The are the top reasons your house is losing value – and how much they cost to fix

If your house isn't selling for the price you were hoping for, it may be time to address any issues that are deterring potential buyers. Here's what they're likely to be – and how much they cost to fix

For sale sign outside a terraced town house
(Image credit: Getty)

If amid rising house prices you home is failing to sell, you will be asking yourself, 'what can I do to add value to my home'? But it may be wise to also ask yourself what may be decreasing your house value, and whether these could be issues that are easy and inexpensive to fix. 

Specialist damp treatment experts Allerton Damp Proofing have analysed the top causes of houses losing value, the costs of fixes, and the potential return on investment that you could expect from addressing them.

1. Clean your house! 

Messy rooms can reduce the value of a property by 3.4% (£8,000) for the average household.  A cluttered, dirty house fails to provide a clean slate to viewers, so they can't imagine their furniture and family in the property, resulting in this price drop. 

Dirty rooms also suggest a lack of maintenance and care. When selling, take the time to clean and tidy, or hire a deep cleaning service if you’re tight on time - you could regain £7,762 in value after expenses.

2. Spruce up the interior – and make sure it's not dated

Out-there interior stylings have a massive hit on property value, knocking 10 per cent (£23,783) off the average household price. While you may want to keep your styling touches up until the sale, most people will need to redecorate the home, so will factor that money and time spent into an offer. Viewers might also be reluctant to buy the property as a more neutral house helps people imagine themselves living there.

The fix for this isn’t too expensive, however. Professional painting and decorating of a three-bedroom house maxes out at around £3,100 - a small price to pay for a 10 per cent increase in property value. Select pale neutral colours to amplify the size of each room and to brighten naturally dark rooms.

3. Make sure any pest control is well out of sight

If vermin control is out when people are viewing a property, most buyers will run for the hills. A fair buyer could reduce the asking price by £4,500 - the cost of rewiring a house if rats have gnawed through the electrics. However, this issue has the cheapest cost to fix on the list.

Instead of littering the front yard and garage of a property with mouse traps, hire a pest control specialist to deal with the problem. Day rates are just £200 if the infestation is severe, while most jobs should take no more than three hours. Regaining a value of £4,300 after that expense (and a much better quality of life) make this fix a no-brainer.

4. Treat damp and mould – it's cheaper than you think

One of the most visible signals that a house needs work is mould and damp on the walls. The health danger and poor maintenance indications that mould gives results in a considerable loss of 20 per cent (£47,566.80) when trying to sell a property. However, proper treatment can cost below £2,500 for the average three-bedroom property, resulting in a recuperation of £45,067.

5. Re-turf your lawn and build shed 

With a cost of just £694 for re-turfing and building a shed in your garden, you can see a return of 6754 per cent, recuperating £46,873. Fresh, healthy grass adds kerb appeal to your house, while 82% of property experts and estate agents agree that a shed adds the most value to your property. David Truby, Spokesperson for Greensleeves Lawn Care, has this to say: 

'A well-manicured lawn is a key factor in the kerb appeal of your house. This time of year, we see plenty of gardens that are waterlogged and muddy - more akin to Glastonbury than a front lawn.

'Even though we’re heading into colder months, potential buyers will imagine themselves in the garden in the summer, and this will factor into any offers they make. Take the time to maintain your lawn well in advance of any viewings - a quality garden doesn’t grow overnight.'

Anna Cottrell
Anna Cottrell

Anna is Consumer Editor across Future's home brands. She moved to the world of interiors from academic research in the field of English Literature and photography. She is the author of London Writing of the 1930s and has a passion for contemporary home decor and gardening.

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