don’t let any exotic pieces stop them from appreciating the layout of your home. Controversial design elements like mirrored ceilings and taxidermy collections may put off some buyers, and even artistic nude paintings can prove distracting. The rules about neutrality apply to the furnishings as well as the walls, so while a still life of a fruit bowl is unlikely to do any damage, quirkier pieces may be best kept in storage until you’ve found your own new home.


Emphasise your best features

The features that appear on the ‘positives’ list time after time are fitted kitchens, granite worktops and hardwood floors, so if you have any or all of these elements, it’s important to make them stand out. Ask your photographer to feature them prominently in the official photographs of your home, and ensure that they’re not hidden beneath carpets or ornaments.

You can improve your chances of a good sale even further by enlisting the help of Engel & Völkers. Our experienced real estate agents have years of local experience, and can offer friendly, expert advice to help you through the process from start to finish.