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If you are thinking about selling your house, you might be wondering what you should fix in the property. Whilst most buyers prefer to buy a house which doesn’t require much work to be done, there are some fixes which are generally not worth making as a seller. In fact, some fixes could potentially leave you out of pocket. 

In this article, we explain the types of things which sellers don’t need to fix when selling a house in the UK. 

What Should I Fix When Selling a House? 

Before we go into more detail about what not to fix when selling a house, it is important to know what you should fix.  

This includes: 

  • Any serious electrical, gas and plumbing issues (all safety devices and appliances must be safe and in full working condition too) 
  • Structural cracks 
  • Rotten joists 
  • Subsidence 
  • Bowing walls 
  • Missing tiles 
  • A leaking roof 
  • Rising damp 
  • Insect infestations 

If your property has any of these issues, it is worth checking your building’s insurance cover to see if any of it is included in your insurance policy. 

For more information about required fixes, you can read our article on what you legally have to disclose when selling a house in the UK. 

What You Shouldn’t Fix When Selling a House

Next, let’s move on to what not to fix when selling a property in the UK.

Don’t Overspend on Replacing Old Appliances  

Of course, if an appliance is in a dreadful state, it ought to be replaced. That being said, the general rule of thumb is to avoid replacing old appliances. 

However, it is worth keeping in mind that replacing certain appliances is worth the cost. For instance, if you replace a boiler, that is likely to result in a more favourable surveyor report on the property.  

Generally, you do not need to worry about replacing white goods such as fridges and freezers. Many people will bring their white goods with them when they move into a new house.  

Consider Second Hand Appliances 

There is no need to buy new appliances if some need replacing. Consider buying second hand appliances, which are cost-effective and perfectly legal if they are in good working condition.  

Keep Decorating Costs Down 

If your house looks noticeably worn and in need of some uplift, it makes sense to decorate the property. However, there is no need to go overboard and completely revamp the property with new colours and features.  

A new lick of paint where it’s needed can do so much for a property and is often all that is needed to get your house looking more inviting and presentable. It is better to bring out the best in your home with all the existing colour schemes than to completely change the whole outlook of a house, which can often look somewhat false. 

One relatively simple decoration which can add appeal and value to your house is painting the door a different colour. In terms of first impressions, a freshly painted door can add appeal before potential buyers have even stepped into the property. Neutral colours such as a navy blue can work well, but bright colours like red can also work very well, particularly if the property is quirky or unusual.  


Avoid Aggressive Home Staging 

Aggressive home staging is a practice which is generally not needed and can be counterproductive in some cases. Aggressive home staging might involve moving old furniture out of the house and putting it into storage, and then renting out new furniture to put into the house in an attempt to make the house look more appealing. 

Apart from the obvious costs, aggressive home staging can sometimes result in the dynamic of the house looking odd and unappealing. Home staging of this kind could not only incur unneeded costs, but actually put off buyers too.  

It is important to declutter and tidy your house for home staging, but the costs associated with aggressive home staging are ones which can be avoided. 

Avoid Big Home Improvements 

Whilst it might be tempting to undertake big home improvements before putting your house up for sale, this is not necessary. It is expected that properties will have some general wear and tear, so there is no need to make the property look absolutely perfect.  

Problems such as cracks, scruff marks and scratches, leaking taps, dirty grout and mould can generally be fixed without too much trouble. However, big projects such as replacing flooring or carpets and countertops can be costly and take a lot of time. 

It is also worth noting that whilst a new bath, washbasin or sink may seem like a good idea to add appeal to the property, they will look out of the place if the rest of the room isn’t modern.   

Only Focus on the Big Electrical Issues 

Taking care of big electrical problems is absolutely necessary and should be addressed immediately. However, you can generally avoid the costs of sorting out relatively insignificant electrical problems such as faulty light switches, as long as they are not dangerous in the short term! These sorts of electrical issues will still pass on the surveyor’s inspection of the property.  

Almost all properties have some issues, so don’t assume that those looking to buy will be put off by minor electrical issues (or any other minor issue). 

What to Do if Your House is in Bad Condition 

For some sellers, it simply might not be worth making fixes to the property.  

If your house is in a very poor condition, it is better to think about lowering the price of your house rather than making extensive changes. It goes without saying that in these circumstances, it will be extremely costly to start undertaking serious work on the property.  

Also, it is worth keeping in mind that if your home is in a sought-after location, it may still sell for significantly more than a home which is not in a prime area even if the property is not in good condition. 

You may wish to read our article on selling a house in poor condition for more information.

Do You Need Support With Selling Your House? 

Here at Chancellors, we have offer a range of services to help sellers attract buyers and get the best possible price on their property. Our highly skilled estate agents are passionate about delivering an exceptional service. With our intimate local knowledge of the areas we serve and unrivalled property expertise, we are perfectly placed to help you find the right buyer for your house. If you do need to undertake works, we also have a panel of qualified contractors we can put you in touch with to support you to get your property in the right condition for sale. 

Chancellors operate in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Hampshire, Surrey, London, Herefordshire, Wiltshire and Mid Wales. 

To find out more about our selling services, please do not hesitate to contact us today. Did you know that we also offer services to buyers, tenants and landlords? 

Also, you can find many more helpful resources on selling property in the UK here