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7 things that can devalue your property when selling up

  1. 17 August 2023
  2. By Lisa Hall

As house prices struggle to rise, making sure your property is in the best position possible before you put it on the market can really make a difference to its value. We have some advice how you can increase your home’s worth without making expensive home improvements.

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What’s going on with UK house prices?

As of August 2023, according to banks and property websites, the consensus is that house prices are falling. Nationwide’s housing market data states that house prices shrunk by 3.8% in 2023, the biggest fall since 2009. Halifax found that prices dipped 0.3% from June, making it the fourth consecutive dip in 2023.

With this in mind, if you’re thinking of selling but don’t want your property undersold, there are relatively inexpensive actions you can take to avoid any unnecessary devaluing.

 

What small things can you do to maximise your property's value?

1. Declutter

Clutter in the home may feel small in comparison to other ways of protecting the value of your home. However, clearing out unwanted items can seriously affect the cost of your property. Research has shown that a cluttered home can knock an average of £9,290 off of the value of your home.

Decluttering the home, unless you’re having to deal with large objects, is a free way to retain and strengthen property value. You could even put items up for sale and make money from a declutter. And you can do all of this whilst keeping nearly £10k on the total of your property’s worth.

 

2. Personalisation

One of the most exciting parts of owning a property is being able to personalise it in your own way. Your parents or your landlord can no longer tell you how to decorate your living space. You can decide what’s allowed on the walls, if you can add those vibrant tiles, or bright rugs.

However, when you want to sell your home, your personalised space can sometimes work against you. By the time buyers view your home, taking down some photos, keepsakes, and fridge magnets can help them imagine it as their home, not yours.

Making the property look like the next owner’s fresh start as much as possible can support your home’s value and potentially speed up the sale.

3. Smoking

If you’re a smoker, it’s important to make sure you aren’t smoking inside your property. Smoking indoors can impact your home’s worth quite a bit for a few reasons.

The smoke from cigarettes can stain furniture, window frames, walls and floors. It can also leave an odour in the home that is hard to get rid of. 

When the property is being viewed, these stains and lingering smells can discourage potential buyers. 

4. Damp

Damp can be a difficult problem to fix, and can sometimes be very costly, depending on the extent of it. Treatments for damp can range from £2000 to £6000.

How much damp can devalue your home ranges from 10% to 53%, depending again on how severe it is. Considering how dramatically damp can affect your property’s value, it may be worth investing in the treatment so that you can make it back when the home is sold.

5. Japanese knotweed

Japanese knotweed is an invasive and extremely resilient plant that can be a real pest once it’s fully grown. Normal weed killing treatment won’t work. Professional herbicide treatments are the least expensive method but can take time and aren’t environmentally friendly due to their strong chemicals.

Physically removing it from the root is the best way to ensure its gone and stays gone. Products like Environet’s Resi DigOut can help with this and can save you a lot of money.

6. Kerb appeal

The first thing a potential buyer will see is what’s at your front door. How is it looking? Are there weeds or is there a disused car sat in the drive?

If your driveway or front garden is in disrepair, you’ll instantly turn off viewers, even if the inside of the property is perfect. Leaves, debris, and overgrown grass can be an easy DIY job and an easy way to protect the value of your home when you’re trying to sell it.

7. Energy efficiency

Where your house scores on an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) can dramatically affect the expense of living there. Because of this, it can also impact the price of the property when it’s up for sale.

If your home has a low EPC score, it is not energy efficient. The extra cost of using energy in the home can motivate buyers to lower their offers.

Find out how to improve your EPC score and add value to your home in a cost-efficient way here.

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