We all know what will add value to your home, but what will bring down its value? We asked Fine & Country agents across the UK and around the world for their advice on things to avoid when putting your house on the market. Some tips are obvious but others may surprise you.
The three “S’s”: Sights, sounds and smells.
“An unsightly outlook will impact on a property’s desirability. An unkempt garden, cluttered rooms or distant power lines. Thought should be given to clearing away “mess” or planting trees to improve an outlook.
“Road noise is an increasingly difficult issue. Particularly for houses close to busy main roads and motorways. Double glazing will be a key feature for accommodation, while outdoor space may benefit from the creation of enclosed areas and the introduction of “noisy” fountains, in order to mask the impact.
“Pets kept indoors can create unpleasant odours that may be unnoticed by owners who have become tolerant of the smell. Even well-presented homes may be culprits. Not only should pets be removed for viewings, but homes may need “deep cleaning” to neutralise smells from soft furnishings and floor coverings. While carpet fresheners have a role to play here, their effectiveness is often short lived. Smelly bins are also a complete no no,” explains Richard.
The colour of your home is one of the first things a buyer will notice. If it stands out in your neighborhood, it could destroy your home's selling price. The same goes for the interior. A bright-pink living room could discourage potential buyers, as they may not be able to picture themselves living here.
While many renovations add to a home's resale value, some renovations can actually make your home less attractive to potential buyers. For example, adding a pool, particularly in places with cooler climates, could turn off people who don't want to deal with the expensive upkeep.
Homeowners should be aware of what is going on in their neighborhood and how others' bad behaviors could affect their home's value.
"You have only a very few seconds to make an initial impression so a driveway or front path filled with weeds, a poorly painted or shabby front door will go a long way towards turning many buyers off. After that it is largely down to perception, if there is a single bed in the second bedroom of a two-bedroom house it will be perceived as having a small second bedroom or worse if there is a desk in the third bedroom it will be perceived as being too small for a third bed," says Mark.
“In our experience; on the French Riviera the things that bring down a home’s value most are: tired, out of date interiors, unfixed damp, cracks, paint and incomplete renovations. Buyers here are also very conscious of a homes energy performance and place a hefty price tag on replacing old windows with double glazing,” explains Chris.
“Lay out not being suitable to a typical buyer that would want to buy a property can be a problem. To ensure you market the house in the best way possible and achieve the best price you need to ensure you anticipate the response and feedback from the viewings at the point of you going live.
“Clutter: this is always a little bit difficult as if you have a bigger family that what your property typically should hold, you are always going to burst at the seams with items that cannot be sorted away to show a sense of clear space. So paying the extra £100 pcm (although people don’t want to do it) will ensure that you achieve the extra few thousand pounds and as close to asking price as possible. If the property looks cluttered it promotes that there isn’t enough storage and that’s where a buyer will then seek to offer lower than a vendors expectations.
“Any signs of property aging: damp patches that haven’t been painted clearly, cracking on plaster (although not serious) a buyer will see that as a problem. Uneven entrance paving stones, gardens simply not clipped back. All of this screams “spend money” which most people don’t want to do unless they are adding their own finishing touches or even doing an entire refurbishment,” says Adam.
6. Zoie Hawker, Fine & Country Algarve:
“Relating specifically to the home in the sun market which would apply to places like the Algarve, we would say that one of the most important factors is proper upkeep. Many of the traditional villa owners only use their properties for holidays and rent out to tourists for most of the season. Furniture becomes worn, painting and repairs are sometimes done on the cheap and this shows. These days the market has changed and most of the oversea buyers are looking to move here and live full time. The shoddy look of some holiday let properties is a major turn-off for today's new breed of buyers. And it can easily be remedied without spending much money then recovered with a better sale price,” says Zoie.
“People tend to over personalise their homes which is obvious when you live there, but when you are trying to sell you want to de-personalise while still showing a homely feel. In addition, clutter can make homes feels old and tired. First impressions such as weeds at the front or peeling paint can leave a bad taste for the rest of the viewing.
“Price and the correct agent is important because of the clientele they will bring and finally the presentation of ones home is also very important, explains Charles.
8. Polly Greenway, Fine & Country Weymouth:
1.Smell. Sometimes people miss the obvious and you can have a well-presented home but if it smells adversely of dogs, or smoking. It can immediately put people off and eventually that has a negative impact on price.
2.Dark painted walls. Oppressively decorated interiors can make a property look smaller and claustrophobic. Light and airy is always the mantra.
3. Immediate impressions, as always, have a lasting effect. Tired front doors, paths in need of weeding and gates not firmly on their hinges are an immediate invitation to a lower offer.
Richard Carpenter, Fine & Country St Neots:
“It depends on the buyer. I would suggest taking your ‘owner glasses’ off and trying to look objectively. Clutter and cleanliness can all be easily improved and a good agent will be able to advise. A good agent will know what needs to be done. It is also about asking your agent if a viewer went on to buy something else, if they did –why? Can you recreate it or amend your presentation? explains Richard."
1. An ugly property
2.The construction of the property – non-traditional (hard to fund)
3. Dated décor
4.Too big / too small
5. Running costs
6.No heating / not double glazed
7.The more work needed – the more the value drops
1. Lack of maintenance
3. An obvious problem with the roof (buyers assume that the roof will cost a lot to fix)
4. Fix it upper - draws bargain hunters
5. Bad photography by the agency – change the perception
6. Animal lover sells to people who have no pets and live in a crispy clean house
"There are a number of issues which can affect the value of a home. The first impression, ‘kerb appeal’ is very important to most but a busy road is probably the main stumbling block followed by a dated interior, especially kitchens and bathrooms.The property needs to be well presented i.e. clean and clutter free to generate initial interest," concludes Wendy.
To discover beautiful properties in these locations, search on our homepage at www.fineandcountry.com/uk.