Making a good first impression is vitally important in any transaction – but none more so than when you are looking to sell your home. Any prospective buyer worth their salt, however, will always want to take a closer look – especially when hundreds of thousands of pounds are involved.
It goes without saying that any repairs needed to your house should be done prior to it going on the market. There are other measures that cost nothing but attention to detail and perhaps a a little elbow grease.
Decluttering you home, giving it a deep clean, revamping your garden, repainting window sills and installing a planter with some nice looking flowers could do the trick. Other ideas such as installing new double glazing or upgrading your broadband could be worth the investment and make all the difference.
Whether you’re looking to sell your home, or have just bought a property to renovate, a little investment can go a long way. Value for money is key. Be careful, however, because experts warn there are some enhancements that can actually decrease a property’s value.
More often than not, a few small upgrades will be all that’s required to make your house stand out. According to the Office for National Statistics, the number of residential properties sold in England last year increased by 10 per cent as a result of some simple game-changing improvements.
Here are a few home features that property experts say will pay the most dividends.
Your home will instantly become more sellable if double-glazing is installed, according to estate agents. Alex Harvey, from Henry Adams estate agency in Sussex, said: “Buyers of period homes want wooden window frames.
“Don’t plastic in or they’ll start discounting the price. We’ve sold an Edwardian terrace cottage for £40,000 more than predicted two years ago.”
He added: “All the owners did was replace single-glazed windows with wooden framed double-glazed windows costing £18,000.”
Properties with slugging broadband tend to be avoided by potential buyers. That’s the finding of a study conducted by Rightmove at least. Dubbed ‘the fourth utility – after electricity, gas and water – a fast broadband that allows a home’s occupants to easily stream TV and music without any problems is a must.
The advice to anyone who lives in an area with poor reception is to look to installing satellite broadband, which involves fitting a dish to the house. “Broadband has become ingrained in people’s lives and is a hugely important factor when choosing a home – its appeal should not be underestimated,” says Rightmove’s Bernard Phillips.
Possibly the most straightforward and value for money way of increasing the value of your home is to give its exterior some TLC. Making sure that the front of your property is clean and tidy is a must, as many prospective buyers like to have a drive-past, or several, before investigating further.
Kate Hardwick, from Smiths Gore, said that just a few “simple improvements” can make a huge difference. “More people are looking at houses from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s,” she said.
“Simple improvements like rendering unattractive brick and replacing concrete roof tiles with slate increase kerb appeal and value.” It’s an opinion shared by Jonathan Handford, a property expert with Fine & Country. “Hanging baskets, flower pots, freshly painting the front door, ensuring the fence is crisp and clean, plus trimming hedges and lawns can create a welcoming impression,” he said.
Many new build homes come fitted with en-suite bathrooms and it’s a feature that is becoming increasingly commonplace and sought after. An en-suite can boost the value of your home and can cost as little as £2,500, according to The House Buyer Bureau website.
Having the space to create an extra bathroom adjoining a master bedroom is obviously a prerequisite. It means that costs can vary considerably, depending on the space available.
Carole Ann Evans, from estate agents Morris Dibben, said: “If you have a four-bedroom house with just one bathroom, add another – an en-suite to the master bedroom, ideally.” Other bathroom upgrade ideas include a heated towel rail, new taps or a glass shower screen instead of a fitted curtain.
The House Buyer Bureau warns that homeowners should be wary of spending too much on big budget home improvements. And there is an important reason why. Their advice is to make a few key improvements rather than a raft of expensive work such as a loft conversion, purpose-built home office and extra bathroom.
Even if they will add value to your home, the expense of major projects like these may not be very good value for money. The website states: “Remember, there will always be a ceiling price for properties in your area or road. No matter how many jaw-dropping home improvements you invest in, your home will never exceed this.”