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10 biggest property turnoffs and how to fix them

Kelly Emmerton

Tuesday 04 October 2016

You want to do everything you can to help your home sell for a high price, right? Well, you can put the demolition tools down and take a step back from the bathroom remodel.

Mozo has surveyed over 1,000 Aussies to find out what’s most likely to stop them buying a property, and it turns out small fixes can mean a big difference when it comes to selling your home for a good price.

But it’s not always easy to know where to start - so here are the top 10 things that might turnoff a prospective buyer and some tips on how you can fix them in your home:

1. No parking space

59% of Aussies said having no parking was a major turn off when shopping for their next home. There’s not much you can do to change this when you sell - but make sure your real estate agent mentions if there’s a parking scheme available nearby and remember that being close to public transport instead can be a great selling point.

2. Damp or mould

Yuck! No one likes mould, and a neat half of Aussies said it would turn them off a prospective property. So get out that scrubbing brush and spruce the place up before potential buyers come knocking. If the problem is really bad, think about getting professionals in to do the job.

3. No natural light

Gloomy rooms lead to gloomy moods - poor natural lighting is a turnoff for 34% of Aussie homebuyers. Think about installing a skylight or clever indoor lighting to brighten the room up. If you’ve got existing windows that don’t seem to be letting in as much sunshine as you’d like, the fix may be as simple as giving them a good clean, or trimming back surrounding trees and bushes.

4. No outside space

We love the great outdoors, which is why 28% of Aussies - many of them Gen Xers - were put off a potential home by the fact that it didn’t have any outside space. Like a parking space, you can’t just conjure a backyard out of thin air, so ask your real estate agent to advertise your home’s proximity to parks, sporting fields or any other outdoor recreation spaces.

5. Small rooms

16% of potential homebuyers said small rooms were a no-go. So if your home is feeling a little cramped, do what you can to open the space up visually. This means getting rid of oversized, bulky furniture, decluttering and even treating your walls to a fresh coat of white paint - all tricks that will make a small room feel larger.

6. Outdated kitchen

Good news - only 16% of Aussies said an old kitchen would be a turnoff, so you probably don’t have to spend a small fortune on an update in order to sell your home. Wondering why a rickety old kitchen isn’t such a big deal? It’s because many buyers like the chance to put their own style into a home through renovations. A fixer-upper might even be a drawcard for certain buyers - just make sure everything is clean and orderly so they can see the potential!

7. Bathroom needs love

The bathroom is just behind the kitchen, with 15% of Aussies saying an old bathroom is a dealbreaker. It’s the same logic as the kitchen - an unrenovated bathroom gives buyers the chance to shape the space however they like. The key here is showing buyers the space’s potential, so make sure everything is clean, and employ some tricks from #5 to make the space look as big as possible.

8. No storage space

It’s hard to imagine yourself living somewhere if there’s no place to put all your belongings! That’s why 14% of buyers said having no storage space would be a roadblock to a home purchase. Think about installing some extra shelving or making use of that under-stair space - but if you go DIY, make sure you install shelves and storage properly.

9. Floors that need replacing

Don’t forget what’s under your feet - 12% of people would walk away from a home where the floors needed replacing. But that doesn’t mean you have to rip up the carpet and spend thousands of dollars re-doing it. Instead, polish timber floor boards or steam clean carpets (you might want to enlist professional help) to get them looking like new again.

10. No laundry

A laundry room is a handy space to stack your clothes (dirty or clean) until you have the time to deal with them, which is why a home without one would turn 11% of buyers off. Installing a laundry might be one of the biggest and more expensive projects on this list - so it’s a good thing it’s at the bottom! If you’re worried about it being a problem for buyers, make sure you’re prepared with the location of any nearby laundromats.

Need some more tips on getting the most out of selling your home? Check out our home selling guides, covering everything from improving the value of your home, to choosing an agent and signing the paperwork.

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