You don’t have to spend thousands to get the best price for your home. Some simple and easy improvements can be carried out to make it more appealing without breaking the bank.
Looking to sell your home? You’ll want the best possible price, and you may even be considering refurbishing your property before putting it on the market. There are things you can do to improve the appeal of your home, but you don’t need to spend a large sum to attract a good buyer.
Former estate agent and now independent property expert Andrew Richardson, who offers bespoke property advice for buyers and sellers, believes that small improvements are all you need.
Andrew, who has over 40 years of experience in selling residential properties, says you don’t need to spend anywhere near as much as you think. ‘A decade ago, the average person spent £3000 before putting their house on the market,’ he says. ‘Based on my experience, I’d say that 70 to 80 per cent of those people wouldn’t have needed to spend more than £500 to £1000 on their property. However, people often think they should put in a new bathroom or a new kitchen, but the average buyer won’t pay you extra for that.’
Not to everyone’s taste
In any case, a new bathroom or kitchen may not be to the buyer’s taste. They may simply move in and replace them. Andrew recalls a buyer who bought a property that had just had two new bathrooms and a kitchen fitted. Soon after completion, the new owner sent skips to the property and arranged for all of them to be ripped out, even though they were new.
So how much do you need to spend to make your home appealing and what sort of improvements should you make? ‘As a general rule, most properties can be made to look much more saleable by spending comfortably less than £1000,’ says Andrew.
Andrew shares his top tips for making your property appealing to prospective buyers. None of them will cost you a fortune…
Paint the front and garage doors
First impressions count and when it comes to selling your house, your front door is your shop window! If someone views your property on Rightmove or Zoopla and your front door looks dirty or battered, it may put them off even coming to view the place. ‘If people see a grotty front door, they automatically start to assume that the house is neglected, and could start to lower their target price,’ says Andrew.
Get rid of the small stuff. Don’t have your coffee table cluttered with newspapers and TV remote controls. ‘If I went to your house today there would probably be clutter,’ says Andrew. ‘That’s how people live. It’s normal. But buyers don’t always see beyond the clutter. Don’t overcrowd rooms with furniture either.’
Make sure your house is well-lit
Improving your lighting will stand you in good stead. Change all your lightbulbs to make sure they are all working and remove any net curtains as these will affect the light and make rooms look darker.
Clear out your garage
At the very least, tidy it up – or even better, clear it out entirely. ‘Garages are becoming more important, especially with people needing more space to work from home,’ says Andrew. ‘We used to buy a house with a garage to put our cars in, but cars don’t rust so much these days and we often change them every few years anyway.’ Andrew suggests painting the walls white to make your garage look more like an extra room.
Spring clean your house
This may sound obvious, but people don’t like dirty houses. Some people will check for dust and can be deterred by it. If you don’t have time to do it yourself, get a cleaner in. It could cost you between £50 to £100 depending on the size of the house but would be money well spent.
Spruce up the garden
Make sure it’s tidy and not overgrown. ‘Overgrown gardens look half the size they really are,’ says Andrew. ‘There are firms out there who will trim hedges and trees, strip back your borders and mow your lawn. Your garden will look much bigger.’
Make your house warm
Many buyers don’t like cold houses, so make sure you have the heating on, and the house is nice and warm. If you are selling an empty house, go in and put the heating on a few days before you have a viewing.
Be available for viewings
Even though you have your own schedule, always try to be flexible where viewings are concerned. If you make it difficult for someone to view your home, they may think you’re going to be a tricky vendor. When you have viewings, leave the house, and let your estate agent handle them.