‘Easily avoidable’ factors that can devalue your home – ‘turns a buyer off’

Sarah Beeny gives advice on selling your home fast

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For homeowners, they must have the best possible product available. To do that, they need to avoid factors that will devalue their home. Many times, it is the buyer’s perception that influences whether they walk away or offer a seller less than an asking price.  Before sellers decide to list their home for sale, note these several factors that will devalue a property to make the right changes.

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The first feature is a lack of curb appeal as the number one thing any prospective buyer will see as they approach a house is the front.

Everyone wants to live in a home that is beautiful on the outside as well as the inside.

Property expert Wendy from My Move noted: “A poorly kept landscape, whether overgrown, or non-existent will turn a buyer off.  

“They may fear the cost of redoing landscaping, or be overwhelmed at the thought of it. 

“This undoubtedly will affect the perceived value of your home. 

“This is easily avoidable by planting a few annuals, keeping the grass cut and weeding the flowerbeds regularly to improve your curb appeal.”

Front landscaping that is welcoming and has good visual appeal that will keep a buyer interested in a home.

Not only the front door can affect the evaluation of a property, but so can the entire exterior of a house.

Wendy said: “Chipped or faded paint, dirty windows, broken railings or busted sidewalks will all devalue your home.  

“Just as a buyer will notice the front gardens, they will also notice the disrepair of the outside of your home. 

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“Buyers may wonder if the exterior is so neglected, what has been neglected on the interior.” 

Those who have plans to sell their home, they should invest in a fresh coat of paint, wash the windows, and repair any issues with walkways. 

Potential buyers will notice the pride taken in your home and will reflect in their offer price.

Kitchens can make or break how buyers will perceive a home.  

They want to walk in and fall in love with the kitchen and be able to envision making cookies with their kids or perhaps hosting dinner parties.  

That vision will not work for them if the kitchen is dark, dingy, or outdated.  

The property guy explained: “There are two ways to update a kitchen. A full-blown renovation will update the space to a buyer’s liking, but at a substantial cost.  

“The good news is you will reap close to a 90 percent return on investment. 

“A fresh coat of paint on the cabinets, new door pulls and fresh laminate on the counter tops are all options for a small budget.”

Outdated bathrooms are certain to affect the sale of a house as buyers want updated baths just as they want updated kitchens.   

Wendy said: “If you are able to renovate the bathroom from top to bottom, you should recognise an 80 percent return.  

“If not, make small changes to update it. Add new fixtures, new lighting and if your budget allows, tile the floor.” 

No matter how you update the space, a buyer should walk into a bathroom that is clean, fresh smelling and decorated nicely.  

These simple changes will do a lot for the buyer’s perception of the space.

Taste is subjective when it comes to decorating a home. What a seller may love, a buyer may hate.  

Buyers want to see themselves in the space, and if they walk into a home with red walls, rundown carpeting and wood panelling, they will have a hard time envisioning themselves living there.

Instead, they will see the cost of replacing carpeting, and tearing down the panelling.

All of these factors could cause a buyer to offer less than the asking price, says the property expert.

Before selling, paint your home a more neutral colour that has a broad appeal.

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