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10 things that could lower the price of your home

26 September 2018

If you've ever wondered what really puts buyers off and lowers the value of your home, here are the answers, from pets to parking – even swimming pools!

View of the outside of a smart Victorian house
A smartly presented front garden and traditional decor can improve the value of your home

Selling a house can be a complicated process, especially when it comes to trying to please potential buyers. But what really puts buyers off? Find out from a panel of home improvement service professionals – here are their top buyer turn-offs which could significantly impact the price of homes.

Through analysing data from 20 estate and lettings agents, interior decorators, plumbers and gardeners that advertise their services through the site, has revealed that cluttered bedrooms could knock £10,000 off the value of a house. An overgrown garden can also devalue a property by 20%. In comparison, adding an off-road parking space to a property could boost its value by up to 10% and replacing a dated bathroom suite could earn you £2,500 more when you come to sell.

The best house improvements to add value to your home

The experts also found that on average, homeowners in the UK planning a renovation of their property in the next year will spend more than £20,000 on home improvements. If you'd like to find a local service professional to renovate your property, you can place a ‘bark’ at

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10 things that put off home buyers

Here are the top ten buyer bugbears:

Evidence of pets: 45% of people in the UK own a pet, but buyers won’t necessarily welcome them when viewing your property. Concerns over cleanliness can reduce the value of a house by more than £11,000.

Illegal improvements: a surprising number of people have made home renovations without the proper planning permission, but it’s not surprising that this can cause big problems when it comes to selling, and can even render your home untouchable for buyers.

Unusual décor: people do judge books by their covers and while you might love bold colours, quirky carpets and oddly patterned wallpaper, they might not.

Overgrown gardens: many people won’t even consider looking inside a house if they don’t like what they see on the outside, but if they do decide to book a viewing, a potential buyer could negotiate a 20% discount for an unappealing exterior.

Poor parking: having a parking space is highly sought-after by potential buyers. Not only could it add up to £22,500 to the value of your house but it can provide more space, security and even the opportunity to earn extra income.

Swimming pools: in warmer climates swimming pools are expected and typically used throughout the year. In cool climates however, pools often mean money down the drain.

House numbers: superstition can have a major influence on house prices. If you live at number 13, you might consider changing your house number to a name when you come to sell. Research from Zoopla found that homes at ‘unlucky’ number 13 could be worth £3,900 less than neighbouring properties.

Outdated appliances: buying a property is already a big investment, so many buyers won’t want to spend additional funds on installing a new kitchen.

Poor energy efficiency: spending money on energy efficiency will not only save you money on your bills, but it will insulate your home against loss of value when you decide to put it on the market.

Cluttered rooms: tidying your home before a valuation or viewing is one of the easiest things you can do to make a good first impression. It could also boost your property value by up to £10,000.

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What else puts buyers off?

Other things that make buyers cautious when looking for a new home include antisocial neighbours, a history of suspicious activity, expensive additions such as solar panels, and the performance of local schools. 

Visit our Home and Garden section for gardening guides, home improvement tips and much more.

Kai Feller, co-founder of, said: “Selling a house can be a complicated process, especially when it comes to trying to please potential buyers. However, there are several steps homeowners can take to add as much value to a property as possible.

“We’ve been monitoring the demand for our home improvement service providers and decided to do some research into the effect these services could have on house prices. Some of these changes are simple, such as thoroughly tidying bedrooms for example, but research has shown that they really do make a huge difference to potential buyers.”

He continued: “The resulting guide highlights the most common things that affect property value and we hope that it will be a useful reference for homeowners around the UK, potentially earning them thousands of pounds when they come to sell. If you do spot something you’re guilty of in our guide, there’s a local service provider on who can help.”

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.