Cancer Research UK & Sarah Beeny Launch New Campaign

Make the most of your homes, starting with decluttering and donating any good quality, unwanted items to the charity’s shops.

A NEW survey released today by Cancer Research UK has found that smoke stained walls are the number one turn off for potential house buyers.

The charity carried out the survey to mark the launch of its ‘Charity begins at home’ campaign on 1 July. The campaign, which is being fronted by property expert Sarah Beeny, is urging people to make the most of their homes, starting with decluttering and donating any good quality, unwanted items to the charity’s shops.

Sixty seven per cent of respondents said they would be put off by smoked stained walls. This was followed by pet hair and smells (65 per cent), a neglected front door and exterior (62 per cent) and stained carpets (57 per cent).

Cluttered rooms were cited by over a third (34 per cent) of respondents, with lots of trinkets or ornaments (71 per cent), kids’ toys scattered about (67 per cent), too much or too big furniture (62 per cent) and piles of books or DVDs (60 per cent) the top contributors to what respondents thought can make a house look cluttered.

On the flip side, things that would make a good impression on potential house buyers included good natural light or lighting fixtures (74 per cent), a well maintained garden (72 per cent) and well maintained front door and exterior (72 per cent).

When asked what was the worst thing they have ever seen in a house they were viewing, respondents’ answers included:

  • A car engine being stripped in the living room
  • Cat excrement on the bed
  • A dead bird in the toilet
  • A shrine to Elvis Presley
  • A tree growing in the corner of a room
  • A man having a bath
  • A blow up doll
  • False teeth in a jar on the kitchen table
  • A naked portrait of the owners
  • A coffin laid out in a room with the deceased in it

Property guru and founder of Sarah Beeny said: “As a property expert I’ve seen all sorts and in particular just how much difference easily fixable problems like clutter can make to a house’s appeal to potential buyers. Decluttering your house is a great thing to do not only if you are thinking of selling but at any time – not only will it free up space and make your home look better, it can also help raise vital funds for Cancer Research UK’s work to beat cancer.”

Simon Ledsham, Cancer Research UK’s trading director, said: “This is a light-hearted story to highlight the very serious message that Cancer Research UK’s shops are in desperate need of stock donations.

“Cancer survival rates have doubled in the past 30 years and Cancer Research UK has been at the heart of that progress. Our work is entirely funded by the public, yet without items to sell, our shops can’t raise any money.** So please – declutter your home and donate to your local Cancer Research UK shop.**”