Not adding value to your home before selling it is pretty much throwing money down the drain. And who can afford to do that?
Of course there will be occasions when adding value is not possible due to a lack of money or time.
If however you do have the time and funds to add value, you will benefit from a higher sale price – giving you the chance to buy a bigger or better replacement home or to bank a larger amount by way of savings.
The aim of this blog is to identify as many as possible of the most common value-adding steps you can take – enabling you to grasp the extensive range of things you can do: some major, some minor; some costly, some inexpensive; some time consuming, some quick to do.
Given a choice, you should always deal with big disrepair problems affecting your home before selling. These are often relatively expensive and time consuming to carry out – but if not done can knock huge sums off the value of your home.
Failing to address them is likely to reduce the number of buyers interested in your property and that will depress the price you are likely to achieve.
For instance, if you decide to sell a property with rising damp, no central heating, rotten windows and dated decorations, you are likely to appeal only to builders and investors and they will want to drive down the price to make their margins.
The fundamental point to remember is that buyers will be looking to reduce the price for every item of major work they can spot.
1. Fix or replace the roof
If your home is not watertight that is going to put off many buyers. They will want a reduction to reflect what they think it will cost to remedy the problem. Fix or if necessary replace the roof to restore value.
2. Repair damaged ceilings
After dealing with any water entry, repair damaged or sagging ceilings and decorate to add value.
3. Deal with any bowing walls
Bowing walls are likely to put off most buyers. Arranging for bowing walls to be taken down and rebuilt may be relatively costly, but you are likely to recover your expenditure in the form of a much increased value.
4. Remedy rising damp
Arrange for any rising damp to be dealt with by a reputable contractor and ensure that you obtain a guarantee or warranty for work carried out.
5. Sort out structural cracks
Structural cracks to inside or outside walls can reduce the value of your home and put off many purchasers, not to mention slow down the sale process if for instance a structural engineer needs to be brought in.
It is best to pre-empt problems by remedying the cracks in advance of placing your property on the market.
6. Fix damaged or collapsed floorboards
Fix or replace floorboards where necessary.
7. Renew or repair joists or roof timbers
Deal with rotten or damaged joists or roof timbers, ideally obtaining a guarantee for works done.
8. Repair unstable chimney stacks
A dangerous chimney stack could delay the sale or lead to the buyer being subject to a mortgage retention until it is repaired. That is likely to lead to the buyer pressing down on the price.
9. Add or repair boiler/central heating system
Work to boilers or central heating systems is usually highly disruptive and not many regular buyers will want to buy a house where such works are necessary.
You will make your property more desirable and valuable by ensuring that you carry out such works before selling.
10. Replace rotten windows/put in double glazing
Buyers, especially builders and investors, will want a chunky price discount if they have to carry out major works such as replacing the windows or fitting double glazing.
Putting in central heating and double glazing are two of the main ways to add significant value to your home, particularly as they can reduce heating costs, one of the main costs of running a home.
As well as adding value by carrying out major repairs, you can also increase your likely gain on a sale by carrying out major works of improvement.
11. Renew the kitchen
Putting in a new kitchen or upgrading an old kitchen, for instance by adding new doors and fittings, is one of the easiest ways to add significant value and saleability.
12 . Renew the bathroom
A new bathroom is unlikely to add as much as a smart new kitchen, but it is a great valuer-adder all the same.
The amount you spend on a new kitchen or bathroom should be commensurate with the value of your home. Remember that there is a ceiling value for every street.
A new kitchen and bathroom along with complete redecoration and new floors can, in some cases, add 20-25% to the value of a home.
13. Add ensuites
Adding ensuites is a great way to up-value your home and, depending on the location of your water and drainage, may be relatively inexpensive to do.
14. Put in a downstairs toilet
Modern homebuyers expect a downstairs toilet as standard and one should be added if there is the space.
If it has been many years since your home was last rewired, as evidenced by a dated fusebox, rewiring and adding a new consumer unit with safety features will be appealing to buyers.
16. Convert your loft
By increasing living space, a loft conversion is likely to add considerable value and saleability but the downside is the cost of works, the possible need for planning permission/building regulations approval and the time it will all take.
17. Convert your cellar
Converting your cellar into useful living space is another big and time-consuming job, but the upside is that it is likely to increase the selling price of your home greatly – especially if a large percentage of new floor space is added.
18. Landscape your gardens
Landscaping need not be expensive and it is a job you could do yourself, upping the value and attractiveness of your home, especially on a first impression basis.
19. Create open plan living space
If appropriate, remove walls and corridors to create a multi-functional open plan living space of the kind so sought after by home buyers at the present time.
Removing walls can increase the appearance of space as well as make some rooms more useful or attractive. For instance, where a kitchen is small, the wall between the kitchen and dining room can be taken down to provide space for a larger kitchen.
