Biggest turn-offs for buyers unveiled

Monday 2nd September 2013

Up to 22% could be wiped off the value of your home if you have party-loving neighbours who have noisy sex, according to fresh research.

A survey conducted by haart estate agent reveals that 54% of house hunters are unwilling to live next door to a party house and 43% would not put up with neighbours having loud sexual intercourse most nights – even if they were offered a significant discount on the purchase price to compensate. Other noise pollutants considered far less offensive to potential buyers include train lines (32%) and motorway traffic (31%).

Only a third (32%) of homebuyers are put off by commuter train lines, and even constant animal noises are less of a nuisance, with just 33% unwilling to put up with dogs barking or cockerels crowing. At the bottom of the list of nuisance noises are motorbikes or diesel van start-ups immediately out the front of the house every morning – with only 26% saying they wouldn’t move in to this type of property.

Women are more concerned by troublesome neighbours than men, with nearly two thirds (58%) of female respondents opposed to living next to a party house (compared to 46% of men). The older generation are also particularly apprehensive, with 74% of those aged 65 and over unwilling to put up with party animals next door.

Young adults aged 16-25 proved to be the least cautious, with 17% happy to live next door to neighbours with a steamy love life most nights with no compensation required whatsoever (compared to 0% of those 65 and over).

Aside from those who would not move in to these properties for any amount of compensation whatsoever, the remaining would demand a substantial discount, with the highest reduction required to put up with neighbours having regular parties, where people would want an average of 22% off the cost of the property. The following table highlights this:

Average price reduction demanded for noise pollution

Noise pollution

Average discount demanded

Regular (at least once a week) neighbour parties featuring blaring music and/or noisy guests


Close proximity to busy airport (i.e. under a low flight path of commercial and/military)


Being adjacent to a very busy main road or motorway

19 %

Commuter mainline trains running regularly at back of property


Frequent loud DIY involving tools such as drills, chainsaws and sanders


Loud sexual intercourse most nights


Daily barking dogs or other animals, such as crowing cockerels


Noisy motorbikes or diesel van start-ups immediately out front every morning


Paul Smith, CEO of haart estate agent, commented: “We Brits are renowned for our prudent behaviour, and this survey highlights just how significant this mind-set is when it comes to buying a home. It is usually quite simple to scope out whether a property is affected by noise from nearby traffic, train lines or motorways, however, it’s not so easy to spot the livelier neighbours in just a handful of visits.

“Homebuyers should make sure they check out a property at different times of day and week if possible and – if you can brush the British bashfulness aside – speak to the neighbours and get their view of the street and area before you decide to buy.”

Homeowners should make themselves scarce during a showing

An additional survey by Move with Us suggests that homehunters should vacate their property during viewings so as to avoid deterring potential buyers during viewings.

Over 100 independent estate agents were asked if potential buyers prefer the owner to be present during the viewing and 60% of agents replied ‘no’.

The study also shows that 10% of potential buyers were actually deterred by the existing owner being present during viewings. Other most off putting factors to potential buyers are cited as smoking and other bad smells in addition to a messy property.

Robin King, Director at Move with Us, said: “Although the homeowner is the person who really knows the property best, potential buyers can often feel uncomfortable in their presence as they are unable to freely view the property and ask whatever questions they like. This can prohibit the potential buyer’s ability to fully explore and evaluate the property and decide whether it is their ideal home.

“Psychologically, it’s also important for a potential buyer to feel comfortable as soon as they walk through the door, picturing the property as their new home. Indeed, for most people, this illusion can be broken if the existing owner is present. Furthermore, if there’s any tension between the existing owner and buyer, the feelings of negativity can be associated with the property, actively putting off the potential buyer.

“Whilst we may all think we’re great at selling our own homes, owners can comfortably step aside, letting their estate agent do what they do best – sell houses!”


comments powered by Disqus
Premium Articles
Sign up
Live Chat