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The main factors that could lead to thousands being knocked off your property value
15th July 2022

Following RICS’ survey that forecasted a house price slow between now and September, property expert, Gemma Caulfield, our senior valuer has outlined the main factors that put buyers off a home and how to fix them.

The seven factors can lead to thousands being knocked off a property value, meaning her advice could counteract a potential drop in the market value of a home.

1. Doing work without Building Control approval or without certificates e.g. electrical work

"If you've altered your house, carried out an extension or done electrical work without getting certificates or Building Control approval, this can significantly affect the value of your property and can put your sale at risk.

“The easiest, cheapest and most common way of dealing with a lack of building regulations approval (in most cases) is by purchasing an indemnity insurance policy. An indemnity policy will cover the new owner of the property against costs and losses as the result of the local authority carrying out enforcement action."

2. Disputes with neighbours

"Any anti-social behaviour by neighbours or ongoing disputes will need to be documented. This includes shouting or excessive noise, using abusive or rude language, bullying or threatening behaviour and littering or dumping rubbish.

"Disputes that have material importance to the buyer, such as parking, boundary lines or shared access, must also be reported. As an ongoing neighbour dispute can affect your home's saleability, you should try to resolve any disputes before you put your property on the market. Using third party mediation may help both parties to seek an agreement. Although there is a cost involved in using mediation, it is less expensive than what it might knock off the value of your home.”

3. Mould/damp

"Damp homes can seriously put off buyers and knock value off your home. Sometimes, the damp can be caused by a structural issue. However, condensation is actually the most common cause of dampness or black mould in the UK.

"Many people assume these are caused by more severe issues, when in fact some simple lifestyle changes could quickly eradicate damp problems and get the home in great condition for a sale. Ensure you're using extractor fans, buy a dehumidifier and avoid drying clothes indoors. Open your windows regularly and wipe your walls down."

4. No phone signal/no connectivity

"Poor mobile coverage can put off a lot of buyers, especially if they turn up to the viewing and can't take calls. It's an inconvenience that may put some professionals off. However, this can be an easy fix. Some mobile phone carriers will offer cheap solutions that you can have installed."

5. Japanese Knotweed

"Japanese Knotweed can put the structure of your home at risk. There are specialists you can employ to remove it. If your neighbours have it too, they will need it removed too, or it will come back. As a guide, a typical semi-detached property with an infestation in the rear garden in several places could cost between £3,000 and £5,000 for a full treatment. Japanese Knotweed removals should always come complete with a 10-year insurance backed guarantee and indemnity policy that ensures that the treatment will be completed."

6. Poor maintenance/damage

"Buyers can be put off by homes that don't seem well maintained or there is damage. E.g. doors hanging off, light fixtures on their last legs, a dirty oven or kitchen cabinets that are wonky. Take a tour around your home, pretend you're seeing it for the first time and write a list of anything you've been putting off that would be simple enough to fix."

7. Poor presentation

"If your home is untidy, cluttered, or your garden overgrown, give it a major overhaul. Tidying and cleaning cost next to nothing but it majorly affects desirability, and people will offer less if a property is messy or unloved."

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