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Answering whether or not you can sell a house with old wiring, how much it costs to rewire and whether or not it adds value to your house...

When it comes to selling a house, you will have a lot of outgoings to get your house the best possible buyer – estate agent fees, legal fees, property staging, the list could go on…

This is before you’ve thought about your property’s electrics and the cost of rewiring your whole property, should the wires be too old, making the property unsafe to live in and therefore unattractive to any potential buyers.

This begs the question; can you sell a house with old wiring? Does a house HAVE to be rewired to make it able to attract buyers at a good price?

Well, we’re about to answer this for you, as well as how much a complete rewire costs and whether it will boost the value of your house.

How do I know if house needs rewiring?

There are no specific ‘rules’ that will dictate when your house needs rewiring and contrary to popular belief, just because a house is old, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s unsafe and needs rewiring.

You should have a periodic inspection carried out on your property every 10 years by a qualified electrician, who will be able to tell you the state of the electrics and whether or not you need a rewire.

But, if you’re looking for some quick tell-tale signs that you may be in need of a rewire, then look for the following:

  • Your wiring included rubber or lead-insulated cables. Modern wiring is uPVC coated, grey or white in colour and is twin-earthed

  • You get slight shocks from switches or outlets

  • Your wiring is damaged or exposed

  • You're still using an old fuse box

  • You have flickering or dimming lights

  • The main circuit breaker and some of the branch breakers frequently trip

Also, if your property is more than 30 years old and still has the original wiring, it probably needs rewiring and it can be a good idea to do this before you sell, as it will make the property more appealing to buyers and bring the house more up to date.

Rewiring doesn’t just provide you with the opportunity to make your home safer but also to make the house more modern and up to date with current standards, meaning when you’re looking for a potential buyer the house will be more appealing.

You also won’t have the issue of a buyer trying to lower and renegotiate on price after doing a survey and finding that the electrics require work.

To have your property thoroughly checked by an electrician, you will need an Electrical Installation Condition Report.

This report, as you may expect, will highlight any issues with your home’s electrics, including poor wiring or faulty connections.

The average cost of this report ranges from about £150 for a 1-bedroom flat, up to £275 for a 5-bedroom house.

How much does it cost to rewire a house UK?

The cost of rewiring a property will depend on a range of factors, with the property’s size, age and location playing the biggest part. The table below will give you a rough guide on the costs you should expect when rewiring your property:

Size of propertyRange - Low Range - HighAverage cost
1-bed flat£1,500£4,500£3,000
2-bed flat£2,000£5,000£3,500
3-bed flat£3,000£6,000£4,500
1-bed house£2,000£5,000£3,500
2-bed house£3,000£6,500£4,750
3-bed house£4,000£7,500£5,750
4-bed house£6,000£9,000£7,500
5-bed house£7,500£12,500£10,000

Figures taken from 'Cheackatrade'

These costs cover a two-stage rewiring procedure and will include:

  • Removal of old wirings and fittings

  • New wiring throughout the property

  • White finish electrical accessories (for example, socket outlets or switches)

  • Installation of a new metal consumer unit

  • Minor plastering work to fill small holes

  • Circuit testing and final installation certification to show that all work meets the current regulations

How disruptive is a house rewire?

Not only do you need to consider the costs, but you also need to remember that rewiring a property can take up to 15 days.

You will also need to remove as much furniture from your home as possible, including carpets as floorboards will need to be taken up.

This will mean you may incur further costs through the removal of these items, storage units and hiring someone to refit the carpets and floorboards.

You will also likely need to move out for the period of time that your property is being rewired, as it can mean your property is without power, making it inhabitable.

This further adds to the cost of rewiring your property.

We know, you’re starting to think ‘can you sell a house with old wiring?!’ to avoid paying these high prices and disrupting your house for over two weeks, only to then put your house on the market.

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Does a rewire add value to your house?

Whilst a rewire may not directly add value to your house, it will mean that a buyer won’t be able to use faulty electrics to reduce their offer.

