The top 9 things that could devalue a property in 2023

Azeem Sarwar

Last updated on 19/10/2023

Various factors contribute to determining the value of your home, including the size of the property, its proximity to amenities like shops, and the quality of nearby schools. While some aspects are beyond your control, numerous elements affecting the price can be managed by you.

For those considering selling their property, it’s crucial to be aware of certain aspects that can diminish the property’s value and consequently lower the potential sale price.

1: Inadequate Presentation and Excessive Clutter

Over time, we tend to accumulate a multitude of possessions, ranging from sentimental items with little practical use to worn-out relics from the past.

Consider items such as dated rugs, oversized furniture, unwanted appliances, outdated décor, and neglected decorative pieces. As you prepare to list your property, it is advisable to declutter and store unnecessary or worn-out belongings. Ensure that every corner, including the storage spaces, is free from unsightly mess, as potential buyers tend to inspect these areas. Hiring a professional home stager or stylist can also significantly enhance the appeal of your home, potentially increasing its market value.

  1. Vibrant Colors and Eccentric Decor
Simplicity is key, which involves:

Opting for neutral color palettes
Selecting appropriately sized furniture
Eliminating excessively peculiar decorations

While we may believe our taste is impeccable, a vibrant feature wall with bold blue and green stripes, for instance, might reflect your personality but could deter potential buyers.

Ideally, you aim to showcase your home as a blank slate, allowing buyers to envision their own concepts. To enhance the likelihood of a successful sale, it’s advisable to employ colors and decor that possess a universal appeal, ensuring a broader range of prospective buyers can appreciate your home.

  1. Enhancing Your Home’s Exterior Appeal

An initial misstep here could deter potential buyers before they even step inside. Enhance the likelihood of drawing buyers into your home by dedicating some time to revamping your home’s exterior.

Consider the following tips and suggestions:

Freshen up the front door, worn-out fencing, and window frames with a new coat of paint.
Invest in gleaming new house numbers, door handles, or knockers.
Thoroughly clean away any spider webs and ensure the gutters are clear.
Dispose of any clutter or debris.
Upgrade your outdoor lighting for a more inviting ambiance.
Neaten your garden and supplement it with additional greenery and plants if it appears bare.
Since initial perceptions are formed from the moment potential buyers catch sight of your property from the street, it is vital to ensure a compelling and inviting exterior appearance.

  1. Unpleasant Odors

Australia ranks among the top countries globally in terms of pet ownership, with around 63 percent of households being home to pets, predominantly dogs. Despite the undeniable love for our furry companions, the accompanying odors necessitate attention. Preventing your home from emitting any lingering pet-related smells is crucial. Given that individuals often become desensitized to such odors, it’s advisable to seek the opinion of an unbiased friend who can provide honest feedback. Notably, bombarding potential buyers with pet odors upon their entry is a surefire way to deter them.

Additionally, it’s essential to remain vigilant about other unfavorable odors. Watch out for issues like leaky drainage, dampness, and slow leaks from cisterns. Moreover, avoid fertilizing your garden with compost, manure, or blood and bone when your property is poised to enter the market, as these activities can contribute to unwelcome scents.

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  1. Mediocre DIY Renovations

Given the current peak in costs of both trades and materials, do-it-yourself enhancements might seem like the most practical choice. A fresh coat of paint or the addition of new light fixtures and bathroom fittings can significantly elevate a home’s appeal.

Regrettably, substandard paint applications, shoddy tiling, and generally inferior handiwork will not go unnoticed. If you opt for DIY projects, ensure they meet high-quality standards. Tasks exceeding your DIY expertise are better entrusted to a professional, as any shortcuts taken are likely to be discerned by potential buyers.

While certain tasks can be managed with some effort and determination, it is imperative to engage a qualified and licensed tradesperson for any gas, electrical, plumbing, or heating projects.

  1. Unauthorized Home Upgrades

It is imperative to obtain the necessary permissions from your local council for any home improvements requiring approval. Failing to seek approval for alterations made to your property can potentially complicate the selling process. For instance, if you intend to sell a four-bedroom house but only two of those rooms have received council approval, buyers might use this as leverage to renegotiate the price or even withdraw from the deal entirely.

Should an agent discover this discrepancy, your property might be marketed as a two-bedroom residence with additional spaces such as a study or a teenager’s retreat, rather than the initially stated four bedrooms.

Undertaking construction without the appropriate planning consent can render your property less attractive to prospective buyers. Therefore, it is crucial to conduct thorough research and ensure that any modifications to your property comply with the necessary planning regulations and obtain the required approvals.

  1. Deteriorating Condition of the Property

Issues like grimy grout, peeling paint, dilapidated garden sheds, malfunctioning sliding doors, cracked concrete, and excessively worn-out carpets can surprisingly devalue your home, even if it is situated in a prestigious neighborhood.

Advertisements in the real estate sector often highlight properties that have recently undergone a fresh coat of paint or are ready for immediate occupancy. This emphasis is placed on ensuring that the property appears well-maintained and that any minor issues have been duly addressed.

Prior to listing your property or engaging the services of a real estate agent, allocate some time and resources to enhance the overall appeal of your home for the market. The effort invested in refurbishing your property is undoubtedly a valuable investment.

  1. Outmoded Kitchen and Bathrooms

The prevailing notion that kitchens hold the key to selling a house might contain a grain of truth. Therefore, if you’re aiming to optimize your selling price, contemplate revitalizing your kitchen (and your bathroom as well, for good measure).

Three vital components of a kitchen that significantly influence potential buyers are the benchtops, appliances, and cabinetry. If a complete renovation seems financially unfeasible, numerous cost-effective alternatives exist, such as replacing taps, handles, and knobs. Additionally, ensure that your range hood and kitchen walls are thoroughly cleaned if they appear greasier than the local fish and chip shop.

  1. Selecting the Inappropriate Agent

Perhaps the most crucial factor of all is the selection of an agent. Opting for an agent without conducting a comprehensive background check and thorough research can significantly impact your sale price. It cannot be overstated how crucial it is to compare various agents and make an informed decision.

A competent agent prioritizes your best interests and provides valuable guidance throughout the process, ultimately aiming to secure the best possible results for you.

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