Britain’s biggest homebuying turn-offs

Britain’s biggest homebuying turn-offs

Request Your FREE 52-page Tapi Flooring Guide
Need to know more about carpets and smooth flooring? We're making inspiring flooring reassuringly simple.
Get Your Free Guide

Since 2020, house prices have been unsteady and there are no signs of the market stabilising, with the cost-of-living crisis continuing to make people careful about what (and where) they spend their money on. With uncertainty around the UK housing market in 2023, you can be certain your home is going to sell easily by following our top tips and tricks for getting buyers to fall in love with your property.

We surveyed 1,500 people across the nation to find out what some of the biggest turn-offs were if they were hypothetically looking to buy a home now. From viewing a property online to seeing it in person and deciding to put in an offer, what could be giving them cause to reconsider? We’ll talk you through how to rectify these problems and give you some insight into what can really sell your home to every buyer.

Order free samples

The biggest turn-offs for viewing a property

So, you’re searching online for new homes that have come to market, and you spot one that looks great – but there’s a catch. We wanted to know what the biggest mistakes that had potential home buyers clicking away from certain homes and looking elsewhere. The top seven turn-offs for viewing a property included:

Visible mould - 53%

Potential home buyers are not going to feel comfortable even coming to view a property, let alone buying it, if they can see that there is mould anywhere inside or outside the home. Sometimes it’s simply a question of ensuring you have good ventilation, and getting rid of condensation as soon as it occurs, and wiping off any stains with a solution of bleach and warm water. If it’s a serious problem, get mould professionally removed and ensure proper ventilation before you put your home on the market.

Water stains from previous leaks on walls/ceilings – 48%

Water stains imply there could be structural damage in a home, and a lot of potential home buyers aren’t looking to sink their money into a massive DIY project – they want somewhere that’s move-in ready! Fix any structural issues that could be causing leaks and have any rooms redecorated before taking pictures. You could even consider replacing the current flooring with water-resistant laminate flooring, which will minimise the risk of water stains and damage.

Rooms look small - 37%

If the pictures of your home make your rooms look squished and cramped, potential homebuyers are not going to be interested. Try moving any unnecessary furniture out of the rooms to make them look more spacious, and paint your walls in airy neutral colours like off-white to make the rooms appear larger. You might also want to consider how the room's flooring might impact the size. We'd recommend opting for lighter coloured flooring if you're trying to make a room look bigger, such as a cream carpet or white laminate floor.

Not a lot of natural light - 34%

Home buyers don’t want to feel like they’d be living in a cave – make sure to open any curtains and move any furniture that may be blocking natural daylight, and capture your photographs on a nice sunny day when you can showcase the natural beauty of your home to its fullest.

Unkept, dirty or worn carpets - 32%

Flooring is really important to potential home buyers – after all, it’s a big cost to replace  your flooring, and it can let your home down if it appears threadbare and uncared for. Upgrading your carpets and giving them a good clean can make your home look (and probably smell!) a lot more appealing. So why not consider choosing a stain resistant carpet that will maintain its look and feel for longer.

Unmodernised kitchen - 30%

Dated kitchens are another pet peeve of potential buyers, as replacing a kitchen is another big project that will take time and money. Updating the fixtures and appliances in your kitchen can go a long way to making your kitchen look modern, as well as smart flooring and a fresh lick of paint. To modernise your space, we'd recommend opting for kitchen vinyl flooring or laminate kitchen flooring for a contemporary look and feel.

Generally looks unclean - 28%

Having a messy or dirty home when you take your photos can make or break the sale of your home. Home buyers are looking for somewhere they can see themselves living, with plenty of potential and character. Any dirt or mess will immediately ruin that dream for them, so make sure your place is spick and span before taking any pictures. And if you have tenants, give them plenty of warning that you’ll be around to photograph the place. If necessary, you may need to ask them if they’d be happy to have a cleaner come round or make arrangements with them to move their furniture or personal belongings.

Order free flooring samples

The biggest turn-offs when putting in an offer on a property

Once people have been to see your property in person, they’ll have had the chance to take a good look around and pick up all the things that they might have missed in the photos, and get a much better idea of how the space looks and feels. But sometimes there are still elements that stop potential homebuyers from putting in that initial offer, which include:

  • Visible mould - 52%
  • Water stains from previous leaks on walls/ceilings - 46%
  • Not a lot of natural light showing - 35%
  • Rooms look small - 34%
  • Unmodernised kitchen - 30%
  • Unmodernised bathroom - 25%
  • Unkept, dirty or worn carpets - 22%


Visible mould was the biggest turn-off here, and it’s little wonder why – permanent mould is terrible for your health and for the building itself, so no home-owner wants to have to deal with it when they first move into a property. Water stains are another potential sign of more significant damage or lack of care, which is why it ranks so highly on all our lists. If rooms look small in person, this might be a problem that can be addressed by moving some furniture around, or by looking into removing items altogether. Carpets and flooring can easily be given a new lease of life – check out our care guides where we can help you do just that – and kitchens and bathrooms can quickly be modernised with some simple DIYs.

Order free samples

The biggest turn-offs for putting in a larger offer on a property

If viewers of your property are considering putting in an offer, there might be some features of your home that stop them from committing to a larger bid – these include:

  • Unmodernised kitchen - 48%
  • Visible mould - 46%
  • Unmodernised bathroom - 43%
  • Water stains from previous leaks on walls/ceilings - 43%
  • Unkept, dirty or worn carpets - 29%
  • Not a lot of natural light showing - 28%
  • Rooms look small - 28%

You can tackle the problem of both an unmodernised kitchen and unkept flooring in one fell swoop by upgrading your kitchen flooring – vinyl is a great water-resistant option that can look like tile, while luxury vinyl can elevate any space. Laminate is another great choices as it comes in many different shades and styles, and a new splash of paint will make your room look bigger and brighter!

How to get your home to sell quickly

In order for your home to sell as fast as possible, make sure you’re ticking off these items before you put it on the market:

  • Your home is tidy and clean before taking photos and holding viewings
  • Smaller spaces are free of clutter before taking photos and hosting viewings
  • All structural issues are dealt with by professionals before listing
  • Your home looks like it has been decorated in the last couple of years
  • Let in as much natural light as possible to show your home in its best light
  • Upgrade your flooring if it looks worn and tired


One of the quickest ways to make your home look more inviting and buyer friendly is to improve your flooring. That where Tapi can help! We have hundreds of carpets and smooth floors to suit every taste and budget that’ll transform your home.

If you want to speak to a flooring professional about how you can make your floors the selling point of your home, why not pop into your local Tapi store and speak to one of our floorologists? They’re experts, bursting with knowledge and are always happy to help – and we can always come to you too! Book a free home visit for our team to visit you and help you assess what can be done to help your home sell quicker. And while you’re here, browse our collections and grab some free samples for you to try out at home.


Survey of 1,500 Brits conducted by The Leadership Factor, commissioned by Tapi.

Order free flooring samples