What not to fix when selling a house in the uk feat. image

What not to fix when selling a house UK

Selling a house can be a daunting task, especially when you’re trying to get the most value out of your property. There can be a lot of costs involved e.g. estate agents, solicitors etc. While some repairs and improvements can boost your chances of a successful sale, others may not be worth the time, effort, or money. Let’s take a look at what not to fix when selling a house, drawing from expert advice and real-world experience. Whether you’re a first-time seller or a seasoned homeowner, these tips can help you avoid costly mistakes and focus on what really matters to potential buyers ensuring success.

Expensive Upgrades

When selling a property, it’s important to keep in mind that expensive upgrades may not necessarily yield a return on investment. While some upgrades, such as replacing old appliances or updating a bathroom, can be worthwhile, others may not be worth the expense. Here are some examples of expensive upgrades that you may want to avoid:

  • Adding a swimming pool: While a swimming pool may be a desirable feature for some buyers, it can be a turnoff for others. Additionally, installing a pool can be expensive, with costs ranging from £20,000 to £50,000 or more. In some cases, the cost of installing a pool may be greater than the value it adds to your home.
  • Installing a high-end kitchen: While a newly renovated kitchen can be a selling point for your home, it’s important to keep in mind that a high-end kitchen can be expensive. If you’re planning to sell your home in the near future, it may not be worth the expense of installing a brand new, top-of-the-line kitchen. Instead, consider making small, cost-effective upgrades such as painting the cabinets or replacing the hardware.
  • Landscaping: We mentioned above small tasks can improve your home’s curb appeal, it’s important to keep in mind that it can also get expensive. e.g. replacing paving etc. In some cases, the cost of landscaping may not be recouped when you sell your home. Consider making small, cost-effective upgrades such as planting flowers or adding potted plants to your porch or patio.

Structural Issues

Structural issues are some of the most expensive and time-consuming problems to fix in a home. It can be tempting to try and fix these issues before putting your house on the market, but it is not always the best course of action. Fixing major structural issues is not advisable because:

  • It is expensive: Structural problems often require extensive repairs, which can be very expensive. This can be a significant financial burden, especially if you are trying to sell your home.
  • It can be time-consuming: Repairing structural issues can take a long time. This can delay the sale of your home and cause you to miss out on potential buyers.

Instead of fixing major structural issues, it is best to disclose them to potential buyers and price your home accordingly. Some examples of major problems of structural issues that you should avoid fixing include:

  • badly kept roofFoundation problems: Foundation problems are some of the most common and expensive structural issues. They can be caused by a variety of factors, including soil settlement, poor construction, and water damage.
  • Roof problems: A damaged or leaking roof can be a sign of a more significant structural issue. Fixing a roof problem can be expensive, and it may not address the underlying issue.
  • Structural cracks: Cracks in walls or ceilings can be a sign of a more significant structural problem. Fixing these cracks may not address the underlying issue and can be costly.

By avoiding fixing these structural issues, you can save yourself time and money while still being transparent with potential buyers. You might find it easier to sell your house to cash buyers if you are having problems selling a property with major structural problems.


Cosmetics and Aesthetics

When it comes to trying to sell, it’s important to make sure it looks presentable and appealing to potential buyers. However, not all cosmetic issues need to be fixed, especially if they are purely for aesthetic purposes. In many cases, the cost of fixing them may not be worth the return on investment in terms of the increase in the property market sale price.

Examples of cosmetic issues to avoid fixing include:

  • Repainting the entire house: While a fresh coat of paint can make a house look more attractive, repainting the entire house can be expensive and time-consuming. Instead, focus on touch-ups in areas that need it the most, such as scuff marks or chipped paint. The Front door is easily forgotten but its the first impression of the house|!
  • Upgrading the kitchen or bathroom: While upgrading the kitchen or bathroom can add value to a home, it can also be a costly expense. Instead, consider making small updates such as replacing the faucets or updating the cabinet hardware.
  • Landscaping: While a well-maintained garden can add curb appeal, it’s not necessary to completely overhaul the landscaping. Simple tasks such as mowing the lawn and trimming the bushes can go a long way.

It’s important to keep in mind that while cosmetic updates can be attractive to potential buyers, they may not always translate into a higher sale price. Therefore, it’s best to focus on small touch-ups that can make a big difference, rather than investing in major cosmetic upgrades.

