31 January, 2012
If you're trying to sell your home, you'll want to
do everything you can to impress potential buyers and increase its
value. While not everyone can afford improvements like a loft
conversion or kitchen refit, there are some inexpensive steps you
can take to add value to your house.
1. Smarten up the outside of the house
First impressions are incredibly important - a bad view of the
outside of your house could put off buyers before they've even
opened the door. Give it a new lick of paint, clean the windows and
gutters and make sure the front door looks smart - and make sure
your house name or number is clearly visible.
2. Tidy the front garden
Similarly, a well-presented front garden will help to create the
right impression when viewers arrive. Clear the driveway, trim the
grass, and maybe add a few potted plants.
3. Create a bright, airy hallway
It's the first part of the house people will see, but often an
area which is forgotten about. Remove any clutter like shoes, bikes
or unopened post, and make the most of a narrow corridor by
painting in light colours and hanging mirrors to create the
illusion of a bigger space.
This applies to all rooms in your house - the more mess and
clutter there is, the smaller the rooms will feel. In the kitchen,
tidy away recipe books, food and drink bottles and boxes, recycling
and utensils., iIn the bathroom tidy away excess toiletries and
cleaning products, and in the living rooms and bedrooms put away
any children's' toys, books, DVDs etc.
It sounds obvious, but a dirty or untidy house will put people
off buying. Sweep floors, vacuum carpets, wipe down worktops and
cupboards, polish taps, take out the rubbish and don't leave any
unnecessary items lying around that might look messy.
6. Show off storage
Adequate storage is important to most buyers, especially
families, so make sure you show off what you have. Tidy out and
clean all your cupboards so they look more spacious, if you have a
garage or shed clean that out too, and if you have roof space
available for storage make sure there is easy access in case house
viewers want to have a look.
7. Bring décor up to date
A few little tweaks can make your house feel modern, fresh and
clean. Choose light, airy colours for the walls, and don't forget
the ceiling, especially in the kitchen where paintwork discolours
the quickest. Choose blinds for the kitchen and bathroom, get rid
of any net curtains, swap your shower curtain for a glass screen
and choose un-fussy soft furnishings.
8. Make the house smell good
Although it is a bit of a cliché, freshly baked bread and
freshly brewed coffee make a house much more attractive than the
smell of smoke or last night's curry. Don't overdo the air
freshener either, neutral smells are best.
9. Hide family and pets
Although you obviously still have to live in your house while
you're trying to sell it, it can be off putting for potential
buyers if the whole family is there when they visit, and if they're
not pet lovers themselves the sight of a cat or dog might make them
imagine the house is dirty or smelly, even when it's not. If you
know you have a viewing, send the children to a neighbour's house
or get your other half to take the dog for a walk.
10. Consider your target buyer
Take into account the area you live in, the size of the property
and the asking price, and think about who your target buyer is. You
can then present the house accordingly, whether it needs to be
child-friendly, an office space instead of a third bedroom, or have
space for a car instead of a front garden. A house with all
mod-cons, perfect for a young professional couple is unlikely to
sell in a retirement village, so know your audience!
Finally, if you do move home, don't forget to inform your home insurance provider.