for People with a Passion for Period Property

Top 10 factors which can put somebody off buying your period property

If you're looking to sell your period property you need to be aware of things that might put a lot of potential purchasers off your property. These factors along with damp, alterations without listed building consent and the modernisation of period interiors affect how potential buyers perceive your home. Fortunately, the majority of the factors shown below can be changed or influenced by you with a little elbow grease.

According to the Woolwich the top ten factors, which cost homeowners a forecast £3bn pa in lost property sales, are:


The Woolwich survey found that 28% of house buyers were put off by nicotine-stained walls, ceilings and doors and the smell of stale smoke. The bank estimates that the effects of smoke could cut £16,000 off the asking price of your home unless some basic cleaning and decorating is done to rectify the damage. But, the lure of an open fire is an absolute winner. Therefore if you have an attractive period fireplace ensure it is in working order, and light it up, to show potential purchasers the warm atmosphere it helps to create.


Look at any magazine covering period properties and you will be amazed how many interior shots include the family pet sleeping happily on an old armchair on the front cover. But, beware, some 20% of people say animal smells and/or fur on floors, carpets and furniture influences their opinion on whether to purchase a property. Therefore, unless you know the viewers are avid pet lovers, ensure your pet/s are either kenneled for the day or housed in their own run in the garden. This backed up by a good clean-up, which is much easier with stone or wooden floors, ensures your property is received in a positive manner.

For those of you with exterior kenneling for dogs. Remember it can be used as a positive sales feature because many people moving into rural areas who are not keen on dogs can't resist the 'Good Life' temptation of owning chickens.

Stone cladding

In the 70s many terraced Victorian and Edwardian properties had stone cladding applied to their exteriors to hide decaying bricks. This fad has now faded, but many property owners are faced with the difficult process of removing the cladding without causing further damage to the walls of their properties. Individuals opting to go down the stone cladding route may have felt they were creating the rustic charm associated with cottages in the Cotswolds or the grandeur of Georgian townhouses in Bath. Unfortunately, 11% of people believe it makes a property look an eyesore and simply reject it as bad taste. Careful removal of the cladding and possibly a lime render may be a solution if the brickwork is badly damaged.

Dirty fridge or Aga

You may not have time to clean your kitchen appliances but those mouldy pieces of pizza at the back of the fridge or a grease-stained Aga are likely to lead to revulsion amongst 10% viewers. Remember, viewers use such visual cues as clues to how you have treated your home and the quality of any restoration work upon it.

70s-style Artex ceiling or ceiling tiles

Artex and polystyrene tiles have a lot to answer for. Apart from being a time consuming process to remove they may hide other problems such as cracked plaster or a ceiling which has become detached from its laths. People buying period properties, particularly first time buyers, are always being alerted to the unknown by their mortgage lenders, surveyors and relatives therefore overhauling your ceilings may be advisable as 7% of people find such materials a genuine turn-off.

Avocado bathroom suite

Again, these were fashionable, but as with Artex ceilings, a bit of investment could sway the 5% of people who don't like their bathroom in a shade of green. But, bare in mind, a wrong bathroom suite may influence buyers at the bottom end of the market, but for somebody who is planning to spend £100,000 restoring a rectory it would not even register on their radar of key jobs to be undertaken.

70s-style carpets

Fortunately, with the present popularity of exposing wooden floorboards 70s carpets may actually have benefited prospective purchasers by keeping floorboards untouched and out of harms way. But, 4% of people see such carpets in a negative light so prey you have original Victorian or even older, wider planked floorboards beneath them and prepare yourself for people secretly trying to turn the carpet up to get a sight of what lays beneath them. For those of you with stone or wooden floors the use of oriental carpets is still a hard to act to beat.

Garden gnome/ugly garden features

Garden gnomes and a mound of earth and rock with water cascading down it trying to mimic the hanging gardens of Babylon will not impress 3% of viewers. Remember, potential purchaser may actually be put-off by what they believe your neighbours may think of you if it fails to fit into what they perceive as being in good taste.

Modern fireplaces

Another potential eyesore, with 3% saying it would keep their wallets in their pockets. Before, you tear out that cast iron Victorian fireplace or brick-up a large inglenook remember original and well restored period fireplaces are an asset which will help you sell your home. Replacing any such fireplace with a gas effect fireplace with pine surround could be suicidal.

Chintzy décor

2% of people it appears do not like heavily floral patterned wallpapers. But, hold on a minute, there's no need to rush for your scraper just yet. Remember it's all about context. In the large spacious rooms of some Georgian properties the use of patterned wallpapers and richly coloured decoration was the norm in high society. But, the use of simple finishes and basic colour schemes were all the rage due to financial necessity in smaller workers cottages. Decorate your period home in a way, which suits its architecture and former use. People have visual expectations of properties' interiors and trying to match these is important in ensuring your impressive facade its not let down by an unsympathetic interior scheme.

Disclaimer: Although we have taken great care to ensure that our information and advice is correct, we cannot accept any responsibility for any loss or damage incurred arising from the use of the information published on our web site. Before committing yourself to any expenditure, you are advised to check any details and costs beforehand.