Planning to sell your home this spring (when the season finally arrives)? Then make sure it offers oodles of buyer appeal.
Spending money on smartening it up will help achieve a faster sale and even a better price. Here are the top ten ways to give your home a facelift.
Smart ideas: Extra storage space – like this built in unit by Neville Johnson – appeals to buyers
Refresh your kitchen
The kitchen is the focal point of any home, and crucial when it comes to selling a property — 43 per cent of homebuyers say a kitchen in good condition is top of their property wish-lists, according to a study by betterbathrooms.com. But fitting a new kitchen rarely adds more value than it costs, so don’t go overboard.
On average, homeowners spend £5,000 on a new kitchen. But it’s easy to dramatically change yours without ripping it out. Replacement doors, starting from around £20 to £50 per door from ikea.com or wickes.co.uk, will give a fresh new look while saving you the money you would have spent on units and labour costs.
VALUE ADDED: £12,500 or 5.5 per cent (figures by Hiscox — based on the average UK house price of £226,071 from the Land Registry Index in November 2017).
A well-presented bathroom is important to a third of buyers. Updating this room with a new suite and modern tiling will be worthwhile. If it’s still in good condition but needs modernising, you might get away with simply replacing the taps and the grout on existing tiles.
However, if you have the space, adding a new bathroom, even a small one, will increase value.
VALUE ADDED: £6,000 or 2.6 per cent for an update, or £12,800 or 5.7 per cent for a new bathroom.
Brush up: Even adding a small extra bathroom will help increase the value of your home – this one is by ikea
Convert your loft
A loft conversion is a more expensive improvement, but it gives good value for money.
Most lofts can be easily converted to give an extra bedroom or storage space. Make sure you obtain any planning permission required and safeguard documents when you come to sell. Loft conversions cost from about £20,000.
VALUE ADDED: Around £24,510 or 11 per cent.
Ditch the garage
It’s estimated that most British garages don’t house a car.
This flexible space can be turned into a home office, games room or ensuite guest bedroom, for example. It is one of the most effective ways of adding space to your home and, if you’re not changing the look of the exterior, you may not even require planning permission. But you will need to abide by building regulations.
VALUE ADDED: About £25,383 or 11.2 per cent.
Lick of paint
First impressions count, and people will pay a premium for nicely decorated homes. Ensure walls are clean, and stick to a neutral palette. For a more considered look, try shades of grey or putty.
If in doubt, stick to crisp white and stay clear of magnolia — interior designers are unanimous that it screams student digs.
VALUE ADDED: £7,000 or 3 per cent.
Touch of blush: Pale colours as well as putty shades – like this Light Peach Blossom by Little Greene – will help spruce up the home
Green DIY and home upgrades ranked higher, in planned home improvements, than installing a new bathroom, adding an extension, or converting a loft or garage, according to a recent study by AA Financial Services.
Of those who were going green, more than half were installing double-glazed windows. These keep the home warm and reduce noise, even if you’re near a main road.
VALUE ADDED: £7,000 or 3 per cent.
Sprucing up outside spaces is essential, but keep it simple. Buyers can be daunted by a garden that’s heavily manicured as it suggests graft.
Make sure all plants and the lawn are well tended. Mature transplanted trees can give even the most fledgling of outdoor spaces an established and elegant feel, and Winkworth suggests a rambling wisteria plant can increase your home’s value by up to 5 per cent.
VALUE ADDED: £3,000 or 1.4 per cent.
Wisteria Lane: It’s estimated that a blooming wisteria will add 5 per cent to a sale
Add extra storage
Most buyers are looking for a clutter-free living space. Use existing alcoves to build cupboards and shelving. While the value added is modest, it could swing a sale for those bursting at the seams in their current homes.
VALUE ADDED: Around £1,560 or 0.7 per cent.
Flip the floor plan
Simply changing the floor plan of your home can maximise its existing square-footage. One cost-saving trick is to ditch built-in furniture and choose freestanding units so more of the floor is visible.
You can pay an architect or use a handy app. MagicPlan (magic-plan.com) allows you to accurately measure how much floor space you have and create a layout using your phone’s camera.
VALUE ADDED: Buyer appeal.
Don’t overdo it!
Every home has a ceiling price — the maximum you can expect to achieve based on similar properties in your area — so there will come a point when improvements will fail to add any extra value.
Check with estate agents what is popular with buyers. For example, research by Halifax Insurance suggests that conservatories are falling out of favour, with applications down 3 per cent in five years.
However, applications for basement conversion projects have soared by 183 per cent. Digging out a basement can cost £2,000 to £3,000 per square metre and the work should add about £15,000 to the value of your property.
Smart ideas: Add appeal to your home with some fresh lines in soft furnishings and eye-catching kitchen fittings