Everyone has their own idea on what their dream home should be like. While you’re not expected to fit everyone’s taste and needs, you can definitely avoid some of these biggest turn-offs for buyers and get your home sold in no time.

 

1) Clutter

Clutter is a killer. They’re not just distracting for potential buyers, having too much stuff around also creates the impression that there is a lack of adequate storage. Plus, clutter makes your home look small, dirty and downright unappealing.

Your home will look a lot more organised if you pack away any ornaments and trinkets that usually sit on shelves, and would-be buyers would have a much easier time picturing their own things in situ.

 

2) Personalised Decor

It’s pretty obvious why home décor could have an influence on buyer interest - one man's meat is another man's poison. Extreme and unusual décor tend to discourage potential buyers, as they may not be able to picture themselves living in the home.

For instance, you might think it’s cool and trendy to paint your kitchen walls and bar countertops in bright orange, but the next buyer might just dismiss it as a design disaster from the 1970s.

Which is why, you might want to play it conservative when it comes to home décor. Instead of loud colours, choose neutral designs, styles and shades that are considered “classic” such as beiges, greys and off-whites. These colours have a timeless effect and form a perfect backdrop for formal furnishings, ornaments and colourful artwork, and tend to have a broader, universal appeal.

You can still incorporate “trend colours” by using them in spurts, as they can co-exist beautifully with classic ones. Just be careful so that the colour-of-the-month isn’t the one that dominates and sets the tone for the room.

 

3) Noise

A study by EdgeProp showed that the opening of the Downtown Line 3 stations last year provided a boost to the prices of nearby properties. While many aspiring homeowners would pay a premium to live within walking distance to the nearest MRT station, sometimes, being too close to one can be a curse rather than a blessing.

For instance, if you live close enough to listen to “doors closing, please stand behind the yellow line” all day, every day, don’t be surprised if a potential buyer opts to pay more to live one block behind instead.

If your home is affected by noise pollution, double or triple glazing could be an effective solution.

 

4) Your Neighbours

Unfortunately, messy or filthy neighbours can make your home an undesirable location to live in. If your corridor is littered with stacks of yellowed newspaper, cardboard or shoes spilling out of their racks, chances are, buyers would push your home all the way to the bottom of their to-buy list or completely shun it. Even worse if it reeks and conditions are unhygienic, as you can bet that pests like roaches and vermin aren’t very far away…

Other concerns include rude and noisy neighbours, or those who may have run into financial problems and are being harassed by debt collectors (especially unlicensed ones).

For buyers, it is always good practice to go for separate viewings during different times of the day and at different days of the week to get a good overview of their potential neighbours.

 

5) The Size of Your Home

Bigger isn’t always better when it comes to buyer demand. According to findings from the EdgeProp-Knight Frank Homebuyers’ Sentiment Survey, two- and three-bedder units are the most preferred unit types for prospective buyers.

The survey, conducted in 4Q2017, found that 51.9% and 47.5% of the 611 respondents involved showed a strong preference for two- and three-bedroom units respectively. Meanwhile, one-, four- and five-bedroom units are favoured by 21.9%, 20.9% and 9.8% of respondents respectively, the survey found.

This larger demand for smaller homes among prospective buyers could be spurred by socio-economic factors, which include smaller-sized families and concerns surrounding affordability. Needless to say, larger demand for smaller-sized units will in turn, influence the resale value of such properties.

However, investing in a larger unit could prove to be more value-for-money in the long run. For instance, they tend to come with higher price discounts, owing to the lack of demand, and therefore have higher capital upside potential. Bigger homes, especially those with freehold tenure, will also become scarce as the market recalibrates to meet the new demand for smaller homes.

A property’s size should hence, be amongst the foremost considerations for a property investor when factoring in the potential rate of returns.