Selling or renting a property can sometimes seem like an uphill struggle. Most notably in areas with a medium-to-low demand for housing, buyers tend to be incredibly particular about the properties they view – which is quite understandable, given that they’re looking for a home or attractive addition to their property portfolio.

Unless your property is somewhere like the Upper East Side of New York City or Beverley Hills, California, securing a great price for your home can often seem challenging. However, by making the effort to ensure your home is a really attractive proposition for potential buyers, you can considerably improve your chances of attracting offers.

That’s certainly the case in the UK, where mortgages and secured loan broker Ocean Finance recently conducted a survey to discover the biggest turn-offs for Brits considering buying or renting a property. Unsurprisingly, major problems such as moldy rooms, noisy neighbors and a lack of heating ranked highly, but some issues that might just have slipped your attention also came up in the survey. Here are some property problems putting off UK buyers in their droves – and all of them can be fixed with a little time and effort:


Neighbors’ untidy gardens – Untidy gardens bordering your own are a turn-off for a whopping 28% of potential home-buyers in Britain – and the same could well be true in the US. This is a tricky problem to fix, and raising it with the neighbors can be a sensitive issue, so use your emotional intelligence. If you’re worried your neighbors might take offence if you ask them to tidy their garden up (even if you offer to help), it might be sensible to encourage a third party such as your Realtor to help with negotiations.

Unpleasant smells – Over a quarter of would-be buyers in the UK admit they could be put off by unpleasant smells, such as cigarette smoke or pungent pets. If you’ve lived with a smell for a long time, the chances are you won’t find it offensive – you may not even notice it. Nevertheless, potential buyers will be highly sensitive to the aroma of your property. If you smoke, you could choose to do so outside in the lead-up to a viewing, and consider sending any strong-smelling pets to stay with a family member or friend. At the very least, give your pooch a bath before viewers arrive!

Partially completed decorating or building work – Almost one in ten Brits wouldn’t want to see anything but the absolute finished article when they view a property, so try to tie up any loose ends before advertising yours. Alternatively, market your home at buyers who are willing to make the investment and finish the job, like property developers.