In the current economic market, selling your home is becoming increasingly difficult. There are far more properties for sale than buyers, and with the continued reluctance of the banks to lend, this problem is set to get worse before it gets better, however, there are still buyers out there, so we’ve compiled a list of small to substantial home improvements you can make to help your property stand out on the market, and help you find the right buyer at the right price.
Estate agents can evaluate your property and suggest home improvements to increase value and selling potential. Increasing your properties ‘curb appeal’ will shape a potential buyer’s first impression and their attitude for the rest of the viewing. Some easy steps to improve the outside appearance of your home include;
- Washing and painting the exterior walls
- Cleaning and repairing gutters
- Cutting the grass and pruning the flowers
- Cleaning garden paths and driveways
These jobs can make a property look neat and tidy, and a potential buyer feel welcome. Here are some similar aesthetic improvements you can make to the interior of your home to increase its buy-ability;
- Installing new lighting – a well lit room will feel more inviting and spacious
- Treat any damp or mould problems – surveyors will be looking for these kinds of issues, so treat the cause and repair the damage before valuing or trying to sell
- Organise and de-personalise – removing clutter and photos from your rooms can make them look larger, tidier, and help reduce concerns about storage space
These quick fixes can help potential buyers feel welcome and visualise themselves in your home, but you can always go a step further with some quick and easy DIY jobs –not only eliminating potential problems with the property at low costs, but increasing its appeal and giving it a fresh new look;
- Ensure the electrics are up to scratch – a potential buyer who flicks a broken light switch can’t help wondering what else needs work
- Patch cracks and imperfections in the walls – these can seem minor if you are used to them, but can suggest larger problems with the building’s structural integrity, and are essential before painting
- Repair tile grout – cleaning kitchen and bathroom tiles and re-applying grout can give the room a quick and effective facelift
- Painting doors the same colour as the walls can create an illusion of space
All of the above can really help make a property stand out on a saturated market, and make it look ready to live in rather than ready to work on. You can take these improvements as far as you like – the following can not only help a house sell, but can add significantly to its value, as well as adding selling points to its brochure;
- Replacing old windows can improve appearance and allow more light into your rooms, as well as making the property more energy efficient
- Buyers today are more concerned than ever with energy costs, so improving the energy efficiency of your home with additional insulation for walls, ceilings and loft can be helpful selling points and will often cover their expense in added value
- Adding and removing walls in the property can alter the way it functions without the cost of an extension – removing a wall or adding one to a larger bedroom, creating two smaller rooms, can maximise potential, but not in every case. Drastic changes like this are always worth consulting your estate agent about
- The most effective way of adding value to your home is with the addition of an extra room, most cost-effectively done with a conservatory. A quick and easy way to add appeal to the property, which you don’t usually need planning permission for
- Taking the extra room a step further could mean a loft conversion, though this is more expensive and may require planning permission
- Furthermore, a well-planned home extension can often add two storeys of good value to a property, but you should be careful not to over develop, especially at the expense of your garden, as this could actually reduce property value and appeal to buyers. It’s worth looking at other properties in the area to get an idea of what kind of value these developments can add before starting any work, as well as considering the likelihood of obtaining planning permission and their implications on home insurance prices.
Even if you don’t undertake any of these improvements on your home, it can be beneficial to point out to potential buyers where they can be made – people like to make their mark on a new home, so any changes you make to the property should increase its appeal and potential without deviating too far from the norm. The improvements that can help you sell will depend a lot on your budget, time frame and property, but many of the above are small jobs that can have big impacts on potential buyers – address the issues that would immediately worry a potential buyer first – anything else is an extra that can only help your property sell.
This article was written by David Rendell, article writer Confused.com, which allows you to compare house insurance online.