We all know that cluttered or badly presented houses do not sell as fast as their tidy equivalent. So we decided to survey some estate agents to find out what less obvious things they have encountered that buyers simply can't stand.
So that we didn't get the usual old list of things such as clutter, untidy gardens and peeling paintwork, we decided to get creative and find out what you can't see that still has an impact.
Here's what we've discovered.
1. Cigarette Smoke
Although around 10 million people in the UK smoke, that means 50 million do not. So, there's a pretty strong chance that the viewer of a property will be put off by the stink of stale fag smoke.
People realise how difficult it is to rid a home of the aroma and staining that is caused to decorations, and you really do not want the lasting impression of your home being the clinging wafts of smoke left on the applicant's clothes long after they have left you.
If you smoke and you want to sell your house quickly, ventilate the house well and use anti-tobacco air fresheners. Better still, smoke outside, and better still, give up altogether!
2. Cooking Smells
What may have seemed appetising on Friday night may not be quite as appealing to a viewer of your property on Saturday morning. Yesterday's chicken tikka, garlic or chips do not make a great first impression to an applicant.
So, remember to ventilate the house well before a viewing and ideally during cooking. Use an over oven extractor or filter if you have one, and ideally try to only cook low odour foods before a viewing.
3. Neighbour Noise
Many an estate agent has been embarrassed having to raise their voice during a viewing when describing the property to a previously keen applicant to make themselves heard over the sound of footsteps or arguing in the property above or next door.
It is only in the last ten years or so that properties have been built with noise nuisance in mind, so we all tend to rely on considerate neighbors rather than the effectiveness of sound insulation to avoid the problem.
4. Pet Smells
We may be a nation of animal lovers, but that doesn't go as far as to include other people's pets in our potential home. Pet food left out, cat litter trays [and even dog litter trays, according to one agent!] are all a BIG NO if you want to sell your house fast.
Get rid of pet related items before viewing, ventilate well, and use appropriate carpet and air deodorisers.
5. Sticky & Dirty Carpets
When the result for this came in, there was a collective groan in the office. Homes where carpet, floor tiles, or lino have a magnetic effect causes estate agents the biggest headache.
Many report that viewers affected by the problem often will not even bother completing the viewing and will make their excuses before getting to the kitchen, yet alone a bedroom!
Wet carpet cleaners or professional companies can be hired at relatively different costs in comparison to the possible reward.
The property market is improving and homes are selling faster but you still need to give your home the best chance of selling quickly by looking at it objectively through the eyes of a buyer.