Property value affected when homes aren’t kept clean, study finds

02 June 2014

Although the property market is booming and house prices are continuing to soar, home owners are not making the most of their selling power when it comes to putting their homes on the market.

That's according to a new survey which has found that not cleaning properties thoroughly or keeping them well maintained in particular could have a negative impact on their potential value.

The study of 2,000 British adults conducted by Onepoll and commissioned by professional cleaning service, Molly Maid, found that 96% of people surveyed were more inclined to show interest or make an offer on a property that looked clean and tidy in the property’s advertising images and during viewing appointments. A clear demonstration that first impressions do count when trying to generate interest from prospective buyers.

Similarly, upon completion of a sale and being handed the keys, the majority of house buyers (83%) would expect to find their new property spotless and thoroughly cleaned on moving day. Surprisingly, however, more than one in five Britons (21%) admits that they didn’t clean their property at all before they moved out, leaving additional work and hassle for the new homeowners.

With estate agents holding the key to the valuation of a property, many vendors could also lose out on securing the right price for their house even before putting it on the market, due to poor cleanliness and maintenance.

Russell Jervis, managing director of independent estate agents haart, commented: "First impressions count – including when agents call in to make a valuation. Your home will attract a higher price, possibly many thousands of pounds more, if we can see it is in really good order. We can’t assume you’ll make the time later to fix things up.”

Pam Bader, chief executive of Molly Maid, added: "While it may seem common sense to properly clean and prepare a house prior to putting it on the market, the statistics show that many people don’t. Time pressures and the temptation to save money for cleaning and decorating a new home instead, mean that properties are often neglected prior to sale and don’t reach their full value potential.

"Spending a few hours on a thorough spring clean and basic maintenance jobs such as touching up paintwork or securing loose fixings can really make a difference. Ensuring your property is in the best possible condition at every step of the process from valuation to viewing will help to make it stand out from the crowd and achieve its maximum possible selling price.”