Your home’s decor could decrease its value by £50k – and other mistakes to avoid


If you’re looking to sell your house, there are a few things you should know that could help to increase its value.

Find-a-tradesperson platform Rated People conducted a survey of 2,000 Brits to see how much they’d decrease their offer by for a range of issues – many of which could be fixed in just a few hours, and for less than £100.

It found that the pandemic has increased the value of cleanliness and hygiene for homebuyers; with dirt, clutter and bad smells now collectively knocking almost £54,000 off a property’s value.

Three in five prospective buyers, 61 per cent, say they’d put in a lower offer if a property wasn’t clean when they viewed it, and more than 40 per cent say they wouldn’t even arrange a viewing for a property if it looked unclean in photos.

Mess and clutter inside would see an offer decrease by an average of £9,290.

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

Bad smells inside would also result in £8,946 being taken off a home’s value.

Whilst an unclean kitchen would reduce the price by £8,882 and dirty and stained furnishings would knock off £8,849 from a property’s value.

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 sorted prior to selling, offers are likely to be £53,897 higher than if the issues weren’t fixed.

It listed 15 issues that are most likely to devalue your home in 2021, how much money they’d knock off, and how to fix them:

  1. Signs of damp/mould £9,571
  2. Cracks in walls £9,495
  3. Mess and clutter inside £9,290
  4. Scuffed paintwork and marked walls £9,254
  5. No double glazing £9,144
  6. Peeling wallpaper £9,023
  7. Dirty bathroom £8,966
  8. Rubbish/debris in front of the house £8,963
  9. Broken/ missing fence panels in the garden/outside space £8,957
  10. Bad smells inside £8,947
  11. Dirty kitchen £8,882
  12. Outdated decor £8,851
  13. Dirty/stained furnishings, like carpet, curtains and sofas £8,849
  14. Overgrown garden £8,817
  15. Broken/damaged windows £8,624

In addition to dirt and clutter, if you have scuffed paintwork and cracks in your walls, you could also wave goodbye to another £20,000.

Peeling wallpaper could knock off a further £9,023, and an overgrown garden could mean any offers would be £8,817 lower than if you spent a small amount of time and money making it look more inviting.

The study also showed how the pandemic has changed what homebuyers are now looking for when it comes to finding their new home.

A self-contained annex for family members, a home gym, a garden room, and an outdoor cooking area for entertaining family and friends, are now among the most valuable home improvements, adding more than £38,000 to a home’s value.

Adrienne Minster, CEO at Rated People commented: “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.

“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. Yet, it’s still surprising to see just how much these types of issues will now affect the value of your home.

“It’s also no surprise that some of the things that have helped to enhance our lives over the past twelve months, like outdoor entertaining areas, home offices, and ways to create more flexible living, are now more valuable than ever to homebuyers.”