With the spring house-selling season around the corner, many homeowners eyeing a move may already be sprucing up their properties to get them ready for market.
But while moving can be an exciting time, estate agents warn that it’s easy to make blunders while trying to sell, which could potentially knock value off your property – and some of these may be quite surprising.
Mark Bentley, president of NAEA Propertymark, cautions: “Sometimes the improvements and changes you have made might make the property less attractive to buyers.”
Here are some of the key factors he thinks could have an impact on a property’s value…
People’s homes suit their personalities. But if you like your decor big and bold, it may be worth toning it down a bit – unless you can find a buyer who has similar taste.
Typically, modestly-decorated homes are most desirable, as home owners can easily see how they could make it their own.
Show off your home at its best. Everything should be clean, clutter tidied away, and any outstanding DIY jobs finished. If a home smells fresh and clean, it has a much greater chance of selling quickly.
A simple spruce-up
Kitchens are often the focus for buyers, so it’s important they don’t look too outdated. Painting kitchens and replacing cupboard handles and old taps can be a cost-effective way of getting kitchens up to date.
Let there be light
If you’ve planted lots of bushes and trees close to the windows, your home may appear gloomy to buyers. Frosted glass windows or netted curtains can also sometimes have the same effect.
Energy performance has become increasingly important, so if your home needs an energy efficiency boost, consider steps to make it happen, such as installing double glazing.
Rough around the edges
Tell-tale indications of damp, cracks on walls, poor roof condition, old boilers and single-glazed windows can all impact on the value of a property.
Clean up your mess
Clean from top to bottom, paying special attention to “high-impact” rooms, such as the kitchen and bathroom. Things like too much furniture, too many children’s toys and unused gym equipment can make your property feel smaller.
If you have had work carried out while living in the property, such as extensions or conversions, make sure you obtained appropriate planning permission and building regulations, and have access to these documents. If you haven’t got the right documents, you may have to pay for them retrospectively before agreeing a sale.
Keep it simple
As well as not doing enough, you can do too much. For example, putting fake grass in the garden may have benefited your sporty family but it may not appeal to buyers who love the smell of a freshly-cut lawn.