When preparing to sell your property, you don’t need to spend a fortune to entice potential buyers. But what areas are worth investing a bit of TLC in?
We asked our Putney branch sales manager, Gary Howorth, to share his expertise on how to make small improvements to increase the value of your home without breaking the bank.
So, how can you make the most from your property with a modest budget for improvements?
GH: How to maximise what you can get for your home when the time comes to sell, is often the biggest dilemma we come up against. How much do I spend? Where do I start?
"often it is the smallest change that can make the biggest difference"
The danger is that you can spend thousands of pounds making various changes, only for a buyer to walk through and not think much of your choice, and you fail to recoup the money you have spent.
Often the misconception with making property improvements is that you need to spend a lot in order to make any money, but quite often it is the smallest change that can make the biggest difference.
Now don’t get me wrong, a significant upgrade to all parts of your property should increase its value, but when limiting what you intend to do, some very simple changes made on a modest budget can actually help achieve a much better sale price.
How can you make first impressions count?
GH: A bit like any personal encounter, the buyer’s first impression of your property is critical. “Kerb appeal” is vital, so tidying the path and front garden, re-varnishing the fence or repainting windows and facia can be an easy Sunday job that will make a significant difference to how people approach your home, and the mind set they are in as they enter the front door.
If you own a flat, ask yourself how the communal areas are looking. Brightening these areas up with some flowers, air freshener and maybe a carpet clean will present a welcoming feel and give the sense that you are living next door to royalty rather than the Royle family.
What’s worth undergoing a bit of DIY?
GH: Inside your home it is important to look at areas that buyers may see and feel they need to invest in. Check for any old damp marks that you have not gotten round to redecorating, or small scuffs or stains that have accrued over the years. An internal repaint will remedy this and give a fresh feel to the property.
A spring clean throughout is essential, particularly in the kitchen and bathroom. Dig out the rubber gloves and make them spotless; new taps and a new shower head can also help in this regard, as will re-grouting those tiles that have been on your to-do list for months!
How can you make each room look its best?
GH: De-clutter. This is the most painful process for most sellers, but often the most satisfying. Whether you make the most of your storage cupboards, the local car boot fair or tip - you want every room looking as big as possible to maximise the space you are selling.
“Make the buyer feel that there is as little work required as possible”
The idea of this entire process is to make the property look as appealing as possible and make the buyer feel that there is as little work required as possible. Failing that, the impression will be that they can move in, be very happy and do any major works at a later stage.
In presenting your property this way, your valuation should be at the higher end of any price range and any buyer looking at the property will have less reason to want to knock the price down; it is this part that can save you thousands of pounds. The difference in real cost of making these changes versus the perception of the buyer and the resulting offer they make can be significant.
If you’re looking to make a bigger statement or simply looking for some striking interior ideas, then have a browse through our Home Inspiration page.
Or if this has made you curious about the value of your own home, why not chat to one of our property specialists?
Ready to sell? Instruct Foxtons to market your property for sale, and we'll build you a winning property ad. A professional property photographer with the latest technology will capture your property’s most marketable qualities, like the photos from Foxtons Specialist Photography featured throughout this article. This way, buyers who look at your ad can picture themselves in their future home.