CLUTTER, an obvious lack of storage, pets and bad smells are the top turn-offs when buyers view a home, a new study has found.

With prospective buyers forming opinions within the first few seconds of walking through the front door, the survey from sofa and carpet specialist ScS looked at the top turn-offs for viewers.

It found that 41 per cent listed clutter and an obvious lack of places for storage as the biggest turn-off. Some 40 per cent pointed to pets, bad smells and a general mess around the property.

Some 36 per cent said that they would be put off by old or damaged carpets, 35 per cent by an old or messy kitchen and 33 per cent if the property was affected by a nearby main road.

When it comes to the kind of attributes that attract buyers, some 57% said the right number of bedrooms was necessary, while 40 per cent said off-street parking. Then 32 per cent said it was a well-maintained garden, 31 per cent new windows and 30 per cent a new kitchen.

Over a third, some 39%, of males, were put off by pets, bad smells and general untidiness, whereas clutter or obvious lack of storage came up as the biggest bugbear for women.

Aaron Cambden, managing director at Fairview Estates, pointed out that buyers will look at the front of a house and immediately create perceptions of the entire home before viewing it.

“If your front door needs a fresh lick of paint, sort it out quickly. Those first impressions help buyers and estate agents understand how they should be viewing and evaluating a home from the outset,” he said.

"Colours are key in the home for helping to sell the property. Red is scientifically proven to raise heartbeats and evoke an energetic atmosphere."

He added: “If your property doesn’t offer a broad appeal and has too many quirky design features and impractical pieces throughout the home, it’s not going to be viewed positively.”