‘Major turn-offs’: House issues that can devalue your property by 20% – how to avoid

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Homeowners selling their property obviously want to get the best price possible for it. While there are some house features which can boost property value, there are others which have the opposite effect. To help homeowners out, a property expert at Sell House Fast has shared several issues  that can reduce the value of your house, so you can prevent losing value.

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So what devalues a house?

A messy exterior

Kerb appeal is one of the most important things when it comes to selling your home fast. 

Failing to give your home that “kerb appeal”, potential buyers may not be interested to book a viewing and walk through the door.

According to a survey by Barclays Mortgages house hunters take just 10 seconds to decide whether they like a property from looking at its exterior facade. 

Interestingly, the research found that 44 percent of people said they would try to knock between 10 percent and 20 percent off a property’s asking price if it looked unappealing from the outside.

As a result, property expert at Sell House Fast, Tamir Davis, suggested: “It is a good idea to tidy up your home’s exterior to make sure it’s looking its best.

“This may include adding a fresh lick of paint, adding a potted plant or hanging basket, mowing the lawn, washing any windows and removing bins from the front of your home.”

Over renovation and personalisation 

Contrary to popular belief, there are several house renovations that could reduce house value without realising. 

The expert said: “There is such a thing as over-improving your property and carrying out the wrong type of ‘improvements’ can be detrimental to your home and will inevitably deter potential buyers.”

As a result, before homeowners go ahead and make any changes to their property, it is a good idea to see what increases property value, rather than decreases it. 

Tamir cautioned: “If you want to make any changes to your property, it’s a good idea to keep it simple and don’t over-extend or over-personalise, as these can be major turn-offs for potential buyers.”

For instance, some changes which can be problematic can be turning a double bedroom into two single bedrooms, or adding AstroTurf to the lawn.

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A low efficiency rating

Energy efficiency ratings have significantly grown in importance for buyers since Energy Performance Certificates were introduced. 

From April 2018, it is deemed illegal to rent a property with a poor energy efficiency rating (any less than an “E” rating).

Even though it won’t impact those buying a home, it can put off any buyers who are looking to buy and rent out the property. 

Thus, potential buyers may decide to put down a reduced offer instead, as some buyers may realise the lack of energy efficiency as money lost in higher energy bills once they’ve moved in.

According to Money Supermarket, there is a correlation between a stronger energy efficiency rating and a higher house price. 

The higher the rating is, the property value can increase by as much as 14 percent.

Sellers can improve their property’s energy efficiency rating by:

  • Installing insulation in your property
  • Add lagging jackets to your water pipes
  • Replace bulbs to energy-saving bulbs
  • Upgrade to a more energy efficient boiler
  • Review your EPC for some specific steps for your property

Too much clutter

When it comes to putting your home on the market, it is a good idea to declutter and rearrange your rooms to make the most of the space. 

The property pro said: “The key is to make the illusion of a bigger room, without having to spend any extra money. 

“If your home is overcrowded with furniture and/or clutter, it is a good idea to have a clear out, or at least put some items into a self-storage unit for safe-keeping whilst you are marketing the property.”

Poor decor choices can often be overlooked by potential homeowners, but if they can’t imagine themselves living there with their family and own furniture, why would they consider putting an offer in?

Any outstanding home issues

Before selling a home, it is a good idea to get a survey done on your home to find out whether there are any issues that may need to be rectified before selling. 

By doing this before your home goes on the market, you won’t have any nasty surprises from your buyer’s survey and there is less reason for buyers to put in an offer way under the asking price.

For instance, if there is evidence of subsidence on your property, or Japanese Knotweed growing in the garden (or a neighbours), this will need to be treated or clearly stated.

It can also massively impact the value of a home as this invasive plant can cause havoc to properties.

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