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Big mistakes that bring down the value of a property

Front view of a row of colourful houses with multiple windows.

So, you’ve tidied the garden, decluttered the inside of your home and feel ready for the prying eyes of potential buyers… it’s time to put your home on the market! 

Or is it?

When the time comes to sell, sprucing up your home is essential but make sure you haven’t overlooked any big mistakes which will devalue your property; if you’re leaving jobs like damp or adding insulation to be tackled by buyers, they will take the cost of these renovations off any offer they make.

Couple talking to each other inside a house.

5 big mistakes which will bring down the value of your home:

 1. Structural and water damage

Water damage on roof caused by leaking pipe due to poor plumbing which has led to peeling paint and water leaks.

Cracked mortar, uneven flooring, damp patches and mold are all big red flags to anyone  viewing your home and will put them off. Make sure you tackle these problems, which can be easier to solve than you think, by getting professionals in to do the jobs before you list your property. 

Looking for a damp proofing specialist? Find vetted, professional tradespeople by posting your job on Rated People. 

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2. Not taking energy efficiency seriously

Man holding a digital tablet with an image representing house efficiency rating.

With energy prices as high as they are right now, and growing awareness of the need to reduce our impact on the planet, buyers will not be interested in properties that do not have a good energy efficiency rating. They will be looking for sound insulation (walls, floors and loft) as well as good ventilation, a good boiler and high quality windows – double or triple glazed. Houses with their own means of producing energy, such as solar panels, are even more popular with buyers as at the end of the day these features will save them a lot of money on their bills.    

3. Smoking indoors

Glass bowls like decoration in a room with ashtray and cigarettes

It sounds obvious, but the effects of smoking indoors – the lingering smell, the stains on walls and surfaces and the negative impact on air quality – are a big turn off for buyers. If your home does have signs of smoking you will need to get it professionally cleaned and consider redecorating with fresh paint to eliminate the effects of smoke damage.   

4. Ignoring traffic and noise pollution

Heavy traffic on a London road

While there isn’t much you can do to solve traffic build-up near your home, there are steps you can take to tackle the resultant unwanted noise pollution and poor air quality that will put buyers off your home. Make sure you have double or triple glazing on your windows and install an air purification system. It’s also worth checking that your gas boiler has had a recent service as old boilers can add to poor air quality. 

Looking for a heating engineer to check your boiler? Post your job on Rated People. 

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5. Removing a chimney breast  

Modern interior with fireplace, spacious living room with dark blue walls and wooden floor. A real photo of the interior.

Removing a chimney breast, in search of more space, can devalue a property. Chimney breasts and fireplaces are seen as a desirable period feature, popular with buyers, and they may also have concerns if one has been removed as they are often an important part of the load-bearing capability within a structure. If you have removed a chimney breast make sure you have documentation to prove it was done professionally, in the correct way.   

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