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Survey reveals top buyer turn-offs

25 September 2013 Reporter

Brendan Wong 

You'll have a hard time selling a property saturated with cigarette smoke, near a busy road or one that is dirty, according to a recent survey that determined potential home buyers' three major turn-offs.

A survey of 1,000 Australians by Aussie Home Loans has revealed what buyers look for in a property and what turns them off.

For 69.1 per cent of house hunters, cigarette smells ranked as the top turn-off, with the younger generation aged 25 to 34 finding it the most offensive (71.9 per cent).


This was followed by busy road locations (65.8 per cent), a dirty house (61.6 percent) and noisy neighbours (60.0 per cent).

Pet smells was ranked number seven, with only 53 per cent citing it as a major turn-off. Buyers were not concerned by dated kitchens and bathrooms, with only 45 per cent and 42 per cent of participants ranking these as a turn-off respectively.

On the other hand, the most appealing feature for potential home buyers was a good neighbourhood, with 68.2 per cent of respondents making this the top priority.

It was the most important to family buyers aged 35 to 44 (73.4 per cent) and 45 to 54 (68.9 per cent) as well as to women (72 per cent).

“We undertook the survey feeling confident that we would know the outcome, but were surprised to find some things were not as much of an issue for homebuyers as we expected,” said Aussie’s general manager for marketing and product, Stuart Tucker.

“The list provides great insight for those considering selling their homes,” he said.

Mr Tucker said the findings were surprising as he initially believed kitchens and bathrooms would top the list but they ended up in third (63.4 per cent) and seventh place (50.2 per cent) respectively.

Speaking about the survey’s implications for agents, Mr Tucker said, “It’s about ensuring that the vendor has those major turn-offs completely covered in the way they present the house.

“I think these things crop up more often than they should and it’s probably not too difficult from a vendor’s point of view to address at least the top 10.”

Aussie’s study follows similar research carried out by Slater & Gordon Conveyancing which found that Australian buyers ranked proximity to schools, and being close to work and public transport links, as the three most important factors for a property.

Top ten turn-ons

  1. Good neighbourhood
  2. Garage
  3. Modern, functional kitchen
  4. Large bedrooms
  5. Air-conditioning
  6. Large living areas
  7. Modern bathroom
  8. Storage space
  9. Ensuite
  10. Outdoor entertaining

Top ten turn-offs

  1. Cigarette smells
  2. Busy road location
  3. Dirty
  4. Noisy neighbours
  5. Too dark and dank
  6. Dirty/old carpet
  7. Pet smells
  8. No storage
  9. Neighbour’s house looks dodgy
  10. Small bedrooms
Survey reveals top buyer turn-offs
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