NAEA: What are the top things that could devalue your home?

Posted on Tuesday, February 5, 2019

As well as arguably being one the most stressful things we will ever do, moving home is also one of the most exciting. The very first step of this process is getting your property valued.

Homeowners are generally up to speed on how to increase the value of their property before a sale. A lot of it is common sense and has been covered in hundreds of articles over the years.

However, there are several things which homeowners are sometimes surprised to hear can devalue their home. Here are some of the key things NAEA members have experienced as having a negative impact on a property's value.

1: Over personalisation

Of course, when it comes to decorating your house, you should design it to suit your personal taste. However, if your taste is particularly colourful or bold, it might be worth redecorating before you start to market your home. Typically, modestly decorated homes are most desirable, as homeowners can easily see how their own belongings would fit into the space, and how they could make it their home.

2: Condition of property

It might sound obvious, but the condition of the property is an important factor for buyers, particularly those who want a property that’s ready to move into without having to spend too much money doing it up. Issues such as evidence of damp, cracks in the walls, poor roof condition, an old boiler, and single-glazed windows can all have an impact on the value of your property and interest from buyers.

3: Bad presentation

If you’re looking to sell your home, make sure it’s presented in the best way possible. Everything should be clean, clutter tidied away, and any outstanding DIY jobs should be finished. If a home smells fresh and clean it has a much greater chance of selling quickly.

4: Swimming pools

Although great fun for a weekend or two in the summer, swimming pools in Britain aren’t usually considered an attractive house feature. They’re expensive to maintain, use up a lot of space, and the great British weather means you can’t use them very often – making them a lot more fuss than they’re worth and a turn-off to potential buyers. If your property has an outside swimming pool that is run down, you might want to consider filling it in. If it is great condition, then think about selling your home in the summer when your pool is up and running and looking its best.

5: Planning permission and building regulations

If you have had any works carried out while you’ve been living in the property, such as extensions or conversions, make sure you obtained appropriate planning permission and building regulations, and have access to these documents. If you haven’t got the right documents, you may find that you have to pay for them retrospectively before agreeing a sale.

6: Darkened rooms

If you have two identical properties, but one is bright and airy while the other is dark and dingy, nine times out of 10, the brighter one will be worth more because it’s more desirable. If you’ve planted lots of bushes and trees close to the windows, these may affect what buyers think, and frosted glass windows or netted curtains can also sometimes have the same effect.

7: Japanese Knotweed

The invasive plant, Japanese Knotweed, is more common than you think, and it can damage the foundations of your home and significantly devalue it if it’s at risk of subsidence as a result. If you think you can see any in your garden, call a professional to excavate is as soon as possible.

Mark Bentley, President, NAEA Propertymark said: “The house-moving process is undoubtedly stressful, so it’s important to know what could add value to your home and what might detract or even completely put off potential buyers. Sometimes the improvements and changes you have made might make the property less attractive to buyers, so before you start marketing your home, it’s worth taking stock and making any necessary alterations to give you the best chance of securing your asking price. You can ask friends or family for their honest opinions, or your estate agents can help advise on any small changes you may want to make before placing your home on the market.”

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