Whether you want to build equity or get the best offer when you sell, use the tips below to improve the value of your property. Ultimately, it’s worth will depend on how much the buyer is willing to pay but often a few small changes can make a big difference to the eventual selling price.
Even if you are planning to stay in the property for a number of years, understanding how to add value to your home will help you to decide which projects are financially worth carrying out and which aren’t.
Importantly, you need to prioritise – upgrading the kitchen or bathroom or converting a loft space might seem like attractive options but you ought to start with basic structural and cosmetic repairs.
Here are a few tips to help you prioritise:
Repair structural issues
Ensuring the properties roof is not likely to pose problems in the future should always be a priority. There’s no point in spending all your cash on a new kitchen or bathroom to then be landed with a huge bill just to keep your property watertight. Any structural issues that have been flagged-up in your Home Report should also be addressed sooner rather than later as this will reassure buyers that they won’t need to splash cash on repairs before even moving in.
Update your central heating system
Upgrading the central heating system will always add more value than you spend. This should be done in conjunction with improving general energy efficiency, such as insulating the loft, sealing windows and doors and replacing windows that are beyond repair with double glazing.
Re-wiring and plumbing
If the property is more than 30 years old and has the original wiring, it is highly likely to require updating, at least in part, to meet modern standards, including replacing the fuse box with a modern consumer unit. Rewiring is an opportunity to not only improve safety but also modern convenience – to add more switches and plugs for kitchen appliances, home computers and televisions. If you are selling an older property, a recent rewire can boost its appeal to buyers.
Redecorate & complete easy upgrades
Giving your home a lick of paint and doing some general maintenance can be done at a very low cost. Fresh paint in neutral colours can go a long way to giving your home a new lease of life.
It’s also a good idea to fix all superficial defects. While not likely to be the deciding factor in a house sale, small problems and defects can create an impression of a house being run down or not well cared for. Things to look out for include:
Dirty walls, especially near doors frames and around switches
Squeaky floors, doors or stairs
Mouldy sealant in kitchens or bathrooms
Limescale built up on kitchen and bathroom fittings
Badly fitted laminate flooring
More significant issues such as damp should not be covered up. It will show up on a survey and is likely to come back to haunt you later.
Re-work the layout of your home
Potential buyers need to be able to visualise what the property would look like if they were living there. People often find this difficult, so make it easy for them to see all the fantastic living space you’re offering them.
Add an extra bedroom
The number of bedrooms in a property has a big impact on its value so adding bedrooms will usually add to the sale price, although be aware that there is a ceiling value for every street and so at some point the additional cost ceases to bring any return.
Give your kitchen and bathrooms a makeover
If you take the plunge and replace the kitchen and bathroom, don’t go overboard with décor, keep it simple; tiles and taps, can end up costing quite a lot. It’s worth opting for simple, neutral, affordable quality and thinking about what might appeal to potential buyers, rather than making costly decisions based on your own taste. Bathrooms can be bought reasonably cheaply. Go for a standard, white suite. If a dated bathroom is the only thing keeping the value of your property down, it is worth making a minimal investment for a better return.
Spruce up your garden
First impressions count and not just when you’re meeting people. Gardens create an important first impression of a property. An attractive outdoor space can add thousands to the selling price of your home, while an uncared-for garden can knock money off and scare away potential buyers.
Improve your home’s ‘kerb appeal’
Improving the external look of your house if you’re trying to sell is essential. Most buyers will decide if they like your property before they even get out of their car so create a great first impression by fixing exterior fittings. Make sure that nothing is obviously broken, freshen up with a lick of paint, mow the lawn, clear any clutter and clean your windows. Simple things like adding climbing plants and replacing or adding a house sign or number can make a huge difference.
If selling, you’ll also need a Home Report to be carried out. We are the leading providers of Home Reports across Scotland, carrying out Home Reports at a time convenient to you. We work early mornings, evenings and weekends too and are competitively priced. Give us a call on 0131 608 0175 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrew MacKenzie is a qualified Chartered Surveyor with over 20 years’ experience within the Scottish Property market. He specialises in all types of residential valuations including Home Reports, Private Valuation reports and Development Appraisals.
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