Increase the Value of Your Home
Before you sell your most valuable asset, your house, use our guide to make small changes that can increase the value of your home by thousands of pounds.
- Increase your kerb appeal. First impressions count and most buyers make a mental decision within three minutes of viewing a property. So make sure that the outside of your house is as attractive as possible. Pick up any litter from your front garden, put council bins down the side alley and mow the grass. If you live in a communal block of flats, clear away the junk mail and old post.
- Basic DIY can save you thousands. Clear gutters of old leaves, scrub mould spots off bathroom walls and paint over old water stains. You want to give the impression that your home has been well cared for. You could even paint the front door for that extra wow factor, and walls should always be painted in a neutral colour.
- Clean the windows. It not only looks better, but clean windows let in more light – a key selling point for many buyers.
- Banish smokers. Potential homebuyers have listed the smell of cigarette smoke as the biggest turnoff when viewing a property and it can cut the value of your home by thousands.
- Pets run a close second after smokers. Banish them outdoors when you have a viewing, and be sure to stash pet paraphernalia such as smelly dog baskets and cat litter trays outdoors. Animal hairs on furniture can also be a big turnoff for potential buyers, so make sure that sofas, chairs and even beds are free of animal hair before a viewing.
- Clear the hallway. This often neglected area is the first port of call for any viewer, so make it seem as large and clutter-free as possible. Clear away coats, football boots, bikes and other items that could turn buyers off. A spacious hall can whet the appetite of any buyer to see the rest of the property.
- Elbow grease is the key to getting a top price. Clean and clean again. Even things like a dirty fridge or oven can give the impression that your home is not well cared for, affecting the price you're offered.
- Use lemon-scented household cleaners. This is associated with a warm welcoming environment, and gives the impression that your house is squeaky clean.
- Get used to living clutter-free. Depersonalise your space while you’re having viewings. Potential buyers have to be able to imagine themselves in your space, which means clearing away family photos cluttering the mantelpiece, children’s drawings on the fridge, and the pile of newspapers by the armchair. To be prepared for last-minute viewings, never be more than half an hour away from getting the house clean and tidy. Put the loo seat down and do the washing up.
- Be careful what you say to prospective buyers. Never say you’re moving because your house is too small, local traffic noise is too noisy, or because you hate the neighbours. Find a plausible reason for your move that won’t put them off.