The issues that can reduce the value of your home

Posted on Monday, August 14, 2023

The latest analysis from House Buyer Bureau looks at how you can maximize the price you achieve when selling your home by avoiding some of the most common homebuyer deterrents.

"First impressions and emotional decisions are huge parts of buying a house, so make sure buyers aren’t put off by the small things"

House Buyer Bureau analysed the percentage impact that certain issues could have on the asking price you achieve and what this equates to in pounds and pence on the current UK house price of £285,861.

Having overgrown gardens could knock off 14% of a home’s value, that’s a loss of a huge £40,306, more than any of the other issues covered in the study.

Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised, as having green space is a major selling point for buyers, and its importance was underlined during the dark times of the pandemic.

In the case of the front garden, it’s also likely to represent the first impression a visitor gets of a home.

Another factor is having an untidy, messy or dirty house, which affects the value by more than £11,000, or -4%. Remember, choosing a property and making an offer is a very emotional choice, so don’t get in the way of that. When we picture our dream home we don’t see it covered in dust and/or nick-nacks.

Similarly, people don’t want to spend their first few months in their new property masking the smell of a pet, so beware of showing evidence of a pet, particularly damage caused by them. That alone can cut over £11,000 from a property’s value, or -3.9%.

Other factors

Make sure to clean up your bathroom or kitchen before people visit. We’ve all had the experience of visiting a lovely restaurant and being surprised at the poor quality of toilets and making that same mistake as a home seller could see you almost £10,000 out of pocket.

Show your property in its best light. Indeed, having a dimly lit home can affect the value by 3.1%, or nearly £9,000. Unless you have something to hide in terms of a property’s appearance, make sure to keep it properly illuminated.

If you like old-style decor remember it’s not for everyone, and consider giving things a lick of paint before you begin viewings. Having a stylistically outdated home can also knock off nearly £9,000, or -3.1%, so it’s not worth being stubborn over.

Considering the cost of energy in the current climate it’s never been more imperative to have double glazing, which adds £8,500 or 3.00% to a home’s value. Broken or outdated windows meanwhile give a very negative impression and should be replaced as a priority before you look to make a sale. Failing to do so could see buyers knock you for the cost of the upgrade.

Finally, something as small as having a worn-out front door can put people off, especially as it’s another case of being an important first impression. Having a new front door can actually add £4,000 to a home’s value, or in contrast, a shabby front door can knock off -1.6%, so it’s well worth sorting as it can effectively pay for itself.

Managing Director of House Buyer Bureau, Chris Hodgkinson, commented: “It’s surprising how many seemingly minor features can detract from a home’s value, like having a messy garden or failing to clean up the kitchen.

“Given the huge sums of money involved, there’s little excuse not to get any such issues sorted before potential buyers come to visit.

“First impressions and emotional decisions are huge parts of buying a house, so make sure buyers aren’t put off by the small things.

“The current environment of rising interest rates means we’re no longer in a sellers’ market, so you need to pull out all the stops to achieve your target price when marketing homes today.”

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