7 ways to devalue your property

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Did you know that your pets – or your dodgy next-door neighbours – could substantially decrease the value of your property?

Bad pet smells, hasty renovations and noisy neighbours can all serve to lower the value of your home, according to Nicole Marsh, Licensed Buyers Agent from Eureka Property on the Gold Coast, while letting your property fall into a state of disrepair is another quick way to shrink its value.

Here, Marsh outlines a few key features that can drag down your home’s value and ultimately, the sale price you can achieve:

1. DIY renovations

“A bad paint or tile job makes a buyer wonder what else could be dodgy within the property,” Marsh explains. “It will cost you much more in the long run than the money saved by not having the job done properly, reflected in the lower sale price.” Keep in mind that bright paint jobs can also limit your home’s appeal to a wide range of buyers, because even though you may love it, not everyone else will.

2. General state of disrepair

Letting your property fall into disrepair, such as having guttering falling off, unmowed grass, overgrown gardens, peeling paint and cupboard doors hanging off in kitchen will all detract from your home’s overall value. “The dollar signs [to fix the problems] just start to add up in a buyers head,” Marsh says.

3. Illegal improvements

It’s important to go through the proper channels, such as gaining council approval, before commencing renovations and improvements. “If you sell a five-bedroom house and only three of the bedrooms are council approved, and through their due diligence a buyer finds out, they can renegotiate the price based on this or pull out of the contract,” Marsh says. “If the buyer makes the agent aware of the material facts, the agent can’t re-market the property as five bedrooms, but only now as three bedrooms and a teenagers retreat or study.”

4. Compromised curb appeal

Overgrown grass and gardens, fences falling down and unkempt hedges will make it hard for your agent to get buyers in past the front gate. “Neighbours with knee high long grass, overflowing garbage bins and dead car bodies in the front yard are almost certainly going to turn buyers off,” she adds.

5. Bad choice of renovation

A poorly selected renovation can result in loss of character of the property compared to the area. “A lot of buyers are drawn to a particular area because they like certain aspects, such as the period housing or architecture,” Marsh explains. “If a house in that area is then renovated to be ultra modern, or has been externally renovated so it looks nothing like its former self, it is almost instantly going to be devalued.”

6. Pet smells

If you have dogs or cats, it’s worth have the carpet dry cleaned prior to opening the home for inspection. “There’s nothing worse when walking into a house, and the smell of dog and cat just about takes your breath away,” she says.

7. Poor presentation/too much clutter

As the saying goes, you only get one chance to make a good first impression. “A messy house, grotty kitchen or bathroom, and clothes strewn everywhere is definitely not on. A lot of buyers just can’t see past the mess,” Marsh says. “For example, went to see a property once with some older buyers. We opened the main bedroom built in robe only to be greeted by boxes and boxes of porn DVD’s jammed in there, which evidently fell out all over the floor. The vendors could have easily tapped the boxes up and put them away or in storage – looking back now it’s very funny but needless to say, my buyers didn’t buy that property.”


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