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Sellers admit to ‘hiding’ property problems from buyers

A large proportion of sellers have admitted to hiding problematic parts of their property from potential buyers.

A survey of more than 1,000 UK homeowners who have previously sold a property, found that as many as 13% of respondents have purposely failed to show potential buyers a room in their house while conducting a viewing. 

Almost a fifth admitted to steering visitors away from a particular view such as a mobile phone mast.


The top reason for neglecting to fully preview their property was due to using the space for storage at the time of viewing.

Other reasons included the need for renovation, the fact it hadn’t been cleaned, because the interior design was outdated or unappealing and, mysteriously, because it was housing an embarrassing secret. 

The most common cover up was water damage or mould, followed by cracks in the wall which could indicate subsidence, nasty smells from, for example, pets or smokers, windows or doors that didn’t properly close and pest problems. 

Chris Hodgkinson, managing director of House Buyer Bureau, which conducted the research, said: “We’re probably all guilty of sweeping something under the rug in order to improve the appeal of our property during the selling process, but it seems as many as one in 10 would purposely steer a buyer clear of an entire room to avoid revealing what lies behind the door. 

“While we’re less concerned about the state of our outdoor space, even more of us would try to hide an eye-soar surrounding our property in case it makes a bad first impression. 

“What is worrying though, is the number who admitted to purposely trying to conceal an issue with the property itself in order to get a sale over the line.”


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