When you accept an offer from a buyer, before exchange can take place, they will conduct a survey on your property.

If your electrics are faulty, outdated or unsafe, then this will show up on the survey and can lead to the buyer pulling out of the sale completely or using it as a gazundering tactic and reducing their offer dramatically.

What this means for you, is if you’ve spent £5,000 rewiring the property, whilst it won’t add an extra £5,000 to the asking price, your buyer won’t be able to reduce their offer by £10,000 to cover the costs and inconvenience of having to rewire the property themselves.

Can you sell a house with old wiring?

After seeing the costs and disruption to rewiring your house, it’s no surprise you’re starting to wonder ‘can you sell a house with old wiring’.

So, in short, the answer is yes you can, but you will have to expect it may be harder to find a buyer and once you do, they will more than likely submit a low offer or reduce their offer once they realise the house needs rewiring.

To avoid getting put in this position, there are a few things you can do when your house has old wiring, and you don’t want to spend the time and money rewiring your property:

Do a bit of DIY

Whilst we’re not recommending trying to complete a whole rewire of a property yourself, you could look to do some of the smaller tasks, to make the property’s electrics appear better on a survey.

However, any work carried out is regulated by law under ‘Part P of the Building Regulations’.

If any of the DIY you have carried out doesn’t meet the correct standards, you will be forced to redo it, as it poses a serious risk, for example, an electrical fault leading to a fire.

Also, if the wiring has been done poorly, insurance companies won’t pay out in the event of a fire, making the process more costly than just getting the electrics done by a qualified individual.

Set reasonable price

Another thing you can do if you want to sell your house without rewiring is set the property’s asking price at a reasonable price which takes into account the amount of money a buyer will need to spend to get the property’s electrics up to scratch.

This way buyers will feel your property is well priced for the potential your house holds and will also be happier to buy from you as you’re being upfront about the issues your property has and are willing to price your property in line with this.

However, a buyer may still be put off at the prospect of needing to rewire a house and all the disruption that comes along with it.

Also, when offering on a house, buyers tend to go below the asking price, which will leave you with a much lower offer than you may expect for your property.

This is because buyers tend to see an asking price as a ‘guide’ and unless you state ‘offers in excess of’, you’re likely to get an offer at least 5% below the asking price, if not further below.

Sell to cash buyer

Your final option when wanting to sell a property with old wiring is to sell to a reputable cash buyer.

A lot of cash buyers tend to be buying properties as a project or rental investment and so they go into a sale prepared for there to be work that needs to be done.

Cash buyers also tend to want a quick sale, as they’re able to complete quickly, and so may not bother having a survey done on your property.

This makes a cash buyer an ideal option when selling a house with old wiring, but aren’t they hard to find?

Well, that depends where you’re looking…

If you ask us, it’s not hard at all – we’re right here!

Here at The Property Buying Company, we’re a quick, cash house buying company, buying any house in any condition – that’s right, we’re not worried about your old wiring!

We’re unlike any other cash buyer you may find on the open market as we can complete in as little as 7 days, all whilst covering all your fees, no worrying about legal fees and estate agent commission here.

Our process takes the stress out of selling – we only require one quick viewing to make sure our cash offer is accurate, and then you can sit back and let us do the rest!

We’re also a member of the National Association of Property Buyers and The Property Ombudsman AND we’re rated excellent on Trustpilot, showing we’re a reputable cash buyer you can trust.

We’ve also got over 50 years combined experience, so there’s no situation too complex – we’ve dealt with it all!

So the answer to ‘can you sell a house with old wiring’ is, to us, YES you can, and you can sell it FAST! Give us a call or fill in our online form for a free, no-obligation CASH offer, which we can have in your bank in a timescale of your choice…

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Tom Condon

Tom Condon, one of our content writers, has fascinating expertise in sustainability in the property industry. Tom thoroughly understands the market and has experience in both residential and commercial property. He enjoys attending conferences and staying current with the most recent property trends.