PROTECTING YOUR PROPERTY
Don’t ignore maintenance & repairs (the first level of protection for your property)
Budgeting for repairs is smart (be prepared for surprises and big bills)
Why insurance is super important (the main do’s and don’ts you should know)
20. Add an extension
Depending on the configuration of your home, a well placed extension can add great value and even greater saleability. For instance, a tiny kitchen can be made more functional by a rear extension.
A two level extension could create a bigger kitchen/diner, add an upstairs bathroom and free up space for an extra bedroom.
21. Convert a garage to living accommodation
Converting a garage, especially an integral garage, is a great way to add attractive, useful and valuable floor space.
22. Build or convert to create a granny annex
If you have the space or configuration for a granny annex, adding one could add substantial worth to your home.
If you consider it too big or expensive a job, you could go halfway by securing planning permission and selling with the benefit of planning.
23. Extend the floor space of your home
You can increase the floor space of your home by building a detached building in your back garden, ensuring that it complies with applicable statutory regulations.
This can be used for one or more of many possible purposes including: studio, workshop, office, cabin, bar, gym, games room, man cave, summerhouse etc
24. Add a conservatory
A conservatory is one of the easiest ways to add valuable space and attractiveness to your home.
25. Add an orangery
If your home allows, look to add an orangery for an even bigger impact than a regular conservatory.
26. Large scale external remodelling
If you have the money, time and ideas, large scale remodelling of your home’s exterior can add great value and vastly improve saleability – especially if your house is ugly, drab, dowdy or dated and is in a street or area which would justify the cost of works.
Modern methods such as cladding, rendering and large, dramatic windows can transform ugly duckling properties, especially those built from the 1930s to the 1980s.
27. Add storage space or cupboards
Home buyers like abundant storage space and if you have a large property consider adding storage cupboards for the convenience of space-hungry buyers.
28. Remove storage space or cupboards
If your home is small, think about removing cupboards, especially huge fitted bedroom cupboards, to increase floor space.
29. Maximise kerb appeal
Since most people probably decide on a property based on what it looks like from the outside, improving kerb appeal is one of the most basic things to boost the desirability of your home.
You cannot change its street or location but you can increase its attractiveness by ensuring that the front space or garden is clean, weed-free, neat, tidy and attractive and that window frames, doors, fascia boards and fences are in a good state of repair and, ideally, newly painted
30. Extend your lease where necessary
If the legal title to your home is leasehold and the lease has less than 90 years to run, see if it is possible to extend the lease by negotiation with the lessor or freeholder.
Speak to a suitable expert to establish if it will be cost effective for you to extend the lease rather than leave it to the buyer to do so.
31. Sell with the benefit of planning permission
If there are value-adding works which you would prefer not to do, think about obtaining the necessary planning permission which your buyer can then benefit from.
32. Buy more land
There are many buyers looking for homes with land, especially in rural or semi-rural areas.
If there is opportunity for you to buy adjacent land to improve the size or outlook of your rear garden, speak to a few estate agents to see if the extra land will add value on a sale.
SELLING YOUR PROPERTY
When is the best time to sell? (timing your sale for maximum advantage)
Which is the best season to sell? (deciding on the time of year to sell)
Selling fast for a good price (how to get the best price when you need to sell fast)
33. Create off-street parking
In streets where parking is at a premium, you are likely to add significant value by creating off-street parking.
THE SMALLER THINGS
While the bigger more time consuming and expensive steps or actions are likely to add greater value to your home, you don’t always need to carry out large scale work and spend a lot of money to add value.
Is it possible to show off your home for zero cost?
Here are some of the smaller, quicker and less expensive things you can do to upscale the value of your home…
34. Accentuate size
Make sure buyers appreciate the full size and potential of your home by ensuring that all clutter is removed and excessive furniture is stored away.
The same flooring and wall colouring throughout can also increase the sense of size or space.
35. Accentuate light
The appearance of light and airiness can be improved by copious use of white as a wall colour and allowing light to access rooms without being restricted by heavy or net curtains.
36. Carry out all necessary minor repairs
Give buyers the impression that your home is well-cared for and in “good health” by ensuring that all necessary minor repairs are carried out, especially in relation to prominent things such as: doors, windows, gutters, downpipes, fascia boards, outside walls and fences.
37. Decorate interior and exterior
If your home is newly and attractively decorated that can increase the number of buyers – and bidding between them can push up the price.
38. Put in wooden floors
Fitting good quality wooden floors to the main living areas in your home is a good investment.
39. Restore period features
If your home has period doors, built in cupboards, cornices, fireplaces, shutters and the like, restoring them incrementally may not be a big deal and if done well will appeal to certain buyers willing to pay a premium for the rarity and quality.
40. Focus on style
A beautifully styled home will be attractive to many buyers, creating a buzz and helping to push up the price as buyers compete.
Visit show homes, look at magazines and go online to see what the professionals are doing to get “that look”.
It is not difficult or expensive to style a home and is something most people can achieve with application and attention to detail.
Have you used or are you aware of other ways to add value to your home? Please leave your comments below.
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Rebel Property Coach
My website is: www.rebelpropertycoach.com