If you’re thinking of selling your home, here are some tips…
1. Convert the loft
One of the most effective ways to increase the value of your property is to add an extra bedroom or bathroom, but chopping up current room sizes is not ideal so it may be worth thinking about a loft conversion – it may be the easiest way to create the additional space.
2. Conservatory installation
Living space is worth more per square foot than bedroom space so a conservatory can be the solution to creating more downstairs space. Make sure that the spaces marry together well and that it’s a professional job, otherwise the addition of a conservatory could do more harm than good if it’s just ‘attached’ to the side or back of the house with no thought.
3. Basement conversion
One of the most expensive conversion is that of a basement, which is why you see so many on MTV cribs… because they tend to be for the super-rich. Don’t underestimate the sheer scale of such a project either because a basement conversion will alter the structural load of the property. Also worth thinking about, you will most likely need to move out whilst the work is done.
4. Do you even use your garage?
Convert it. If you don’t park your car in it, and you instead use it for storage then change the room into a functional living space, it’ll appeal to more buyers.
5. Target your buyers
Establish who your most likely buyer is, and target them. For example, if it’s families, then convert the spare room into a playroom, if it’s millennials then convert the spare room into a movie room or a gym. You want to make sure prospective buyers can see themselves living there as easily as possible.
6. Pave the front garden
If parking is at a premium in your area, you can add some serious value by paving over and creating parking. Please note, if you’re doing this you will need to drop the curb and are likely to need planning permission, so make sure you contact the council before you go ahead.
7. Paint the house
You’ll be surprised at what a lick of paint can do.
8. Change the windows
They can spruce up a house easily, even if it’s just sanding and repainting. Make sure it suits your house, if the building was designed to have wooden windows, then replace them with wooden windows and so on.
9. Refurbish the front door
A relatively cheap yet surprisingly effective refurbishment. If you can’t afford a new door, how about investing in a funky new doorknob… or a smart letterbox?
10. Hang mirrors in the hall
Hanging mirrors make a corridor that would otherwise be pokey, seem expansive.
11. Concentrate on the kitchen
This is a biggie – the kitchen is almost always the most important room in the house. It’s a place where, obviously, we prepare food but also the kids do their homework in it, we watch television in it, and we catch up with friends over coffee and host dinner parties there. So if you have any money to spend, spend it here.
12. Knockdown those walls
Buyers tend to go for properties where usable space has been maximized, and they may pick this element over the number of rooms/bedrooms so it’s important to create functional rooms.
Keep it simple and clear, and then make pretty with the fixtures and fittings. You might not need to re-install a new bathroom, just give it a tidy, maybe add a plant in there, and change up small bits and pieces. If you’re tight for cash, you can find funky things at a car boot sale which might add a quirky edge.
14. Don’t bother with the bedrooms
They don’t need lots of work because they are personal spaces and the new owners will likely have different tastes to you. Focus on sprucing up what space you have with a few soft furnishings (and maybe a new set of curtains).
15. Put in central heating
If you don’t have it, it’s a fairly standard requirement from buyers so it’s worth looking into getting it before selling.
16. Look up
Every inch of space matters. Build space where possible; one of the quickest and easiest home hacks is to increase space by using ceiling voids. Add shelves where possible for additional storage and to save floor space… but don’t go OTT.
17. Bring the outdoors in
It’s a trend, and homebuyers love it. What’s more, bi-fold doors are more affordable than ever and have risen in quality in recent years. For an even cheaper change up, install outdoor lighting, or create interesting planting. Try decking or pop a patio down. Whatever you choose, think carefully about the aesthetics before committing.
18. Planning permission
If you can’t quite afford an extension or conversion but it is possible in your property, you could still secure the planning permission to do so, for the next owners.
19. Help is on its way
Having building work done is terribly time-consuming, disruptive, and expensive – and can often strain the relationship between the client and builder… so people who emerge from the process still singing the praises of their builder are people you should talk to.
Typically, the bigger the builder, the faster the job will be done, but the higher the price. Hire a small builder and it might take longer, but could also cost you less. Use this general rule of thumb to prioritise your time – and money – accordingly.
Elements of the guide have been adapted from here, by property-expert Phil Spencer