What Could be Devaluing Your Property?

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

Any number of things has the potential to devalue a property and turn off buyers. According to a recent article by Investopedia (“Sellers Beware: 8 Factors That Devalue a Good Home”), here are a few common factors that often devalues a property … Do you agree?

Nearby eyesores. Cell phone towers or power lines overlooking a home can make some buyers skittish about the property. Also, messy neighbors or unsightly abandoned nearby homes also might devalue your listing (e.g. According to research by the Center for Responsible Lending, foreclosures will affect 91.5 million nearby homes by 2012 and reduce property values of these homes by $20,300 per household.). Read: Battling the Neighborhood Eyesore

Renovations gone wrong. Investopedia refers to this as the “DIY nightmare” when home renovations are done poorly.While renovating a property can help increase its value, renovations that are not done properly can have the opposite effect. If buyers look at the renovation as something they will have to redo, they may bypass the property, or submit a lowball offer to factor in the “DIY nightmare.”

Bizarre design choices. Some buyers just can’t see past that pinkish honeysuckle accent wall, even if it is this year’s “color of the year.” Unusual paint colors or home design choices that are overly trendy can be turnoffs and even devalue the home. Also, customized spaces that are no longer serving its function, such as a converted garage that now functions as a home gym or bedroom, might make some buyers think twice. And even “a professional chef’s kitchen or marble bathrooms in a modest home suited to first-time buyers won’t likely provide a good return on investment,” the article notes.

Uninviting curb appeal. The exterior of a home offers buyers their first impression of the property–so if the exterior looks outdated or in poor condition, buyers likely will assume the same applies for the inside too. Old fences and sheds can devalue a home. Also, gardens should be weeded and lawns freshly mowed so buyers won’t misjudge a home by its exterior cover.

Melissa Tracey

Melissa Dittmann Tracey is a contributing editor for REALTOR® Magazine, writing about home & design trends, technology, and sales and marketing. She manages the magazine's award-winning Styled, Staged & Sold blog.

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  1. Layla Raymanova

    I do agree, thx

  2. Excellent points! I also see negative impact when sellers leave details of a remodel unfinished, or only update a kitchen or bath partially. They see all the time and miney they put into the project, and buyers only see what’s left undone!

  3. Superb Article!@

    After 31 years of successful Real estate Sales and Investing, the single facTor that causes Buyers to pass an otherwise suitable home is DIY colours, arrangements of the home ( # One reason for no interest) and the curb side appeal we all see first thing.

    Get a brutal assessment up front, make the list, ACT on the change list and get IT sold~!@


  4. Great article. A house near a busy street or a noisy ball field with glaring lights or next to a conflicting zone such as a shopping strip would have the same problems. Some self imagined designs and remodels can turn into a hodge podge of confusing arrangements that are hard to live in if not utterly ridiculous. There are houses with really great curb appeal but once you are inside you wonder whether an architect or a handyman designed the foor plan. Of course if your house is the same model as the one across the street that got sold in a foreclosure, you know the devaluing effect of that as well.

  5. In my opinion, curb appeal issue should be addressed.

  6. In our town there is a homeowner who has signs posted with any complaints he has for the city. City needs more mosquito spray, ____ is a bad place to live, etc. I feel sorry for the neighbors in that area. As long as signs are on his property the city can’t do anything about it. Periodically I drive by to see what new sign was posted. Owner must like attention but it’s all negative.