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  1. Fix any problems

    Before spending any time and money making your home look pretty – fix any structural and minor defects. These things may not add any value to your home but it will stop you achieving the optimum valuation and sale price. It isn’t worth covering up any structural problems, as if a potential buyer doesn’t notice then the purchase is likely to fall through once the survey is carried out, or you may receive a reduced offer due to any cost involved for the buyer in putting the problem right.

    Nobody is attracted to a home that appears to have been uncared for and that looks high maintenance. Buyers will look for an excuse to offer less than the asking price and anything that stands out as being work for them to take on if they buy the house is likely to be a turn-off. Better to sort out any bad paintwork, dripping taps and mouldy sealants in the kitchen and bathroom and get the valuation done when the house isn’t showing signs of deterioration.

  2. Central heating

    Central heating is a must for majority of people and not having it will certainly cost you when it comes to selling. It will cost a few thousand, but will add more than this to the value of the property. Not having central heating will be enough to turn away some buyers, even if the house is perfect in every other way.

  3. Double glazing

    Like central heating, many people will take double glazing for grated and will be put off a home that doesn’t already have it. This should be a priority when choosing how to improve your home. If you are considering any other changes to your windows, ensure it is in keeping with the age and style of the property.

  1. Get rid of anything nasty!

    Buyers will view lots of properties – don’t let them remember yours for all the wrong reasons! The house with the ugly bathroom, the one that smelled awful, the one with textured walls…. Even if they like your home, all of these examples will just stand out as being extra work and cost to them and will be taken into consideration and reflected in any offers you receive. If you have the funds, get rid of anything that is no longer fashionable. If you can’t afford to do much, think of cheaper alternatives. Removing tiles is a bigger job but you could cover old fashioned patterned tiles up with white tile paint – or tile over them.

    Throw away or store properly your clutter. Things you don’t use daily in the kitchen, put in the cupboard and don’t leave out on the counter. Get rid of any battered or broken furniture and don’t replace it if you don’t need to. Spending money on furniture wont add value to your property but the extra space may be beneficial.

    Homes that sell best are ones with a light and airy feel. Replace photographs or pictures with wall mirrors in small rooms and narrow hallways. Ensure windows are not obstructed and replace any energy savings dim light bulbs with brighter ones. Leave lights on in cabinets or under the units in the kitchen for both the photographs and the viewings later. Brighten up any dingy corners with a lamp to create a warm glow.

    Buyers will be more interested in living space as opposed to the number of rooms – consider whether knocking down a non-supporting wall would improve the layout. Get an expert in to advise on this – botched DIY jobs do not add any value!

  2. Kitchen

    If you do one room – always go for the kitchen. A new kitchen can increase the value of the property by 4-5% and can be as cheap as £1,500 plus fitting for a small property. If you have a larger, more valuable home, your buyer may expect a bespoke kitchen and it may be worth looking into some designs and quotes with a few interior designers. Always get a few quotes, and make it clear that you are doing the kitchen to help sell the property, as you may find quotes can differ depending on whether they feel you are making an emotional purchase buying your dream kitchen as opposed to buying any kitchen to give your home the wow factor and make it sell for a decent price.

    Don’t overspend (for example, if your property is worth £150,000 then do not spent £10,000 on a kitchen as you won’t add this much value to your property) If your home is of average size and value or less, have a look out for ex display kitchens being sold cheaply in DIY stores – you are picking a kitchen for somebody else so there is no point paying extra for your favourite kitchen, choose one that is good value for money.

    If you have less of a budget and can’t afford a new kitchen, consider refacing the units you have and play it safe by sticking to neutral colours. Always ensure there is adequate lighting – light and airy is better than dark and dingy – if you don’t have under cabinet unit lights then you can do this quite cheaply and it makes a massive difference.

  3. Bathroom

    If your property needs a new bathroom, have a look out for ex display bathrooms or other discounted bathroom suites online. You can get a white suite for as little as £300 so it is worth doing especially if you have an old style coloured suite.The majority of buyers will expect at least one shower – so if you do happen to have just a bath then look into this. If you can’t afford a new bathroom, you could add an impressive feature to improve the existing room. For less than £100, maybe add a heated chrome towel rail or swap the grubby shower curtain for a clean glass door. Choose things on offer rather than your favourite as you are buying for someone else.

  1. City car parking issues

    This may or may not be an issue, depending on where you live. If your home is in a city or anywhere that lacks car parking spaces, paving over the front garden to free up a car parking spot should add value to the property. Most people would favour having somewhere safe to put the car (even if you have a garage, most people don’t park their car in there) over a bit of garden – especially families with young children or elderly people, trying to get in and out of a car parked on a busy road is a nightmare.

  2. Front door

    If you’re house looks good from the outside, people who notice it even before it goes on the market are likely to want to come inside and see more. Replace dented garage doors, and if your front door doesn’t look its best consider replacing or painting and add a new knocker or house numbers. While you are considering the outside of the property, see if the window cleaner can clean your gutters and check to see if the windows sills and door steps could benefit from a varnish. These jobs are pretty cheap and easy to do. If you need inspiration, have a wander round and look at other people’s front doors.

  3. Garden

    Neat and tidy gardens that are not overlooked are the most desirable. You want to give the impression the garden is low maintenance and create a feel of seclusion. If you don’t plan to give the garden an entire makeover, at the very least get rid of any weeds and clean the patio or decking area. Even if you don’t do a lot yourself and are not sure what is needed, find a handyman with a jetwash to come round and give it a clean for you. Create an area that isn’t overlooked by planting shrubs or consider whether any fencing is adequate.

  4. Increase storage space

    Is there any dead space in your property? Unused space at the end of a corridor, a space under the stairs? Fitting a door can turn any dead space into valuable storage and will certainly add appeal to your property. Any storage space in the property is a big advantage so make sure you make as much as you can. Take some clothes out of any fitted wardrobes to give the illusion there is more than enough space, reduce the amount of bedding/towels in airing cupboards and hide these in the boot of your car if you have one so that it’s out of the way when the valuer comes.

    If you have any boxy spare rooms – consider adding some overhead storage. This is good for study rooms and playrooms too. A cleverly arranged study or playroom may be small but if it is tidy it could add something to your home rather than being a negative aspect. Take care putting up anything heavy on the walls in new build properties – they may be flimsy and some more substantial brackets may be required. For inspiration, have a look on Pinterest at clever storage solutions.

    Lastly – be realistic. Don’t outgrow your area. There is no point spending a fortune on a massive extension and hoping to achieve £500,000 on a property in an estate where the rest of the houses are worth half that amount.


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