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Sellers no longer sprucing up properties to encourage house sale

18/01/2024

It has long been suggested that sellers should be prepared to spend considerable sums on upgrading
properties to increase saleability. With competition remaining fierce in many markets, many sellers
are taking this advice on-board, offering prospective buyers the ‘ready to move in’ option. This does
make sense, as anything that will trim the buyer’s budget and save cash towards deposits makes
sense.

But according to research undertaken by property giant Rightmove, less than one in five sellers were
willing to devote any time or cash to a makeover, even if this might make the difference towards
securing a higher sale price. Sellers were asked about their reaction to discovering that £5,000
spent on ‘sprucing up’ could add £10,000 to the sale price. Only 17% said they would make this
investment, with 18% preferring to leave it all to the buyer. 40% of those surveyed said they would
only do essential repairs. 15% complained that although they would like to do so, they would be
unable to raise thousands of pounds for any major renovation.

Encourage House Sale

Rightmove director Miles Shipside remarked: ‘As well as the hassle factor of home improvements,
this also reflects many sellers’ lack of access to funds to carry out what would be financially astute
improvements. It also highlights one of the legacies of the downturn with many sellers suffering
from shrinking equity pots, limiting their ability to raise relatively small lump sums’.

He described diminished or negative equity as a Catch 22 situation for sellers, because there was a
potential for them being deterred from investing in any steps aimed at increasing the potential value
and sale ability of their property, in order to maximise gains or cut losses. He went on to say that
according to agents’ reports, properties closest to show home condition are still selling the easiest,
and attracting the highest prices.

Buying Houses since 1972