Simple things that lower the value of your house

Estate agent 'For Sale' sign board with brick houses in background

If the time has come and you’re ready to sell your property, then make sure you don’t put buyers off without even realising it, as it’s easily done! Over time you will have got used to your home’s condition and its little quirks – the bold wallpaper, the weeds in the driveway paving – but potential buyers seeing your home for the first time may be put off making an offer. We’ve put together 5 simple things which can bring down the value of a house and create a bad first impression, so you can get your house in order before those all-important viewings begin.

View of a home with a blue front door, red brickwork, and plants and flowers by the front door.

5 things that lower the value of your house

1. Lack of kerb appeal

House with kerb and driveway and garage

First impressions really do matter, and the front of your home is the first thing potential buyers will see (both those who’ve booked a viewing, and also those that might drive by your house to get a look before they decide if they want to view). Make sure any front garden space is spruced up, and if you have a driveway, make sure it is weed-free; driveways are huge assets to properties but they can be just as big a turn off if they are not well maintained. Consider adding some potted flowers or hanging baskets to the front of your house, and hide those ugly rubbish bins well out of sight.

2. Bad relationships with neighbours

An elderly woman waving to her neighbour, holding some pink flowers and standing by a white fence.

Did you know that you are legally obliged to declare when selling your property whether you’ve ever made a complaint about your neighbours or had a formal dispute with them? Home buyers are incredibly put off by bad neighbours and although there isn’t much you can do to change them, it’s worth staying on good terms with them as it could pay dividends when you come to sell. If it comes to it, you could always offer to mow their untidy lawn for them just ahead of your viewings….!

3. Poorly thought through niche improvements

Violet and pink walls in a room with a tiger striped couch and a mini bar.

If you love bold interiors and have decorated your home with statement walls and brightly coloured fixtures then it might be time to consider a more neutral palette. Focus on a popular space with home buyers, the kitchen, and consider a light touch renovation; a contemporary new sink, a fresh countertop and cabinets painted a neutral colour will have a positive impact on viewers’ impressions of the heart of your home. Another space to consider refreshing ahead of putting your house on the market is the bathroom and, if you’re looking for a quick fix to neutralise patterned or bright design, restyle the room by painting over the tiles.

4. Letting Japanese knotweed into your garden

Japanese Knotweed plant growing in garden

A big no-no with potential house buyers is a garden that requires a lot of upkeep so Japanese knotweed is a damaging plant you need to know about. It grows rapidly, kills off other plant life and is considered such a problem that it’s something else you have to declare when selling your house. Luckily, there are professionals who can identify and remove Japanese knotweed in the unlikely event that it is growing in your garden, but it’s good to be vigilant.

Looking for a garden specialist? Find trusted, professional tradespeople by posting your job on Rated People. 


5. Having the wrong house name or number

Blue door with brass knocker and the number 13.

You might not believe it but house buyers can be put off by a property considered to have the unlucky number 13! It’s possible to change your address from a number to a house name through Royal Mail. If the road you live on has an unsavoury name this can also be damaging to your chances of selling, but you can get together with your neighbours and apply to the local authorities to have it changed. 

If you’re interested in which home improvements are popular with buyers right now then Rated People’s Home Improvement Trends Report 2022 gives you all the information you need to refresh your home and increase its value.