10 problems that can slash the value of your home by £50k including mould and clutter – and how to fix them | The Sun

SELLING your home usually starts with an estate agent telling you how much you can put it on the market for.

But there are things which can dent the value before they even walk in the door, sometimes by thousands of pounds.

Luckily many issues require simple fixes that cost less than £100.

Rated People, which carries out an annual home improvement trends report, found that mess and clutter inside a house would see an offer decrease by an average of £9,290. 

A dirty bathroom would reduce a home’s value by £8,966, and rubbish or debris in the front garden would take off £8,964.

Adrienne Minster, chief executive at the website , said: “We wanted to discover how the last year has impacted homebuyers’ priorities and to find out what they’re now looking for from their properties in a post-pandemic world. 


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“Given our increased emphasis on hygiene, including washing hands, social distancing and cleanliness in general, it’s easy to see why a messy or dirty home can spoil your chances of securing a good offer if you’re looking to sell.”

She said that fixing these problems could dramatically increase the value of the property.

“These types of issues could easily be fixed within a day or two, either with a bit of elbow grease or by getting the professionals in.”

By getting them all sorted prior to selling, offers are likely to be as much as £53,897 higher than if the issues weren’t fixed.

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Here are the top 10 problems and how much they could take off property prices, plus how to fix them.

Signs of damp or mould£9,571

One of the major problems is damp or mould which could put off a potential buyer.

Adrienne said: “One of the biggest things that could devalue your property is visible signs of mould or damp.

"While it can often be easily fixed with help from a specialist tradesperson, it can also indicate wider problems within the home.”

Trying things like not drying your clothes on radiators, and making sure your bathroom is well ventilated may help.

But if you have a real mould problem it is worth getting a professional in to sort it, as the mould spores can cause health issues.

We spoke to a mould and damp expert for the best ways to avoid mould and get rid of the issue.

It's worth remembering that when you're selling you're home a surveyor is likely to spot any deeper issues like rising damp and include them in the report for your buyer.

Cracks in walls – £9,495

While cracks in the walls don’t always indicate that a house has any structural issues, they might make buyers nervous.

If the crack is only in the plaster you may be able to fix it quite easily.

You can pick up a tub of wall filler for a couple of pounds from most DIY stores and online to fill purely cosmetic cracks.

Depending on the wall you might have to give it a new lick of paint too.

But if the crack is in the brickwork or outer walls then that may be a more costly job.

Either way, getting a professional to look at it is a good first bet, as it may have safety implications.

Again a surveyor is likely to highlight in the buyer report any issues that look like they could be a sign of something more serious like subsidence.

Mess and clutter inside £9,290 

Showing potential buyers around a messy home is a massive no-no.

Doing a quick tidy-up before starting viewings might not be an enormous job – depending on how bad the state of your house is – but is likely to be well worth it.

Try putting clothes away, making sure the dishes are done and giving the floors a quick hoover, as it can make all the difference.

Scuffed paintwork and marked walls£9,254

Scuff marks on your walls can often be buffed off with either a clean cloth and soapy water, or a light rub with fine sandpaper, particularly on light-coloured paintwork.

Or you can buy products such as Magic Erasers which claim to remove marks.

You can pick these up from high street shops like Wilko, supermarkets and on Amazon for under £5.

It often doesn’t take long to rub the worst marks off and it can improve the first impression buyers get of your home – which is vital if you want to sell it.

If the marks are really bad you could consider touching up the walls with fresh paint, or even repainting or putting up new wallpaper.

You can pick up a 2.5 litre tin of white emulsion for just £10 at Wilko, which could save youthousands of pounds overall,

Remember to shop around and compare prices to get the best deal though.

No double glazing £9,144 

Decent windows have become more important than ever when energy cost are top of people's minds.

Adrienne said: “With bills rising so much over the past 12 months, homeowners are looking for ways to make their homes more energy-efficient to save money.

"That’s leading to them planning improvements like double or triple glazing.

Homebuyers are prepared to pay over £12,000 more for properties with better windows, she added.

"If your house has single glazing, it could knock thousands off your asking price.”

Installing new windows can be a pricier endeavour than DIY fixes, so it's worth checking carefully first if it's worth the outlay.

Exactly how much it will cost depends on a number of factors including the size of your home, how many windows you have.

But it's worth getting several quotes to be sure you're getting the best price and service.

A glazing expert previously told The Sun that installation of eight windows and two doors in a three-bedroom semi-detached house cost in the region of £11,500, including VAT.

Peeling wallpaper £9,023

Again, first impressions really count and if someone viewing your home sees wallpaper hanging off they may think the place is in disrepair.

Sticking the wallpaper back on, if possible, is an easy fix and you can pick up wallpaper paste for a couple of quid at DIY stores or online.

Or you could choose to redecorate a particular room or single wall if it’s beyond fixing.

You don't need to fork out loads of money for wallpaper and if you shop around you could find a real bargain.

For example Dunelm is selling rolls for as little as £10 but you could get it for even less in a clearance sale.

Shoppers at B&M have previously spotted rolls going for just 50p.

Dirty bathroom  £8,966 

Time to get the marigolds out: buyers think a dirty bathroom is a real turn-off when viewing a property they might purchase.

Giving everything a good scrub before people come round will give a better impression of the state of the facilities.

Try getting rid of stains in the toilet, limescale marks and any soap scum.

We tested supermarket own-brand toilet gel and one was just as good as Harpic.

Rubbish/debris in front of the house – £8,963 

It is easy for rubbish to get out of control, but there is a phenomenon called “curb appeal” which is how attractive a house looks from the front.

Imagine someone coming to view a property and the front garden is full of rubbish.

Clearing the worst of it gives a much better impression of the overall situation.

Local councils often have bulky waste disposal services if there are things which are too difficult to move yourself.

Broken or missing fence panels in the garden or outside space – £8,957

Tidying up your garden might be an easy way of adding value to your home.

And while fixing a fence is probably a job for a professional, it is an inexpensive way of making your outside space look a lot smarter.

You could also consider planting climbing plants to hide an ugly wall, for example.

Bad smells inside – £8,947 

The old trick of baking bread when people come round to view your house to give a homely impression is a cliche – but it turns out there’s some truth in it.

Buyers are put off by smelly houses, and it implies the place isn’t very clean.

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Consider limiting smelly cooking, putting pets outside if possible, and cleaning floors and bathrooms to get rid of any lingering pongs before any viewings.

And make sure you open the windows to get some fresh air in, which will help the house have a cleaner smell.

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