What may turn off property buyers

Wednesday November 13 2019

A well maintained house attracts buyers more

A well maintained house attracts buyers more than one in a dire state. Photo by Ismail Kezaala 


Real estate business is something many people are venturing into today expecting to make good profits. Land appreciates as time goes by. With a structure on it, the value multiplies. However, there are things which may turn off buyers from purchasing that property.

Brian Walugonza, the head of business development at Home Care & Property Management Company in Ntinda, says in most cases, people have failed to understand what prospective clients need like failing to take of the house after it has been vacated which leaves it in a sorry state. He shares other factors that may put off buyers
Clutter is not only distracting, but it could indicate that the property does not have adequate storage, also a property with too much furniture can make a property seem a lot smaller than it is and this in turn may turn the prospected buyer away assuming the property is not enough to contain him or her plus family.

“De-cluttering is a great way to increase your chances of completing a sale; you can box them up and store them in the loft or garage. If this is not an option, ask family or friends to store them. Failing that, there is always the option of self-storage,” he says.

No matter how beautiful your home is, bad odour such as the smell of pets, cigarettes, smelly sewers can turn off buyers Have the property thoroughly cleaned, and open the windows to air out the property before viewing.

An untidy exterior
Most times viewers have probably already done a drive-by before making an appointment so it is important to keep the property tidy.

Most people expect their home to be a place of peace, a place to relax, so if the house is situated in such a noisy neighbourhood, Walugonza believes that you might fail to get a buyer.
You could also reduce unwanted noise from your property by installing sound proof fencing.


No natural light
Walugonza says light and warmth are two of the most important factors to attract a buyer for your home. A poorly lit home can be an instant turn-off to potential buyers by making the property appear dull and dark in places and this gives the impression of a house that is unloved and uncared for.

Walugonza says it is easy to resolve this issue where the seller ensures the room is well lit with warm lighting, whether natural or artificial lighting and always make sure the curtains are open.

Bad décor
Avoid controversial or quirky décor in your home as everyone’s taste varies. What you think is retro, others may consider dated. Bold colours and patterns can also turn-off a prospective buyer, as it is important for them to see themselves living there and décor plays a huge part in this. It is always better to play safe, keep the decor light and simple use neutral colours such as white or cream and avoid heavily patterned retro carpets.

Poor presentation
The first impressions are very influential when it comes to the prospected buyer’s decision making, according to Walugonza. He says dirty kitchens or bathrooms are not a nice thought and certainly not something that a viewer will want to see.

“Small and affordable fixes such as: freshening up the paint work, or having your home professionally cleaned will make a world of difference and worth it in the long run,” he suggests.

Structural defects
Walugonza says there is nothing worse for a viewer than turning up to find there is a significant issue with a property such as cracked walls or ceilings or a problem with something in the neighbourhood.

It is not only wise to take precaution and do due diligence before undertaking any property, If the property has issues, do necessary renovations and patch up all structural defects before putting the house on market.

A very expensive house may to get quick buyers as many are not willing to spend more than what they have planned. Most property owners tend to over price their structures thus indirectly sending away buyers.

Age of the house
Very old houses baring old designs may not attract buyers as much as it is with new ones. People are mostly attracted to new designs and trends, as this may affect the seller because they may not be will to inject in money for renovation.

Makara says people consider the distance of the home to main roads and other amenities like hospitals, schools, shopping centre, churches and their places of work.

“If you have constructed that house in a hard to reach area, with impassable roads, especially when it rains, far from amenities where one has to incur a lot in transport, the buyer must get turned off because many people do not want to over spend,” Makara explains, adding that where you build a house also matters a lot, no matter how beautiful the house is, a buyer will not buy it when it is located in a swampy area or in a place that floods whenever it rains.

Overzealous vendor
It is common for a vendor to want to take part in the viewing or show off their property. However, vendors being present at viewings may not always be a good thing. A seller that follows the viewer around is never well-received. It is advisable for the vendor to take a step back and let your agent do the work.

Size of plot
Beautiful houses squeezed on small plot of land may not get buyers given how people love to have space at their residence. “In case of visitors someone will not have space for parking or even events planning,” he says, adding, such kind of congestion may as well affect the beauty of the house given the physical appearance.

On a bigger size of land, one can easily play around with space as to way of improving the beauty of the house.