The 10 Things That Will Drive Down the Price of Your Property
28th March 2011
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When you list your property for sale you often think about the things that you can do to improve your property.  But have you thought of the things that could actually negatively effect your property sale.  Here are some things to think about and correct before offering your property for sale.

1. Slapdash DIY
If you have tried your hand at some DIY with less than professional results it may make buyers wary about offering for your property.  If cosmetic faults are visible then may also wonder what other major repairs have been done less than professionally.  At best, they may offer a lower price and at worse they will not offer at all.

The Solution:  Get a professional in to fix any glaring faults.

2. Out-of-date bathroom
Old bathroom suites particularly those that are avocado, peach, pink or burgundy really turn buyers off.   Carpeting in bathrooms also turns the majority of buyers off.

Solution:  Install a white bathroom suite and/or tile, laminate or even vinyl instead of carpet.

3. Dingy and out-of-date kitchens
Although bathrooms that are out of date might affect your house price more, a badly designed kitchen won’t make a great impression either. Lino flooring is old-fashioned, as are brightly-coloured Formica work surfaces and cupboard doors.  Like bathroom carpeting, a bit of carpet in the kitchen is also a no-no.  Replace it if possible.

Solution:  If your cupboard carcasses are in an acceptable state, just replace the doors and fit new handles.   Adding a new worktops is also fairly inexpensive.

4. Bad smells
Whether the smell of pets or smoking, a bad smell can turn the buyer’s stomach as well as affect their opinion of a property.  If you are used to living with the smell of pets or smoke, you may not even realise that it smells. 

Solution:  Air out your property fully.  Ban smoking from the property until the house is sold.  If you do have pets, and they are used to being in an outside kennel then put them outside during viewings.  Make sure that you vacuum and clean thoroughly before every viewing. 

One of the smells that most attracts buyers is the smell of baking, particularly bread.  But your don’t need to be world class baker to achieve that smell – simply buy a part-baked baguette from the grocery store and pop it in the oven before a viewing and let the smell perfume the air with homey-ness.

5. Noisy neighbours
Noisy neighbours can bring down the value of your home. Of course, the buyers may not find out until they’ve already moved in. However, if you’ve had a serious dispute with a neighbour, you are legally obligated to inform potential buyers.

Solution:  If your neighbours do regularly pollute the sound waves have a quiet word with them about viewings and politely ask if they could keep things down while the viewing is going on.  Alternatively, schedule viewings for times when your neighbours are usually out.

6. Living on a flood plain
This aspect is not easy to overcome and you may have to reconcile yourself to lower offers.  Local authority searches undertaken by the buyers soliticor will show whether your property is situated in an area prone to flooding.

Solution:  If you’ve taken steps to try and prevent flooding, make sure you inform potential buyers as this should help to keep offers at the level you want, but be prepared that lower offers are just part of the package.

7. Shabby exterior
The outside of your property informs a potential buyer’s first impression so tidy things up. 

Solution:  Paint your front door or replace it all together. Clean the windows and address any major cracks in the brick work.

Tidy up and de-weed the front (and back) garden and have some colourful plants out the front.

If you have unsightly wheelie bins or recycling, there are many options to hide those.  Read this article to avoid a rubbish first impression

8. Building developments
There is little you can do if a development that will change your property’s value is given the go-ahead.

Solution:  You can raise objections and get your neighbours in on the protest, but be warned planning permission may be given anyway.

If the proposed changes are likely to reduce the value of your home, you need to be upfront to prospective buyers to gain their trust. If you’re seen to be hiding things, this is likely to put buyers off even further.

9. High crime rates
With the Home Offices new crime mapping online tool, it is now easier for buyers to see if crime is a problem in your area.  However, as you can see from this article, other websites like Up My Street have long offered such information to buyers. 

Solution:  If you are selling in a high crime rate area, try fitting solid, approved locks on doors and windows as well as installing an alarm to reassure buyers. It’s also well worth setting up a Neighbourhood Watch scheme if there isn’t already one in your area.

10. A bad past
As silly as it may seem to some, if there are rumours of ghosts or there has been a death or serious crime in your property and potential buyers find out about this, they may be a little reluctant to buy your home at the asking price, or even buy it at all!

Solution:  Be honest about these matters to potential buyers. And of course, if you’ve never seen a ghost rattling a chain in your property make sure to tell them that too. 

If you would like advice on how to improve the value of your home – what improvements are worthwhile and which would be a waste, take advantage of the expertise of our Sales team by calling 0208 840 6666 or e-mail us at  If you would like to know the current value of your home, request your free valuation online here

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