Dirty bathrooms, overgrown gardens and messy neighbours are three of the biggest turn-offs for potential house buyers.

What's more, you've only got five minutes to make an impression, because that's how long most buyers say it takes to fall in love with a house on a viewing.

The results were revealed when Harron Homes conducted a survey, speaking to 1,000 UK house buyers to discover the biggest property turn-offs and 1,000 UK house sellers to see how their properties measure up.

So what puts people off taking things further?


The biggest annoyance for UK house buyers is a property listing with no images to preview.

Nearly half of buyers said low quality images and no floor plan is also off-putting when viewing an online property listing.


Almost half of buyers said they would be put-off by untidy neighbours.

If a property has a shared driveway or garden, a third of buyers would be put off.

No parking would be the biggest issue for half of buyers.


Seeing or smelling damp was voted most off-putting when viewing the interior of a property.

Almost half of buyers wouldn’t want to own a house formerly owned by a smoker, and two fifths said the smell of dogs and animals or a dirty house would certainly turn their noses.

Noise from the neighbours or traffic from outdoors could potentially prevent a sale for a third of buyers; and a lack of storage or cluttered property would put-off a quarter of house-hunters.


When showing a buyer around a property, honesty is the best policy according to buyers; yet one in ten sellers admit to being dishonest – hiding damp and covering up cracks in the walls.

Female sellers are 5% more likely to hide the truth than males; with almost two fifths confessing to masking a hole and 14% admitting they wouldn’t point out mould, damp or leaks.

Interestingly, almost a quarter of male sellers have had to decrease the value of their house, losing on average £600 more from the sale than females. Has the honesty of the male sellers backfired?

Over 55s are also the most likely age group to decrease the price of their property because it’s not selling; yet, in contrast, senior buyers are the quickest to decide if a property is to their taste or not.


House buyers from the South East are also quick to make a decision on a house, in comparison to West Midlands buyers who take the longest to deliberate over a property.

So how does your house measure-up? If you’re a seller, avoid these property pitfalls, and your buyer could fall I love in five minutes.

If you’re a buyer, make sure to stay alert and trust your eyes – and nose – to tell you if you’ve found your new home!