What can Reduce the Value of a House?

The value of your home can be affected by broad economic trends, as well as factors specific to your property or area.  Of course, everyone wants to know the secret to getting a good deal on their home. But how do you know if you’re getting the best price when selling?

Many factors can affect the value of a home, so it’s important to be aware of them before placing your property on the market. So what are the most common things that can reduce the value of your house?

Kerb Appeal

First good impressions are vital – a well-presented home will attract buyers, but it’s the kerb appeal that will bring them in. If the front garden or walkway is messy, poorly maintained or looks unattractive, the value of your property will most certainly suffer. House buyers take a couple of seconds to decide whether they like a property or not – just by the visuals leading up to the front door.

Pesky Neighbours

Badly behaved neighbours have the potential to devalue your home by tens of thousands of pounds. In extreme cases, some homeowners say they have battled to sell their house because of their neighbours’ issues – their messy house exterior, being noisy, or negative behaviour. You are required by law to report any disputes with your neighbours to any potential buyers, which might complicate the process of selling your house.

Poorly performing schools

Some parents are willing to pay up to £52,000 more (on average) for a property to get their child into an “outstanding” Ofsted-rated primary or secondary school. So, if your neighbourhood school has a poor Ofsted rating, be aware that it may lower the value of your home. Unfortunately, this is something beyond your control.

A low Energy Efficiency Rating

Energy efficiency ratings have grown in importance since Energy Performance Certificates were introduced. If your house doesn’t make the grade, a savvy buyer will put down a reduced offer instead, as lack of insulation, draughty windows, and an old boiler will most certainly knock off value from your property. There is a definite correlation between a higher energy efficiency rating and a higher house price – up to 14% higher.

Pets in the home

We are a pet-loving nation, so this one really surprised us – buyers won’t always welcome signs of pets when viewing your property. In addition, concerns over cleanliness can reduce the value of a house by more than £11,000. So it’s a good idea to remove evidence of a pet when showing potential buyers around. If pets are evident, buyers will look for anything that may cost them to update or repair. Scratches, any damage from chewing, odours and carpet stains are all giveaways of pet damage.

Poor DIY Jobs

Most of us have relatively tight budgets when doing home renovations, so we do some DIY jobs ourselves to save money – but these DIY improvements must be done correctly. If a poorly done renovation is not corrected by the time you put your house on the market, you may see a dramatic plunge in your property valuation. If a buyer feels like they need to spend money on redoing your DIY job, they will most certainly put in a lower offer or even avoid the purchase altogether.

High crime statistics

Higher than average crime rates can affect local house values – and potential buyers tend to avoid these areas. Although there is not much you can do about crime in your neighbourhood, there are some ways to try and counteract crime, such as joining a local Neighbourhood Watch community.

According to Direct Line, nearly half of 2,000 polled house hunters say they would check crime reports before arranging a viewing – and further forty-seven per cent would not buy a house in an area with a high crime rate.

The overall aesthetic

Home decor is a form of individual expression, but it’s good to keep things reasonably neutral for potential buyers. For example, garish paint colour on the walls, clashing wallpaper and carpet patterns have been reported to reduce the value of a home. So, try to stick to neutrals and naturals.  If potential homeowners can’t imagine their furniture and own décor in the space, why would they consider putting an offer in?

So, if you’re looking to sell your home in today’s market, it pays to be aware of the many factors that can influence the property price. Some of the above points are difficult to control, like crime rates and poor performance at local schools, but some are easy to address and rectify – which can go a long way in getting your house sold – at a price that makes you happy.


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