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Personal Preferences

When selling a house, it’s important to remember that not everyone shares the same taste. Fixing certain things based on personal preferences may end up being a waste of time and money, as potential buyers may not see the value in them. Here are some examples of personal preferences to avoid fixing:

  • purple plaintBold paint colors: While you may love a bright accent wall, potential buyers may not share your taste. Neutral colors like beige, gray, or white tend to appeal to a wider range of people and can make the space feel brighter and more spacious.
  • Custom or unconventional features: Built-in bookcases, murals, and unique lighting fixtures can all be appealing to some buyers, but they can also be seen as a hindrance or a cost to remove. It’s best to avoid investing in features that are too specific or unusual
  • Landscaping: While a well-manicured lawn and garden can add curb appeal, a complete overhaul of the yard may not be necessary. Remember, not everyone has a green thumb, and some buyers may prefer a low-maintenance outdoor space. Focus on tidying up the existing landscaping rather than adding expensive features.

By avoiding personal preferences and focusing on more universally appealing features, you can help make your home more attractive to potential buyers and increase your chances of a successful sale.

Energy Efficiency

When selling a house, it may seem like a good idea to upgrade your home’s energy efficiency to attract potential buyers. However, some energy efficiency upgrades may not be necessary and may not provide a significant return on investment. Here are some examples of energy efficiency upgrades that may not be worth fixing:

  • solar housesInstalling solar panels: While solar panels can help to reduce your energy bills, they can also be very expensive to install. In some cases, the cost of installation may not be recouped in the sale price of the house.
  • Replacing windows: New windows can help to improve a home’s energy efficiency, but they can also be very costly. In some cases, upgrading the insulation in the attic or walls may be a more cost-effective way to improve energy efficiency.
  • Upgrading appliances: While new appliances may be more energy efficient, they can also be expensive to purchase and install. Unless your current appliances are old and outdated, upgrading them may not be necessary.

When it comes to energy efficiency upgrades, it’s important to consider the cost and potential return on investment before making any major changes.


In summary, there are several things you shouldn’t fix when selling your house in the UK. Prioritizing major structural issues or expensive upgrades may not be the best use of your time and money, especially if they are not likely to yield a significant return on investment. Cosmetic, small electrical issues, and personal preferences may also not be worth fixing if they are not major or will not significantly impact your asking price or the overall value of your home.

Instead, it’s often best to focus more money on smaller, more affordable fixes that will make your home look clean, tidy, and well-maintained. This includes things like decluttering, fixing small repairs, and improving curb appeal.

Ultimately, the key is to strike a balance between making your home look its best while also being mindful of your budget and what you spend money on is likely to yield the best return on investment. By keeping these tips in mind, you can ensure that you’re not overspending on unnecessary repairs and upgrades when it comes time to sell your home.


Should I fix all of the issues in my house before selling it?

While it’s important to address any major issues that could affect the safety or habitability of the home, not all issues need to be fixed before selling. It’s important to prioritize the repairs and upgrades that will yield the best return on investment.

Can I sell my house as-is?

Yes, you can sell your house as-is, but keep in mind that this may limit your pool of potential buyers and could result in a lower sale price. Be sure to disclose any known issues to potential buyers.

What should I disclose when selling my house?

Legally, you are required to disclose any known issues with the property, including structural problems, pest infestations, and other defects. Failure to disclose these issues could result in legal action.

Should I make energy efficiency upgrades before selling?

While energy efficiency upgrades can be a selling point for some buyers, they may not always yield a return on investment. Consider the cost of the upgrades compared to the potential increase in home value before making any decisions.

Can I leave personal items in my house when selling?

While you can leave personal items in the house, it’s generally recommended to remove them to create a blank canvas for potential buyers. This allows them room to envision themselves living in the space without being distracted by your personal items.

What brings down the value of a house in the UK?

Several factors can impact the value sales price of a house in the UK, including poor condition, outdated features, structural issues, and undesirable locations similar properties.

Are you liable for anything after selling a house in the UK?

Once the sale of the property is complete, the seller is generally not liable for any issues that arise with the property. However, if the seller provided false or incomplete information during the sale, they may be liable for any resulting problems.

What do you legally have to disclose when selling a house in the UK?

In the UK, sellers are required to disclose any known material defects or issues with the property that could affect its value or safety. This includes any serious issues with the property’s structure, utilities, or legal status.

What should I remove from home when selling?

When preparing to sell your home, it’s generally recommended to remove any personal items, such as family photos, old furniture or unique décor, that could distract potential buyers or make it difficult for them to envision themselves in the space. It’s also a good idea to declutter and remove any excess furniture or belongings that could make the home appear smaller or less spacious.

If you are looking to sell and we cannot help we’ve also put together a list of some other places you can get help selling –

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About the author

Starting his career in Estate Agency, Jeff quickly moved up the ranks to manage his own office for Halifax Property Services. Co-founding Speed Property Buyers in 2008, he has applied this knowledge and overseen rapid expansion of the business.