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Home / News / Sellers: ignore these issues at your peril

Sellers: ignore these issues at your peril

October 17, 2022

There can’t be a seller in the land that doesn’t want their property to sell for the highest price. Although a lot rides with the buyer, their budget and how much they’re prepared to pay, sellers can help themselves when it comes to achieving as close to the asking price as possible. 

Poor repair? Expect a poor offer

A property’s state of repair is crucial when it comes to the value of an offer, as discovered by Aviva. The insurance provider conducted a survey among 2,000 adults and found 4 out of 5 purchasers would think about reducing any property offer if they discovered maintenance issues during a viewing. Alarmingly, 7% of those questioned wouldn’t make an offer at all if they identified issues while touring a property.

Spotting signs of ill-repair could reduce an offer by as much as 14%, claims Aviva – which equates to approximately £38,000 when using Nationwide’s average UK house price – £272,259 as of September 2022.

Major maintenance is a worry

The survey went on to identify the maintenance issues that most concerned people. The top three aspects were signs of damp or dry/wet rot (65%); cracks in the walls/ceilings (59%) and loose or missing slates/roof tiles (46%).

It’s clear that buyers are most worried about maintenance issues that could damage the fabric of a property and prove costly or time consuming to put right. Sellers also need to be mindful that while some maintenance issues may go unnoticed during a viewing, they will be picked up by a surveyor. The ensuing report will detail any defects and buyers may be able to justify reducing their offer as a result. 

Take pre-emptive action 

Sellers that suspect their property has a major maintenance issue should consider an inspection by a relevant trade before their house goes on the market. Not only will an inspection identify if there is a problem and its severity, the seller can obtain a quote advising how much any repair work would cost.

This should give the seller two options. They can either pay for the faults to be rectified before the home goes on the market, or they can leave the issues and adjust their asking price based on the cost of making good, with written quotes as evidence.

See to small repair jobs

While damp, cracks and unreliable roofs are top concerns, Aviva found some buyer worries can be easily nipped in the bud by the seller at little or no cost. Blocked drains; draughty or unsecure windows/doors; unserviced/out-of-date boilers; loose/overflowing guttering; dripping taps or showers/leaky toilets; uninsulated loft/roof-space; overgrown trees/garden; unswept chimneys and damaged seals or tiles around baths/showers can all prompt a purchaser to amend their offer downwards.

The above can easily be fixed by the seller themselves or remedied by calling out a specialist trade. We advise running repairs of this nature are attended to before an estate agent is instructed.

If you are unsure whether your home’s state of repair will affect its value and what jobs should be undertaken, please contact a member of our team.

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