Spooky décor puts homebuyers off

Another Halloween may have come and gone, but that does not alter the fact that spooky décor or items in a home can put some potential homebuyers off, a new study shows.

Moving home on Friday the 13th and the house number “13” are some of the most superstitious reasons for spooking potential homebuyers, according to research by Move with Us, home of the largest network of independent estate agents in Britain.

Other concerns included not wanting to live next to a graveyard, black cats being seen during viewings or more commonly, questions about ghosts in the property.

The survey carried out among independent estate agents in the Move with Us Partner Network throughout the UK, found that potential homebuyers were also often ’spooked out’ by some of the more unusual decorating choices of sellers with the following noted as being particularly off-putting:

  • A coffin or dead person’s ashes in the house
  • Taxidermy – stuffed animals
  • A skeleton hung outside a bedroom window
  • Animal skulls in the garden
  • Shrunken heads or creepy china dolls
  • Rows of bottled specimens on shelves in a cellar
  • A vintage barber’s shop chair in the bedroom
  • Animals such as snakes and tarantulas

Robin King, Director at Move with Us commented: “As the dark nights draw in and the winter weather arrives, potential homebuyers might be put off properties they view during dark winter nights or in extreme weather conditions. This feeling can be heightened if there are spooky items in the house and they fail to get that warm and cosy feeling. But viewers should remain open minded and try not be put off by minor cosmetic details that could stand between them and their dream home. If they find the right property, they should remember that by the time they get their belongings in and change the decor to suit their individual taste it will quickly feel like home.”

The research highlights the need for sellers to bear in mind that extreme and creepy decorating choices deter scare potential buyers. It is much easier to sell a property when it is de-personalised and neutral so try to hide any more ‘unusual’ objects and clutter away.

King continued: “At this time of year, switching the fire on and making sure that the property is warm and welcoming can really sell the property, show it at its best and help you to achieve the best price. Creating a blank canvas will help viewers to imagine themselves living in the house and make the sale easier.”