Top seven issues that devalue your home

By Sally Burton
Friday, 25th January 2019, 9:45 am
Updated Friday, 25th January 2019, 10:04 am

If you are one of the people considering putting your home on the market this spring, here are some key findings from property experts on what might negatively impact a property's value.

Over personalisation

When it comes to decorating your house, you should design it to your personal taste. However, if your taste is particularly colourful or bold, it might be worth redecorating before you market your home. Typically, modestly decorated interiors 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.

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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 in to. 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.

Bad presentation

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

Swimming pools

Although great 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 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 in good condition, then think about selling your home in the summer when your pool is looking its best.

Planning permission and building regulations

If you have had 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. Otherwise you may have to pay for them retrospectively before agreeing a sale.

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. Bushes and trees close to the windows may affect the light factor, and frosted glass windows or netted curtains can sometimes have the same effect.

Japanese Knotweed

The invasive plant, Japanese Knotweed, 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 see any in your garden, call a professional to excavate it as soon as possible.

Mark Bentley, president of NAEA Propetymark, 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 estate agents can advise on any small changes you may want to make before placing your home on the market.”