Britons looking to sell their houses may want to make a few amendments to increase the value of their property.
Property prices have dropped across 80 per cent of the UK, according to Zoopla, and it’s possible that this trend could continue well into 2024.
In conversation with The Sliding Door Wardrobe Company, property experts revealed the “biggest mistakes” people make when trying to sell their homes.
Fitted bedroom specialists at The Sliding Door Wardrobe Company said that Britons trying to get their houses valued should ensure their garden is pristine – or at the very least not “overgrown”.
‘A messy garden is never a great first impression, but it can be even worse if you’ve got problem plants growing near your house’
The experts said: “A messy garden is never a great first impression, but it can be even worse if you’ve got problem plants growing near your house. Japanese knotweed is a particular plant to watch out for as it spreads extremely quickly, choking everything in its path. You may not notice it in the winter, but when summer arrives, small bamboo-like shoots will begin to appear.
“Japanese knotweed has infested most of the UK, with Bolton in Lancashire faring worst, experiencing 652 infestations within a 4km radius. The weed can reach heights of over seven feet and it’s very difficult to remove once it has a grip on your garden.”
Britons whose homes have a Japanese knotweed problem should call in a team of professionals, who will expertly remove the weed using a specialist weedkiller.
The experts also told Britons that having an “unwelcome feeling” in their homes is a big mistake.
They explained: “During our freezing, dark winters, one of the best things you can do is make sure your house is well-lit and warm. The level of heat and light during your valuation can drastically affect your valuation.”
Many of us feel gloomy during the colder, darker months, but with a well-lit warm house, you can “tap into feelings of comfort”.
Director at Fine & Country Edward Taylor, explained: “Generally light and bright spaces are hugely attractive and would increase the saleability and value of a space.”
The experts also advised sellers to touch up their paint before a valuation, ensuring it is not peeling. It’s also crucial to look out for mould.
They said: “Failing to redecorate and leaving unsightly mould on display can affect your valuation. This includes more than just the areas inside your home – think about how your property looks from the outside, covering everything from fencing to your front door.”
Painting over a mould problem is not the way to go. Taylor said: “Mould issues can be common in poorly ventilated properties, especially in bathrooms that don’t have windows or adequate airflow.”
If this is the case, limit the amount of moisture by opening windows and letting fresh air circulate. Call in a team of experts who can safely remove any spores, or tackle the problem yourself – just make sure you wear rubber gloves and protect your nose and mouth with a mask.
‘Japanese knotweed has infested most of the UK and is very difficult to remove once it has a grip on your garden’
While many of us live in a little bit of clutter, Taylor said this “could affect the marketability of a property and the potential for it to achieve the very best price at sale.”
But clearing up clutter doesn’t have to feel like a chore. Britons can add value to their homes by investing in fitted furniture and clever space-saving hacks.
The experts recommended giving your house a name or identity if you want to sell it for more.
Dominic Poulter from Northwood Estate Agents also added: “If the area is perhaps seen as less desirable, we would take this into account when looking at the valuation and take a look at comparable properties in the same location – how much have they successfully sold for? But ultimately the price will depend on the seller’s intent – do they need a sale tomorrow or are they willing to wait? It all depends on circumstance.”
Another mistake Britons should avoid making is having “unknown bespoke additions”. Poulter advised: “Extensions and unique additions can help sell a property, so you should always make sure the person carrying out your valuation is aware of any additions you have made.”
Finally, the experts advised against leaving “underlying issues” unaddressed. It’s best to resolve issues such as structural or water damage before having a valuation.
Poulter said: “If the homeowner is aware of an underlying issue, they have to declare it and so does the estate agent. Honesty is always the best policy when it comes to issues. It’s also important to disclose any issue surrounding the property, such as a problem neighbour.”
Taylor said: “A good agent will give you specific advice on what could make a difference for potential purchasers. Their bespoke, expert advice will ensure you get the highest valuation possible for your property.”