控えめな装飾から秘密の保管まで, the experts share their tips to up your asking price
by Anna Fielding
It’s your home and you’ve lived with its joys and imperfections for a few years, but how do you convince someone else that this space could also be the place for them?
“Although big-budget home improvements like loft conversions can add value to your home, it’s important not to underestimate the power of simple changes that boost your property’s kerb appeal,” says Zoopla’s Tom Parker.
“You never get a second chance to make a first impression so having a tidy garden can work wonders, as can something as simple as giving your front door a fresh lick of paint.”
1 Try to see your home for the first time
“Most buyers either want to completely replace everything and start again, or they want a home that’s immediately usable,” says Liselle Milner of Zenterior Design. “But either way, they have to be able to see what the possibilities are.”
The goal is to make people imagine what living in your property would feel like, and it starts earlier than you may think. Make sure any outside space is tidy and accessible: fix broken paving stones, trim overhanging bushes, clean the stairwell. Painting or washing the front door is a good step, as is adding a small decorative touch. “Something like a summer wreath will make the house stand out without being too obvious,” says property expert and interior designer Mandy St John Davey. If you have a parking space, move your car and leave it for the potential buyers to use – just as if they lived there.
“You need to remember that not everyone will share your taste,” says Milner. “Anything with a distinct identity, even if it’s done really well, tends to put people off.” A quick facelift can make all the difference. Milner suggests repainting in neutral colours and giving the kitchen cabinets a makeover by either repainting them, replacing the doors, or using wraps – a type of vinyl covering for the units. “No one really wants to spend loads of money on a house they are leaving," 彼女が言います.
2 The basics
When you’ve lived somewhere for a while, you get used to the imperfections. So the kitchen window rattles like it’s haunted in high winds and you haven’t thought about the guttering … ever, 本当に. But fixing the practical issues with your property is a must.
Smaller things such as discoloured grouting, broken locks or dripping taps can be sorted with a weekend of DIY. Then it’s on to the next level. “Make sure there’s no water ingress,” says St John Davey. “Fix any issues with windows, look at the guttering, the fascia. Check your chimneys and look for obvious repairs.”
It’s worth thinking about big issues carefully. If fixing damp, 例えば, is beyond your budget, don’t attempt to hide it. It’s much better to be honest about any issues that will show up in a structural survey.
3 Maximise light, space and energy
When people are viewing your home, they need to – quite literally – see as much of it as possible. Milner recommends starting a clear out well before you actually want to move, to maximise the sense of usable space. You can also make a feature of good storage options, says St John Davey. “People look for storage," 彼女が言います. “Think about where you can create a solution. Perhaps your under stairs space isn’t big enough for a bathroom or cloakroom, but it could be great for built in drawers and cupboards.”
Maximising natural light is also valuable. Think about how people will walk into each room – and move furniture to create open pathways. Milner says rehanging doors can make a big difference: “If you have a door that opens into a wall, take it down and rehang it so that someone will see the whole of the room when they open it.”
Think about the technology available in your area. If there are fibre optic cables, tell people. 同様に, installing smart technology for central heating could add thousands if it means your home scores more highly on an Energy Performance Certificate. It’s also worth evaluating insulation for the same reason.
4 The pandemic add-ons
The past year has altered what buyers are looking for. According to Zoopla, the lockdown-led search for space means houses are now selling faster than flats by an average of three weeks, with features such as balconies and gardens having taken on renewed importance. Three-bed family homes remain the most coveted property type.
While people used to always look for extra bedroom space, having one set up as a home office could be very attractive, says St John Davey. “If you don’t have the space for that, perhaps in a one- or two-bedroom flat, then you could look at partitioning off a section of a room as a workspace.”
Areas for home entertainment are also increasingly popular. Perhaps you could set up your garden to look like an attractive space to host friends. At the very high end of the market, options for home cinemas and gyms are very appealing, but this isn’t for all of us. しかしながら, a “media wall” can have the same appeal in a smaller house, says St John Davey.
5 The serious construction work
“A loft conversion would always be my number one recommendation if it’s within your budget,” says Milner. “And with the light and the space, it often ends up being the best room in the house.”
In houses – but not flats or maisonettes – a loft conversion may not require planning permission (but will need to satisfy building regulations). 同様に, a side return extension, where a property is extended outwards across dead outdoor space at the side, a conservatory or a garden room can be achieved without needing to apply for permission. This will differ if your property connects to others, or if the building is listed or in a conservation area, so do check first.
Check My Home on Zoopla and see if it’s time to sell