When buying a new home, most buyers are looking for somewhere that requires little or no work at all. If your home isn’t perfect and you want to sell it quickly, you need to be prepared to put in a little time and money before going to market, especially if there is high competition in your area.
If your home is in relatively good order but appears tired or a little dated, think about presentation and a little re-decoration. Use contemporary, neutral paint colours and a white eggshell finish to tidy up woodwork. If you can minimise your furniture to create space, do so. Keep personal items off display, but don’t let the place seem unloved or empty. Give your home a thorough clean and don’t let potential buyers be put off by mould and mildew or grubby soft furnishings. If things are still looking less than impressive, buy new, inexpensive replacements. It’s quite simple to revive your home and give people a house to talk about. Don’t forget, you will also need to impress the estate agents; you want a high but realistic valuation. Give them a house they will be proud and confident to sell.
Now if you’re really looking to increase the value of your home, you need to look at it from the perspective of your target audience, who are your buyers? What age and status might they be? Knowing this information will help you make informed decisions and appropriate changes. If you aren’t sure, ask your agent. There’s no point spending money on a loft conversion if your target audience are young professionals and if your living space is isn’t big enough for a growing family, adding bedrooms will be pointless. It would be better to increase your value by creating an open plan kitchen-diner for entertaining.
That said, research shows that the kitchen is usually at the top of a buyers priority list. Replacing a kitchen after all the stress and costs of moving can be an overwhelming thought and often not within budget. The kitchen is often described as the hub of the house, no longer used just for cooking. A kitchen needs to be multipurpose, where families can be together with enough space for individual activities, from homework to hobbies to watching television.
The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors say that by replacing your old kitchen, you can increase house value by up to 4%. This figure could rise if the kitchen area is re-modelled and extended. If you plan carefully and don’t spend too much or too little, you could even make a healthy profit. What you do spend though, needs to be relative to the overall space and price of your home. For example, to pay £20,000 for a kitchen in a house worth £200,000 clearly wouldn’t be proportionate, it would be much more sensible to spend in the region of £8,000. And vice versa, fitting a cheap kitchen in a home that expects a selling point of £500,000 would be very senseless indeed.
Again, think of your audience, this should help you decide on a suitable style, appliances and seating. Keep colours neutral but don’t be afraid to give an element of interest such as an oak worktop or some brass hardware. Look at what’s popular and what will work well in your space. An all-white kitchen wouldn’t be suitable for a young family with three messy children, nor would lots of open shelving. However, these features would attract the young professionals who enjoy entertaining. Generally, all buyers will want plenty of storage, work space and a design that’s easy to keep clean. White goods should be good quality and proportionate to your overall expenditure. Consider your current layout and ask yourself whether it’s necessary to change it. When choosing your components look at what works well together, you don’t want it to look washed out, nor too busy. Trust your kitchen design company to help you, they know what works best and don’t forget to tell them you’re selling.
When your finished and ready to go to market, tell your estate agent about the changes and improvements you’ve made. Then, let them sell your home for you – it’s what they’re trained to do!