If you think that hosting pool parties in your garden sounds the ultimate status symbol, think again. Swimming pools are up there with Japanese Knotweed as the things most likely to affect the value of your home, say estate agents.

According to NAEA Propertymark, the professional body for estate agents, outdoor swimming pools make a property hard to sell as viewers fear they will be costly and difficult to maintain. A pool will also take up valuable garden space while, thanks to the British climate, being rarely used. Agents advise sellers to fill in pools or put their home on the market in summer, when outdoor swimming feels a lot more appealing.

Invasive Japanese Knotweed can damage the foundations of your home creating a risk of subsidence. Any hint of the virulent Asian plant is likely to put off buyers, as it can affect resale value and make it difficult to get a mortgage. The advice to anyone with Japanese Knotweed is to have it treated by a professional company as soon as possible.

With many people looking for a low-maintenance property they can move straight into, buyers may also be put off by homes in need of some TLC. Anyone looking to sell is advised to give their property a spruce up, treating damp or cracks in the walls, and making sure that unfinished DIY jobs are complete.

At the very least sellers should present their home in the best possible light, ensuring it is spotlessly clean and fresh smelling.

NAEA Propertymark also warns against interiors which are too personal, with statement walls and bright colours a big no-no. In nine out of ten cases, light, airy homes with neutral decoration will command a higher price tag than dark and dingy ones, so sellers are urged to cut back any light-blocking shrubbery and ditch the net curtains.

Mark Bentley, President of NAEA Propertymark said: “Sometimes the improvements and changes you have made might make the property less attractive to buyers, so before you start marketing your home, it’s worth taking stock and making any necessary alterations to give you the best chance of securing your asking price.

“You can ask friends or family for their honest opinions, or your estate agents can help advise on any small changes you may want to make before placing your home on the market.”

Read more about this story on the What Mortgage website.

About the author

Nicolas Holmes

Nick joined Robert Holmes to inject fresh ideas and help grow the New Homes department of Robert Holmes as well as helping to inject technology into the business and to grow its client base. Together with one of the Directors Nick is in charge of all Development opportunities that Robert Holmes deals with along with sales. Aged 40, he provides succession together with the two existing directors. Nick has always been focused on building client relationships and sales. He built up his own gallery in Chelsea, where he had a loyal following of customers and artists.

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