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You may be thinking of selling – not today, not tomorrow, but in a few months or a even year. What should you do to maximise your enjoyment of living in your home, while making it more desirable to when it comes to selling? Here are the quick wins and small fixes, according to our resident Nappy Valley property experts, that will enhance your dwelling days before you opt for the For Sale sign.
Opening up the kitchen and dining areas to your outdoor space can drastically alter your ground floor and it doesn’t need to cost the earth. Side returns and rear extensions with fully folding or sliding doors out to the garden do this perfectly and have been popular for some time, but this is expensive to do. Austin Thorogood of John Thorogood has some smaller, more affordable and quicker solutions that can have the desired affect without breaking the bank or causing huge disruption. “For those without the budget to go that far, changing old-style French windows to folding ones, with more glass and less frame, will give a nicer view out to your outside area. Great while you live and enjoy the property yourself but also easier for your viewers, when you come to sell, to appreciate the space. Moving side kitchen doors (which often open into the dark side passage) to the rear of the kitchen so they open straight into the garden gives everyone the nicer view as soon as you come into the room – even when you’re stuck inside.”
If you’re renovating, you might consider these two further options on the top floors. “Vaulting (and removing) the ceiling in the top floor bedrooms of Victorian houses creates a cool lofty style and allows for the insertion of extra Velux windows bringing lovely light in from a different direction. The only loss is usually a tiny unused attic space and in doing so you can transform dark dreary bedrooms into bright and inviting spaces,” explains Austin. “Another great idea is glass floor panels in top floor – or even first floor – landings, especially in Victorian houses where hallways can be long and dark. These allow natural light (which usually transforms just the top floor) to penetrate deep down into the lower floors of the house, removing that stuffy old-fashioned feeling.”
It’s not news that a property is attractive to a buyer when it is well presented. It should be clutter free – some people might decide to put some items in to storage while viewings are taking place – and freshly painted. “I’d encourage any homeowner to regularly repaint their home and enjoy the benefit of that while they are still living there, rather than doing it purely to sell,” says Rupert Nicholson of Rampton Baseley. “Some of our clients redecorate every year and others decide to do a floor each year, and you can tell. When it comes to viewings, first impressions count and if the paint is chipped on the front door or walls, it calls into question whether the house has been well looked after.”
A well-presented home will sell quickly and at the asking price, even in an uncertain market. This house on Lyford Road is a prime example of a property that was beautifully presented and snapped up quickly.
“In terms of actually selling properties, the big thing we’ve seen is how important it is that our clients do all the little touches to help sell their property,” emphasises Andrew Murphy of Portico. “Make sure it’s clean and tidy, that the garden is nicely pruned for viewings, that it looks welcoming and there is some kind of lifestyle there for people to buy into.” With the context of people being a little more worried about committing to buying property with the concern that prices may fall after Brexit or not, it’s become more important than ever to give people a reason to see and ‘buy into’ your home both in the photos but also on the viewing as well.
“Any works you need to do, do them before you market,” advises Andrew.”Cleaning or replacing carpets, grouting bathrooms, fixing kitchen cupboards – any reason a buyer can find to take money off, they will, so taking those reasons away means your agent has a stronger platform to protect the asking price. Don’t give buyers an option to offer less.”
Make sure the house is spotlessly clean, then you can enjoy a beautifully maintained home for a fair amount of time before you sell.
Interior designed rooms elevate a property more than a haphazard collection of furniture can. Consider the layout of your rooms and how you furnish them from the get-go. “As has been the trend for a few years now, the master bedroom with ensuite bathroom and dressing area is almost expected nowadays,” says Charles Streatfeild, Marsh & Parsons. “What buyers really buy into is the overall finish of kitchens/bathrooms and receptions rooms. The houses with stand out finishes, especially interior designed rooms and kitchens from brands such as Neptune, seem to be getting really positive feedback from buyers.”
A master suite with a high quality bathroom ticks a box for buyers – and can be enjoyed by you while you think about selling.
Rather than spruce up your home purely to sell it, reap the benefits yourself through a few tweaks and changes knowing you’ll have maximised its potential come market day.
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