Selling a property is not an exact science. We all have different wants and needs and some people are less likely to be bothered by dodgy wallpaper and old-fashioned fittings than others. However, in a competitive marketplace, there are many things that can put buyers off and send them running for the hills. Worse still, things that put off potential buyers will in turn devalue the property. So what are the seven key things that are going to devalue your home?
1. The ‘Murder’ House
If something nasty happened in your property, even if it took place a century ago, you may have a problem selling it. Vendors are not legally obliged to disclose sinister goings on but you can pretty much guarantee that your buyers will find out if an axe murderer dispatched a few victims in the cellar or the place is haunted by spooky apparitions. If this is the case, be prepared to sell at a knockdown price; or simply knock it down.
2. Neighbours from Hell
Bad neighbours can make our lives a complete nightmare. In this instance vendors are required to disclose, so it is a good idea not to fall out with your neighbours before selling up, as buyers will probably be put off. If it is simply the fact that you don’t get along then fine, but if your neighbours are making everyone’s life a misery, try and sort the issue out first by making a formal complaint.
3. Serious Flooding Issues
There isn’t much you can do if you live on a flood plain other than take a big hit on the selling price.
4. Dodgy DIY
Illegal renovations and seriously bad DIY jobs are mad, bad and dangerous. If you choose to make improvements, do apply for planning permission or you could end up losing a buyer when you come to sell. Failing that, the buyer will expect a discount to cover the cost of remedying your bad decision.
5. High Crime Area
As with flooding, there isn’t a lot you can do about high crime levels in your area. After all, that’s probably why you are moving, right? What you can do is fit good quality locks, security grilles and a top of the range alarm system. That way, buyers might be more willing to make an offer near your asking price.
6. A Lack of Kerb Appeal
Don’t ignore the outside of the property. A seriously scruffy frontage will knock thousands of the asking price, despite the fact it’s really easy to fix. A few hanging baskets and a weed free pathway should do the trick.
7. Bad Taste
Hideous wallpaper or retro carpets can be replaced, but if your bad taste runs to pink concrete render or dreadful stone cladding, don’t expect potential buyers to fall in love with your property. Artex ceilings, swirling plaster patterns on the wall and cheap conservatories are also best avoided.
If you pay heed to the above tips, you should be able to achieve a decent asking price for your property.