Almost half of UK adults have described a property viewing as “disgusting”-due to filthy carpets, dirty dishes in the sink and the smell of cats
The study of 2,000 adults also found clutter and mess are among the most off putting things when looking at a potential new home.
It also emerged baking bread, making fresh coffee, and hiding all evidence of pets are among the tricks of the trade landlords use to catch the eye of the potential 4.5 million households who rent through the private sector in the UK.
But the most popular ways to present a home in the most attractive light were also among the simplest - vacuum everything, ensure the house is tidy and declutter.
In fact, the average adult spends an average of 70 minutes cleaning and tidying a home before a viewing.
In a bid to call an end to less-than-perfect viewings, a campaign has launched showing Brits how to stage their home perfectly for wannabe renters and buyers.
Here to help
Online lettings portal Mashroom - which lets landlords and tenants upload video trailers of their property - has created a series to show people how to make the perfect first impression.
Over four bitesize episodes, interior designer Mo Vernon gives tips on how to stage your home and shoot the perfect showcase video in order to attract renters.
Mashroom commissioned the series after a survey of 2,000 UK adults revealed the horrors that turn them away from putting an offer in on a home.
The research also highlights the dangers of not putting together a good selection of photos or a video for people to view online.
Three quarters of those polled said it is important to have a good video of the property before they go to see it.
First impressions mean everything
Worryingly, 56 per cent admitted they had been put off a property before they've viewed it because of the pictures taken of the inside.
But 31 per cent would be happy to judge a property based only on a video viewing provided it gave a good impression of what the property is like.
The new series accompanying the research findings is a step-by-step guide on how to film your home looking amazing.
Episode 1 focuses on the principles championed by decluttering pioneer Marie Kondo, encouraging you to get rid of magazines, pick up rogue socks, plump the cushions and pack away the cereal boxes.
The second episode shines a beacon on lighting and how you should get to know what rooms look best at certain times of the day.
According to designer Mo, those which are north-facing will look best in the morning, whereas those facing south look great indulged in the evening light.
The cardinal sin of lighting is reaching for main lights - keep them off at all costs, and opt for ambient lamps to create a cosy atmosphere.
In the third episode, Mo explains the importance of composition and framing your video tour perfectly, making sure you get the most out of vertical and horizontal lines running through your home.
The final episode provides tips on how to put the zing into your video by showing off the best bits you love, like the kitchen or a deep tub, or the living room which is perfect for parties.
Watch the full series at https://mashroom.com/property-video-viewings
Mashroom CEO Stepan Dobrovolskiy said: "There’s a stigma that tenants aren’t ‘houseproud’, but this simply isn’t true - and we are able to reward them to make their house a home.
"Tenants will get a week’s worth of rent back if they do the viewings for the next people wanting to move in.
“We all know that first impressions matter, but in the rush of everyday life, properties are left in a less than presentable state.
“With millions of people renting and on the lookout for their new home, landlords need to up their game, so we encourage them and their tenants to watch this step by step series to showcase their property in the best way possible.
“At Mashroom you can help incentivise the outgoing tenants to do the viewings for the prospective tenants - we provide them with a week’s rent cashback if they conduct the viewings and secure your next tenant.
"That way viewings are more likely to be a success as they are going to be presented in the best light possible.
"Our research has revealed just how many landlords and sellers have fallen at the first hurdle by not presenting their property correctly for a viewing.
"While the average person spends more than an hour preparing the home, so many appear to be making such simple mistakes and potentially missing out on the perfect tenant."