Don’t forget about the heating system, house sellers urged

With the house moving season in full swing, homeowners looking to sell their property are being urged not to ignore their heating system to avoid putting off potential buyers.

The advice follows a recent survey of house hunters which reveals outdated boilers were more of a turn off than old kitchen appliances or unsightly radiators*.

With many owners struggling to sell their properties in a sluggish market, OFTEC, which represents rural homes on oil heating, has produced a helpful checklist for households to ensure their heating systems are in tip top shape before going on the market. The advice includes:

Know your boiler’s history

  • The boiler should be serviced at least once a year to make sure it is working correctly and efficiently. If you haven’t had the system checked over, contact a GasSafe (for mains gas) or OFTEC (for oil or solid fuel) registered technician who are recognised as fully competent and will provide you with evidence, such as servicing reports. Using non-qualified technicians to carry out any work could make buyers more cautious.


How much does it cost to run?

  • Energy costs are often one of the most important factors people consider when buying a property so make sure you know the facts. For homes off the gas grid, heating oil remains the cheapest major fuel, currently over £400 less than LPG and over £800 cheaper than electric storage heaters when comparing typical annual running costs for an average three bedroom house**.


How smart are the heating controls?

  • Outdated heating controls could potentially put off a buyer because they can make it more difficult to regulate the temperature, leading to higher energy consumption and fuel bills. Upgrading to more efficient technology which enables you to set different temperatures for each room, can be an additional selling point. Modern systems can also connect with smart devices which offers even greater flexibility.


How old is the boiler?

  • Modern condensing boilers are more efficient, quieter and cheaper to run. If the boiler is over 15 years old, it may be worth replacing. Make sure you obtain the 'building regulations compliance’ certificate which identifies the age of the boiler and confirms it meets the required building regulations. This should be issued shortly after the boiler is installed.


Malcolm Farrow, from OFTEC commented: "It’s a popular time of year for house movers and, for those looking to sell, there’s a lot to organise. Whilst most of us remember to have a general spring clean and tidy up, the heating system is often forgotten about.

"However, it’s an important consideration because if it hasn’t been looked after it could put off potential buyers or lead to a reduced offer. Taking the time to check everything is in good working order and knowing the facts can make a big difference, especially as buyers today are much more savvy and want to get the best deal."

*Npower, 2019
**Sutherland Tables, 2019