Improving Your Home To Sell
From small changes like planting flowers and painting walls to more mammoth tasks like adding an extension or refurbishing the kitchen, there are hundreds of ways in which a home owner can increase the overall value of their property before placing it on the market. In this article we will take a room-by-room look at some of the ways you can maximise your return.
Planning home improvements
If you’re not careful then your home improvements can quickly spiral out of control. We’ve all heard horror stories of home owners hell-bent on what seems like a never-ending quest to improve their homes, spending time and money doing work that they aren’t qualified for, only to have to eventually call in the experts to finish the job. So it’s important that you make careful decisions when planning your home improvements.
Making the biggest impact
The first question most people will have is “what exactly will add the most value to my property?” In general loft conversions and kitchen or bathroom renovations will increase the value of a property the most but there are other ways too which involve less cost and effort.
What you should bear in mind is that with any property there is usually a ceiling price. This means that after a certain point any further improvements to the property will fail to increase its overall value. You should take the advice of an estate agent who might be able to guide you on what the ceiling price for your property will be, so you know which improvements are going to be worthwhile.
Planning your renovations
Depending on the type of home improvements you are going to take on, you should consider whether or not you need any additional help from professionals.
The hire of skilled tradesmen is one cost that is hard to avoid. Although you might not always need to hire a plumber, joiner or electrician, choosing to do so could make a difference in the timescale and the overall quality of your project.
An architect might also be able to help you better plan your project. By navigating building regulations, restructuring rooms and utilising their experience in this field, they could be very important to your project. However, they aren’t always needed and could prove to be an unnecessary cost if the job is fairly small.
If you decide you do need a tradesman then you should ask friends, family and colleagues for recommendations or contact TrustMark which is a government-backed scheme with a database of accredited trades people, all of which sign up to a code of practice and receive regular inspections.
Room by room
Often dubbed the heart of the home, kitchens are where everyone in the family spends a substantial amount of their time at home. When remodelling a kitchen you should aim for it to look attractive and be practical, hygienic and spacious.
Remodelling a kitchen can add a lot of value to a property but it can also be expensive so it can be worth working with what you have as much as possible. Some of the units in your kitchen might be salvageable with a fresh coat of paint, but it’s important that any worktops get replaced. They tend to be one of the takeaway points of a kitchen, and if they are old, scuffed and peeling then surveyors and potential buyers are certain to take notice.
Another thing that will notice is whether or not there is space enough for utilities like washing machines, dryers and fridge freezers. Additionally, extractor fans, well-placed energy efficient lighting and well fitted flooring can also win you extra brownie points.
A tiny or out-dated bathroom can be a real deal-breaker for some people, but even if your bathroom is small that doesn’t mean you can’t make it more appealing with a few well thought-out tweaks.
Modernising fixtures, fittings and adding shower units and heated towel rails can add value to bathrooms and when it comes to flooring, vinyl or tiled flooring is best for the added moisture that a bathroom brings.
When it comes to a living room, it’s all about features. Potential buyers will want to imagine themselves relaxing in this setting so a living room should be cosy and inviting. With this in mind features like double glazing and heating appliances like wood burners and stoves are bound to add value.
Bear in mind what types of buyers will be looking at your home. For example, a family with young children and pets might prefer wooden flooring to a luxurious cream carpet that could be easily damaged, and an electric fire can give the same heat and effect as a wood burner but remains cool to the touch, so is therefore safer for pets and children.
Although some people will prefer open-plan styled kitchen / dining areas, for large families and people looking to invite friends over for dinner, a separate space with a dining table can be sure to perk their interest. However, open plan dining / living room spaces are becoming more common and you could always consider joining these two rooms together for a less formal type of space.
According to some figures, adding an extra bedroom to a property could increase the valuation by up to 11% if you have the space for it.
One downside to creating an additional bedroom is that you might not have a lot of space to work with. To make the most out what you have you could use built-in-wardrobes and wall-mounted shelves for storage.
There are other rooms too that have the potential to add value to your property. Unused spaces like attics can be transformed into additional bedrooms or even an office for creative types who work from home. Once again, this all comes down to understanding what kind of buyers you want to market your home to– something that an estate agent can help you to decide.
If you are considering substantial work like an attic conversion then you need to speak to a professional as not all homes will be suitable for this kind of change.
Highly sought after in congested areas, off street parking can be a relatively simple way to add some value to your property. If you have a large front garden area then this might be a relatively simple step as there is already the space available. Using gravel as a surface for your parking space will mean that you won’t have to pursue planning permission.
An easy way of making your home larger and brighter is to add a conservatory. Lean –to conservatories are ideal for properties with small gardens and are quite cost-effective, while Edwardian and Victorian conservatories boast rectangular floors and more detailed features like roof crests.
When making improvements to your garden, it’s important to think about whether the person who buys your property will have the time to maintain its features.
That said, there are plenty of ways to improve a garden with very little upkeep needed. Popular examples include adding decking areas, seating and storage areas. But by far the easiest way to leave an impression on visitors is to plant flowers and keep the garden tidy and free of weeds.
It’s also a good idea to segment your garden into separate areas, for example a paved area with seating and a BBQ and a grassy area with planted flowers.
You probably guessed this already, but taking care of any structural issues in your home will be sure to add to the value. A surveyor will make you aware of any problems that might need to be tackled before you put your property on the market. Don’t forget, serious potential buyers of your property are also likely to get a survey carried out on your property, and if this highlights any structural issues it may give them ammunition to lower their offer, or even pull out of buying your house altogether.
‘Curb appeal’ is a phrase that gets used quite often in property sales but what does it actually mean? In short ‘curb appeal’ is how attractive your property appears from the front. When people arrive to view your property, walk past it on the street or drive past it in a car they will form some kind of impression of your home. The more attractive you can make it look on the outside, the more likely people are to want to come inside and take a look around.
There are many different ways to increase curb appeal on your property. Small touches like tidying up the front garden and mowing the lawn can send out the message that your home is easy to maintain which will delight some buyers who might not have the time to spend on household chores.
If you want to give your front garden a breath of fresh air then you could consider planting flowers or decorating the front door, fences and sheds with a neutral lick of paint.