House prices in Huddersfield are rising and there’s a shortage of properties on the market but sellers must still be savvy when it comes to presenting their homes for sale.

New research by Huddersfield-based estate agents Bramleys has revealed the biggest turn-offs for first-time buyers.

With first-time buyer purchase volumes rising by 35% in 2021, Bramleys surveyed 1,000 UK adults to determine the top 10 “red flags” for prospective buyers.

Unsurprisingly, nearly one in three (30%) would be put off from booking a viewing or putting an offer in on a home that has visible tobacco staining, and almost a quarter (24%) would not enquire about a house where there are signs of the owners being smokers (such as ashtrays being left out during a viewing). 

Other red flags included heavily-stained carpets (28%) and neighbours’ gardens being messy or scruffy, which would put off one in four (26%) homebuyers. In fact, a neighbour’s messy garden was more of a concern than an unkempt garden for potential buyers. 

The top 10 biggest viewing turn-offs for first-time buyers are: 

  1. Visible tobacco staining (30%)
  2. Heavily stained carpets (28%)
  3. Neighbour’s garden being messy or scruffy (26%)
  4. Signs of owners being smokers (24%)
  5. Unkempt gardens (23%)
  6. Visible signs of half-done DIY (22%)
  7. Old fashioned or outdated kitchen (21%)
  8. Visible dirt or dust (20%)
  9. Old fashioned or outdated bathroom (19%)
  10. Dirty windows (18%)

Although many first time buyers may be looking for a house in need of renovation as a more affordable option, visible signs of DIY (23%) was the top turn off for homebuyers aged between 25 and 34 years old. One in five in that age bracket also claimed that old fashioned decor, such as wallpaper or carpets, would put them off booking a viewing. 

Homebuyers over 55 were most put off by visible signs of the previous owners being smokers and one in five would be put off viewing a home that had signs of pets, like food bowls or cages, being left out. 

Paul Keighley, residential partner at Bramleys, said: “The housing market is as competitive as ever, for both buyers and sellers. It is vital that when you put your house on the market, you increase the kerb appeal as much as possible – by making sure your garden is clean and tidy and your home is as attractive as possible. 

“Although a complete renovation may not be possible before you start viewings, a fresh lick of paint, a deep clean and a declutter can do wonders for ensuring your house becomes a dream home for someone.” 

To find out more about the study go to