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What Not To Fix When Selling A House UK?

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You often hear about the importance of getting your house sale-ready, which involves giving it a lick of paint here and there, sprucing up the outside area and, in some cases, renovating to increase the value. But when shouldn’t you make fixes around the home before selling?

That’s the purpose of this guide, which looks at when not to fix up a house before you put it on the market.

Is it worth renovating my house before selling?

That depends. Renovating your house before selling can increase its value and achieve a higher sale price while making it more attractive to potential buyers. Before going ahead with a renovation, however, a few things are worth considering.

First and foremost, how much will it cost, and what are the potential returns? If the renovations are extensive, they may not increase the property’s value significantly enough to justify the cost and time spent making upgrades.

Committing to a house renovation solely to sell your home is a business decision. Therefore, it needs to be treated as such. When done right, renovations can significantly improve the value of your home. But if they don’t achieve the goal of increasing the property’s value, then there’s little reason to go through with them before selling your home.

When shouldn’t I make any fixes around the home?

There’s no point trying to hide it if your property has significant issues that may deter buyers, such as a short lease or structural defects. Instead, face the problem head-on and answer questions from buyers honestly. You may even be able to pre-empt a structural defect, like subsidence, by getting a house survey and independent confirmation of the extent of the issue, as well as repair costs.

If the property is generally in poor condition, you might stand a better chance of selling it by leaving it as is. Homes requiring lots of work are expensive, and the increased sale price may not offset the amount you’ll spend making the needed upgrades.

Additionally, if you’re hoping for a quick sale due to personal circumstances, making changes and fixes around the home will only delay the sale. Therefore, it’s worth leaving the property in the same condition in such a scenario.

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Do you have to declare defects when selling a house?

Sellers are required to disclose any known defects in the property when putting their house up for sale. This is because buyers have a right to know about potential issues with a home before making an offer.

If a buyer only finds out about problems at a later date, it could scupper your house sale late in the process.

Failure to disclose known defects can even result in legal action against you. That’s why it’s essential to consult with the solicitor or conveyancer and ensure they are aware of issues that may crop up.

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What should I fix when selling a home?

Now you’ve established when it’s a good idea to leave your home and hold back on making any fixes, when should you go ahead with repairs and upgrades? In most cases, sellers will benefit from making minor or major changes to their property before selling it. Here are some of the most popular ones to consider:

Cosmetic improvements

Give the walls a lick of paint to add some freshness to your home. This will go down well when potential buyers look around during a viewing, as repainting can make the house feel newer and increase buyer eagerness when making an offer. You can also complete more minor upgrades, such as changing the flooring or fixing the creak of a squeaky door. They all add some shine to your home, making it look more appealing. 

Enhance curb appeal

First impressions count, and buyers will see the outside of your house before focusing on anything else. For that reason, it’s worth sprucing up the front and back of your home, ensuring leaves are tidied away, cracks are filled, and the grass is neatly cut.

Spring cleaning

It’s also good to ensure the property is clean and well-maintained, as this can significantly affect how buyers perceive your home. That’s not to say it should be devoid of all personal belongings, but giving it a good tidy and decluttering increases its visual appeal during a viewing.

Knowing when to fix your home

So, what not to fix when selling a house? Most sellers can take positive steps to ensure their home is sale-ready, using home selling tips from cleaning the property to minor upgrades. There are, however, times when you shouldn’t make any changes. If in doubt, talk to your local agent and get their advice. But as a general rule, homes with significant structural damage or short leases should probably be left as they are when going on the market.

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Last Updated: November 29th, 2023