Deal Breakers to pay attention to before determining valueMake Text Bigger
When it comes to achieving maximum value, it is easy to forget that what is appealing in terms of taste to one person can be abhorrent to the next. Of the many home improvement faux pas which affect saleability and value in the minds of buyers, the following seven deadly sins represent the equivalent of commercial hara-kiri:
1. Pebble dash – it looks perfectly in keeping on a 1930s semi detached house but adding a pebble dash finish to a property of any other age or style can dramatically detract from its value.
2. Stone cladding – perfect for properties in a remote or semi rural location where all other houses are naturally clad in local stone, but a recipe for a pricing disaster if you put it in an urban setting.
3. Vivid paint colours – vivid red masonry paint red may have seemed a good idea at the time but no one wants to buy a house which stands out so dramatically. If you have to paint your home at all or have committed the sin previously, choose pale, natural shades and use the correct paint for the appropriate surface.
4. Swimming pool – unless you are selling an appropriately sized property in the right location, a swimming pool in an average domestic property is a top turn off for buyers because of Britain’s inclement climate and because they cost a lot to maintain.
5. Wood chip – wall coverings have come a long way since the 1970s. More akin to a student bedsit than a family home, if you have wood chip anywhere, strip it off, line the walls and re-paint the surface in a neutral shade.
6. Artex ceilings – as above, this surface finish for walls and ceilings went out of vogue years ago. An effective solution rather than the mess of hacking it all off is to skim over with plaster and repaint.
7. Pine paneling – more at home in Chinese takeaways or taxi offices, if you have pine paneled walls, take them down and prepare them for a more contemporary finish.
Preparing the home to create buyer appeal:
Programmes like House Doctor and Selling Houses have served to emphasise the importance of presentation when achieving maximum values and a quick sale. Although location and marketing price are key factors in the decision making process, the number one reason why two identical houses in the same street might achieve wildly differing values comes down presentation and whether the buyer can actually visualise themselves living in your home. Here’s a room-by-room guide to sprucing up your home to achieve maximum value and saleability.
Kerb appeal: Purchasers form strong and immediate impressions about how a home looks exteriorly, so make sure yours halts them in their tracks.
• Repaint all exterior woodwork. £60 should buy enough paint, filler and brushes to radically improve the look of the standard three-bedroom family home. Remember to paint at least six weeks before placing your home on the market, as the smell of fresh gloss is a dead giveaway.
• Keep lawns in trim and use a pressure washer to clean drives, paths and brick walls.
• Polish all door furniture. It gives the impression of a home that is cared for.
• Be ruthless with the contents of the garage and shed. Boot or Ebay anything that isn’t needed and store the remainder in cheap, bright storage boxes.
• Visit your local garden centre and buy two dramatic planted tubs, and use these to frame your door or porch if there’s room.
According to research, it usually takes around 20 seconds for a buyer to decide they like your home after walking into it. Making sure that all entrances are uncluttered, warm and welcoming create a good first impression. Doors should open properly and porches should be cleared of coats, boots and junk.
• You can create the illusory effect of a much larger space in your hallway by the strategic placing of a mirror to maximise light.
• Hang a couple of tasteful prints to create interest on a plain wall.
• It makes a nice, pleasant touch to have fresh flowers on display.
• Dark or heavily patterned carpets will dominate a room making it smaller so replace those that are dark, old or dirty with either completely new flooring or the judicious placement of rugs.
• If your floors are carpeted and only mildly stained, hire a carpet cleaner to improve the pile. If you have wooden flooring, give it a polish.
• Throw out old or worn curtains and invest in some brand new ones. There are plenty of quality made-to-measure curtains at affordable prices.
• Use a throw and large scatter cushions to brighten up a tired old sofa.
• Depersonalise by clearing out all clutter and family photographs.
• Get effective resilts with minimal effort with our Easy weekend makeover for the living room guide.
• If you’re burdened with an inexpensive looking kitchen but haven’t got the budget to change it, you can still transform an outdated look with replacement worktops and new cupboard fronts.
• Freshen up tired grout to give tiles an instant facelift.
• Dispose of old fluorescent lighting and replace it with new, modern lighting fitments.
• Take a look at the Easy weekend makeover guide for the kitchen.
• If you have basic taps and handles, change them for smart looking chrome or brass fittings to transform the look of the suite.
• Make a feature display of some quality soaps and oils.
• Ensure all sanitaryware is in pristine, clean condition.
• If you have a coloured suite, it’s time to replace it with clean, light, space enhancing white – the preferred choice for homebuyers.
• Take a look at our Easy weekend makeover guide for the bathroom.
• Make all beds before buyers visit. Tidy away clothing, personal effects and books etc.
• Reposition furniture to give the effect of maximum space.
• Keep a jug of fresh flowers on the dressing table.
• Open the windows and air each bedroom half an hour before the viewing.
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