5 Instant Ways to Add Value to your Property
A handy guide to help homeowners get more when they sell
Whether you are just contemplating listing your property or you have been looking at the for-sale board in the front garden for far longer than you had hoped, you want to get the best deal from your house sale to help with your next step in life. Now that you have made the decision to move on, you’re probably not that motivated to spend your hard-earned money on the house you’re planning to leave. Especially when your finances are now ring-fenced for the whole selling/buying/moving process.
Don’t worry, if you are not in a position to think about shelling out thousands for extensions or conservatories to increase the returns on your investment, there are still plenty of relatively simple and less expensive things you can do to add value to your home and potentially speed up the sale.
Unless you are actually selling a renovation project, it should be reasonably obvious to address any major issues before putting your house on the market. But what about the all the small damage from general wear and tear?
You may have lived with the wobbly stair tread, the puppy-chewed door frame or the crack in the bedroom ceiling for so long you have virtually forgotten about it, but these little details equal added expenditure for potential buyers, who might let the finer details distract them from an otherwise excellent purchase.
- Look at each room in your house with the eyes of a buyer, or get a friend or family member to do it and make a checklist of all things that need addressing.
- If you are confident you have the ability and know-how to do it yourself then work through your list.
- Any jobs that you are not certain you can complete, then hire a reputable tradesman. Bodge jobs are usually obvious and off-putting to buyers. A little expenditure now could be worth far more when the sale goes through.
Declutter, Clean & Tidy
The personal items that make your house into your home are the very same that may hamper the viewers ability to picture themselves living in the house.
- Declutter. Any object that you can live without then put it in storage, donate to charity or bin. Keep just a few carefully chosen and well-placed possessions out to keep the place looking tidy but homely, not stark.
- Decluttering also applies to furniture – if there are articles that take up too much room or make the room look dark, rearrange or remove them so that you maximise the feeling of light and space. But – don’t remove too much, buyers need to see how the space works for everyday living.
- Repaint any rooms that need freshening up. Keep colours light and neutral to give a light, spacious feel and so potential buyers can envisage how they would like it to look – avoid imposing your style ideas on what could be their future home.
- Deep clean. Wash, scrub and dust, especially all the hard-to-reach corners. Don’t forget to clean carpets, especially if you own pets. Carpet cleaning machines can be rented for a weekend for modest fees. It’s also worth keeping the receipts to show that this has been done.
The kitchen alone can be the deal sealer or breaker in a house sale. Unless your kitchen is in a very poor condition, it’s usually not practical or worth replacing an entire kitchen before selling, yet you need it to appeal to your buyers. It is, however, simple to refresh a kitchen on a tight budget.
- Replace worn or discoloured taps and remove stains and limescale build-ups from sinks.
- Consider reviving tired cupboard doors with a coat of neutral coloured paint and new handles. If you are not sure whether they are repaintable, seek advice from your local DIY store.
- If heavily damaged then do consider replacing your worktops and flooring.
- Deep clean the whole room (including cupboard interiors) and repaint the walls.
- Declutter cupboards and especially worktops. Only keep the bare minimum of equipment out as you want viewers to see how much work space they could have.
- If there is a dining area as part of the kitchen, ensure that this is free of clutter so viewers can appreciate the space.
Doors & Windows
First impressions are important in any situation. With many viewers deciding whether they are interested or not before they have even entered the house, make sure that the face of your house looks friendly and welcoming. Unkempt windows and doors can put buyers off because they immediately think about the cost of replacing them.
- Clean, fill gaps, sand and repaint wooden doors and wood framed windows. Choose neutral colours in keeping with the style of your house.
- Replace worn or tarnished ironmongery such as handles, knockers and house numbers.
- Clean up all glass and double glazing frames with mild non-abrasive cleaning products (anything stronger may damage the UPVC).
- Make sure windows are not obstructed by clutter inside or overgrown plants outside.
Garden & Outside Space
According to one survey, up to 40% of sellers do not tidy their gardens, yet around the same amount of buyers think it is important that a property’s outside space is presented nicely. Just as discussed in the previous section, think of the garden as part of the appearance. Dishevelled and unkempt never gives the right impression.
- Get the pressure washer out or even hire one to deep clean exterior stone and concrete, walls, paths, driveways and decking.
- Cut back overgrown bushes and trees, removing any dead or sickly plants.
- Mow lawns regularly, if looking sparse then sprinkle some fast acting feed and seed mix over it.
- Remove the rubbish – broken or empty pots, unused children’s toys and outdoor furniture which is beyond repair.
- Repair and stain or paint timber fencing and sheds. Patch up holes and straighten out leaning panels or poles.
- If you have dogs, either clean up every time they go outside or ideally stop them from using the garden as their toilet. Nothing will put buyers off faster.
With relatively little expense other than some hard work which you and your family can easily do, it is easy to really add value to your home so that potential buyers can see it at its best, helping you to secure a quicker sale at the right price.
Whether you are looking to buy or sell a home, the local experts here at Zaza Johnson & Bath estate agents in Shrewsbury are your perfect partner. Call us today on 01743 248351 or use the contact form below to find out how we can help.