A poor state of repair puts off home buyers in the UK, survey suggests

Damp, bad smells, poor maintenance and broadband blackspots the top things that home buyers in the UK say puts them off a property, according to new research.

Some 69% say they would not buy a home if there were damp stains on the walls and ceilings, while 63% would be out off by smells including damp, food, cigarettes and pets.

The research from GoCompare home insurance also shows that 59% would fail to put in an offer if the property was in a poor state of repair from obvious issues like rotten window frames and peeling paintwork.

No parking would put off 56% of buyers while poor broadband is a deal breaker for 53% of those surveyed and 53% also said that they would not buy a property with unfinished building work.

Some 48% would not like a home where rubbish is strewn in a neighbouring garden, 46% would be put off by a dirty house and the same put off by outdate electrics while 43% do not want dark rooms with poor natural light.

Other off-putting issues include outdated fittings and décor with 24% put off by an old kitchen, 22% by a dated bathroom, 14% by outdated or over the top décor and carpets while 39% do not want a small kitchen.

‘Buying a home is a major investment and most people are put off by outdated properties or those in a poor state of repair. While dated décor can be remedied easily and relatively cheaply, major flaws from poor maintenance or badly botched DIY can be expensive to put right,’ said GoCompare home insurance spokesman Ben Wilson.

‘In particular, if a property shows evidence of damp, whether it’s a stain or mouldy smell, it’s a warning sign, which depending on the cause, could be costly to repair. Our research also suggests that bad housekeeping is also a property deal breaker for many potential buyers. A grubby home and untidy garden may suggest the current home owners are not only bad at housework but may have neglected essential maintenance to the property,’ he pointed out.

‘While there are many design aspects of a property, such as the decor, which can be altered to suit individual tastes, there are others which can’t be or are harder or more expensive to change. For example, its location, whether it’s in a broadband blackspot, isn’t connected to mains gas or sewerage or, is close to a major road or motorway,’ he added.