Back to the blogs list

Property sellers – avoid these pitfalls that could devalue your home by £50,000

When selling your home, it’s important to be aware of the potential issues that could put it at risk and, in turn, lose out on potential buyers.

This could well include easy fixes such as clutter, damp, or bad smells – but other elements like structural damage or asbestos are far beyond your control and could take weeks to rectify.

In fact, a recent study has unveiled subsidence, troublesome neighbours, and structural issues to be the biggest homebuyer turnoffs.

Although a real nuisance for homeowners, catching them early on and fixing them with the help of your estate agent can mitigate any problems cropping up when you come to sell.

Here at Ideal Locations, we take a closer look at the top turnoffs, the negative financial impact they can have on the value of a home, and how you could possibly avoid them.

What are the main property turnoffs for buyers?

In a list of 15 problem areas, subsidence was considered the top deterrent for people viewing a home.

Subsidence is when the ground beneath a property sinks, pulling the home’s foundations down with it. According to the study, subsidence can reduce the value of a home by an average of 20%, which equates to around £51,000 in the UK.

Second on the list is Japanese Knotweed, a destructive plant that can grow up to 10cm in a single day. Able to cause severe damage to the structural integrity of a property, the invasive plant can reduce the value of a home by 15% – a drop of just over £38,000.

If a property is suffering from poor upkeep or the garden has overgrown, it could reduce the value of a home by as much as 14% (or £36,000) on average.

Interestingly, buyers are far less inclined to pay top price for a home that is nearby new powerlines, mobile phone towers, or wind turbines, with the study revealing this could see an average of 13% (£33,000) wiped off in value.

Both nuisance neighbours and flood risks or water damage can reduce a property’s value by £25,500; lack of convenient parking can knock £18,000 off; and the unlucky number 13 can reduce the value of a home by around £15,000.

Structural issues (-£13,500), local power stations (-£12,700), damage or odours left by pets in the home (-£10,200), cluttered rooms (-£10,200), damp and mould (-£2,500), asbestos (-£2,500), and woodworm (-£1,300) can also have a negative impact on the value of your home.

What preventive action can sellers take?

Prevention is always better than cure. Unfortunately, though, some of these buyer turnoffs could be down to general wear and tear of the property and could be hard to avoid. Luckily, there are clear signs you can spot that can help to lessen the blow.

Tell-tale signs of subsidence, for instance, can include cracks where an extension joins the house, wallpaper crinkling at wall and ceiling joins, and any cracks that are thicker than 3mm.

And while spotting Japanese Knotweed can be a challenge, it’s important to keep a watchful eye during mid-summer and the early autumn. This is when reddish/purple shoots appear from the ground and asparagus-like ‘spears’ rapidly lengthen from bright pink ‘crown’ buds.

Identifying asbestos can be quite tricky, but a thorough survey will pinpoint exactly where it can be found. Meanwhile, woodworm can be detected by weak and damaged floorboards, tunnels in wood and bore dust.

The good news is some issues can be easily – and sometimes cheaply – fixed, a process that would be well worth the effort due to the value they can add to your home.

Therefore, ensure your property is in top condition, before you come to sell, as potential buyers will view your home and are likely to pick up even the smallest of issues.

To do this, you will need to work with an experienced, reputable estate agent – one that can provide you with expert advice on your property and get it sold for the best possible price.

As a top estate agent operating across Essex and East London, here at Ideal Locations we can help you to do just that. For more information on our current operations, please contact us today. We also offer a free online valuation to give you an estimate on how much your home could be worth on the current market.