‘Can put people off’: Common mistakes that could reduce property value – ‘easy to rectify’

Phil Spencer's advice on making your house presentable to sell

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There has been a property boom across the country in recent years. Demand for homes across the UK is still holding strong which is keeping property prices on the up. With this in mind, homeowners might be tempted to put their homes on the market to achieve the best prices possible.

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Adam Male, chief revenue officer at online lettings agent Mashroom, has shared six of the most common mistakes homeowners do to their properties that could be affecting the value and what can be done to fix them.

From making quick fixes to more permanent investments, here are Adam’s tips:

An untidy home

A cluttered home that looks untidy, especially when it’s being valued by an estate agent, can have an impact on the overall value of the property.

Clutter and untidiness can make rooms appear smaller than they are and make a home appear to be unhygienic when it’s likely not.

Home buyers want to imagine themselves living in your property.

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Adam explained that an untidy home could “put people off buying” a property or see them make a lower offer than the asking price.

But he said that this could be “easily rectified.”

He said: “Consider the best rooms in your home to store unwanted clutter, such as cellars, garages, store cupboards and lofts – this will also show prospective buyers the storage areas of the home to their full potential too.

“Think about investing in stackable storage boxes and boxes that can be hidden under beds, which are often cheap and widely available for those on a budget.

“It’s also worth considering renting a storage unit, ideal for those who have lots of household items and can be rented short and long term for as little as £10 per month.”

Unkempt outdoor space

An overgrown garden could have an “effect on the value of your property”, according to Adam.

Even for those who don’t have a green thumb, it’s important to keep gardens tidy as otherwise it can prevent prospective buyers from seeing the potential of the exterior of a property.

Mowing the grass and removing any weeds can deliver “instant results” in a garden.

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Fences and gates can be painted to make them look fresh and smart.

Replace untidy lawns with gravel or loose chippings to improve the exterior of a property.

This is a “relatively inexpensive way” of improving the appearance of the front which will provide prospective buyers with a good first impression.

Kitchen worktops and doors

The kitchen is the heart of the home and is one of the most important rooms in the house.

A good kitchen can be a good selling point for many properties.

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Unsightly kitchen worktops and doors can put buyers off as it will cost them money to replace them.

They can even have an effect on the overall value if major work needs to take place.

Refreshing a kitchen doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

Adam said: “There are companies who will create new and reconditioned kitchen doors and fit new worktops which are made to measure and will suit most budgets, significantly reducing the cost of replacing the whole kitchen whilst giving it a new lease of life.

“For homeowners looking to spend less, consider painting or respraying the kitchen doors yourself, making sure that you choose a good quality paint to cover the existing colour.

“Other quick fixes include painting the walls a fresh new colour and fitting new door handles to give doors a makeover.

“Making sure that flooring tiles and wood flooring are fitted correctly, with no gaps is also another low cost job that will add a quality feel to your kitchen.”

Heating appliances

An inefficient heating system will not only have an effect on the value of a property but on energy bills too.

Energy efficient homes are more desirable as the cost of energy bills will be reduced.

Homeowners should consider fitting smart technology which could improve the value of the property.

Adam said: “Smart thermostats are devices that decrease energy bills through remote scheduling and management that are easy to set up.

“Another great device is a smart water leak sensor, which creates alerts as soon as it detects even the smallest of leaks.

“This will save you on things like plumbing costs while saving you and neighbours the hassle of dripping ceilings.”

Outdated bathrooms

Like a kitchen, a bathroom is a room that can undergo a lot of hard use and can easily be one of the oldest looking rooms in a property.

Dated bathroom suites, particularly those in garish colours like avocado, peach or yellow, can look old-fashioned.

Homeowners who have a budget should consider changing old or discoloured bathroom suites with new, modern ones.

Adam said: “Basic bath and shower trays can be picked up for as little as £120 and can work wonders with transforming the look of your bathroom, without spending a fortune.

“If any of your tiles are cracked or causing a leak, get them replaced.

“Cracked tiles can look shabby and if they’re letting in leaks, fix them now before it becomes a bigger problem. Make sure the grout is clean too, removing any black mould or unsightly stains.

“Lighting can also be a relatively low cost fix that will help lift a bathroom. Use LED white or natural coloured lights which will help simulate natural light and make the space a lot more usable and attractive.”

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