Majority of homebuyers would reduce offers for poor maintenance
Sep 16, 2022
Four out of five homebuyers would consider reducing an offer if they found maintenance issues when viewing a property. This is in spite of the current climate of soaring house prices and lightening-speed sales in some areas.
The finding comes from a new survey of 2,000 UK adults, conducted by insurer Aviva.
It reveals more than half of viewers (54%) would 'definitely' reduce an offer, while a third (32%) would possibly do the same. A further 7% simply wouldn’t make an offer at all, if they discovered problems while viewing.
The study was commissioned to highlight the importance of looking after one’s properties, ahead of colder weather conditions. Separate studies have estimated that between 14% and 20% can be knocked off the value of a residence, if certain home maintenance tasks are neglected.
Based on the average London property price of £543,517 (latest Land Registry figure) this could mean a reduction of between £76,000 and £108,000.
The Aviva study also reveals the most off-putting maintenance issues for home viewers are as follows:
Signs of damp or dry / wet rot 65% of homebuyers would be put off
Cracks in the walls / ceilings 59%
Loose or missing slates / roof tiles 46%
Blocked drains 44%
Draughty or unsecure windows / doors 43%
Unserviced / out-of-date boiler 41%
Loose / overflowing guttering 35%
Dripping taps or showers / leaky toilets 29%
Uninsulated loft / roof-space 29%
Wobbly / worn / crumbling paths, paving or steps 28%
Poorly painted or maintained windows / doors 26%
Damaged seals or tiles around baths / showers 25%
Overgrown trees / garden 24%
Broken garage door 23%
Wobbly / damaged fences or gates 19%
Unswept chimneys 14%
However, despite being put off, many admit they don’t always act immediately when it comes to their own homes.
When asked what they would do when faced with a minor issue, such as a loose tile or a wobbly fence, two fifths would deal with it straight away. But more than a third (35%) would get around to it when they had the time, and one in five (20%) would leave it until it became a bigger problem.
A sneaky two per cent would ignore it in the hope someone else would deal with it.When questioned about why they would delay a task, the most popular answer was that they couldn’t afford to put things right (35%).
A quarter of people say they are too busy to deal with minor maintenance issues, and 23% wouldn’t know how to fix them. One person in eight (13%) says they have better things to do with their time.
Kelly Whittington, Property Claims Director for Aviva UK: “Our research suggests millions of householders are disregarding minor issues around the home. If left untreated, a small snag can turn into a major issue – particularly if poor weather exacerbates an existing problem, such as a loose roof tile or wobbly guttering.
This can mean more time, greater effort and additional expense may be required to put things right. By taking steps now, people could save themselves time, money and disruption in the long run.”
Properties that have not been maintained to a high standard are the ones that potential purchasers will try to negotiate on price, either at the point of offer or during the transaction, particularly after a survey.
As a result, buyers will reduce offers to reflect the work required.