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Could poor cold weather maintenance affect your sales price?

almost 2 years ago
Could poor cold weather maintenance affect your sales price?

Ignoring some of the most common cold weather maintenance tasks may cause your property to plummet in value. That’s the conclusion of a survey carried out by Aviva. The insurance specialist questioned 2,000 people regarding what maintenance issues would prompt a buyer to reduce an offer on a property they hoped to buy.

The research found that four out of five buyers would reduce their property offer if they spotted maintenance issues on a viewing, with a bad state of repair potentially wiping 14% off a home’s value. In extreme cases, some buyers would decline making an offer at all if they saw a worrying issue.

Of the 16 aspects mentioned by survey participants, many pertain specifically to the colder months, when inclement weather and inside living habits can affect the condition of our properties. Sellers coming to market during autumn and winter should be on guard for a number of issues that are potential red flags.

Top of the worry list when weighing up whether to reduce an offer was signs of damp or dry/wet rot (65%). This can be a real issue in winter as people dry wet washing inside and close windows to keep warmth in. Adequate ventilation, however, should be a priority. A dehumidifier is one of the best ways of removing excess water from the air and preventing mould, although leaving trickle vents open and using extractor fans is strongly recommended. 

Blocked drains (44%); loose or missing slates/roof tiles (46%); draughty or unsecured windows/doors (43%); an old or unserviced boiler (41%); loose/overflowing guttering (35%); an uninsulated loft/roof-space (29%); overgrown trees/garden (24%); wobbly/damaged fences or gates (19%) and unswept chimneys (14%) were also cited as major causes for concern.

It only takes an autumn storm or the first major cold snap of the season for such maintenance issues to become apparent. Sellers should fix these issues as soon as they arise, especially if the property is already on the market. Jobs as simple as clearing leaves from gutters and drains, installing draught excluders and booking a boiler service can help sellers achieve the best price for their property.

Not all maintenance issues are fixed as easily as spending a day in the garden or nipping to a DIY store, however. Buyers are also alarmed by cracks in walls/ceilings (59%); dripping taps or showers/leaky toilets (29%); unsafe paths, paving and slabs (28%); poorly maintained windows and doors (26%); baths and showers with damaged seals (25%) and broken garage doors (23%).

More serious maintenance matters may need tending to by a professional contractor. If issues are visible to the naked eye or have the potential to show up in a home buyer’s survey, they may give the purchaser a valid reason to reduce their offer. We recommend a thorough appraisal of your home’s condition before any marketing starts.

Our agents can visit your property to provide a free valuation, assess its state of repair and advise sellers on how to achieve the maximum price for their property. Please contact us to book an appointment.

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