#006 Which home improvements really add value to your home?

Real estate agent holding a small house, desktop with tools, wood swatches and computer on background, top view
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Hello everybody and welcome to episode 6 of Ask the Estate Agent Podcast. This week’s episode is answering the question, which home improvements really add value to your home before selling?

So lets dive straight in and give you some quick and easy ways to add that all-important value.

Adding value to your home is always a smart idea but it can be confusing to know which areas have the best value impact with the least amount of investment so here are ten, quick top tips that will have that effect for you.

  1. Carry out repairs, upgrades and redecorating

 All those repair jobs you never get around to completing do them now and you’ll improve your home while adding value to the property for sale.

Redecorating is the most popular home improvement and giving your home a lick or paint and doing some general maintenance can be done at a very low cost. Fresh paint in modern colours can go a long way to giving your home a new lease of life, so do not be afraid to pick up the paintbrush.

It’s also best to fix all superficial defects. While unlikely to be the clinching 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:

  • Peeling paint
  • Dirty walls, especially near doors frames and around switches
  • Dripping taps
  • Squeaky floors, doors or stairs
  • Mouldy sealant in kitchens or bathrooms
  • Limescale built up on kitchen and bathroom fittings
  • Badly fitted laminate flooring
  • Broken lightbulbs

Bigger 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 on.

  1. Makeover the kitchen

Kitchens are often the focus for many buyers, so it may be the first thing they look to replace if they can’t imagine living in yours. You may not be able to afford a whole new kitchen but there are many smaller ways to improve what you already have.

For a relatively small budget painting units or replacing cupboard handles or doors are a cheaper way of refreshing kitchens. Good lighting and clutter-free, clean surfaces will make a big difference to the feel of the house

Buyers may be willing to pay more to save themselves the hassle of buying a new kitchen.

  1. Update the bathroom

 In the bathroom, re-grouting, eliminating all limescale and replacing taps are a good option. Bathrooms need to be fresh and hygienic looking, so paint the walls a neutral shade, and ideally replace a shower curtain with a new one or a simple glass screen.

  1. Opening up space

Opening up living space is becoming more and more popular, particularly for the kitchen and dining room. Combining the two into one large room creates a sociable space, great for the whole family to enjoy.  Remember the practicalities with this though, as many consumers still like the ‘front room philosophy’ that can be used for special occasions or to be used for privacy by the adults.

  1. Smart technology, energy efficiency and security

Smart home technologies are increasingly important to buyers – just advertising the presence of fibre optic cables in your area could be enough to encourage buyers. Statement systems like multi-room music and entertainment platforms can also make a difference.

Smart technology such as Hive and Nest thermostats, which give mobile control over heating systems, is a feature worth considering. Combining this technology with a modern economical boiler will give any new buyer peace of mind when it comes to the heating and hot water services. If it moves your EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) up a band, it could add thousands to the sale price.

Incorporating home security systems such as new door bell technology that allow you to see and record people approaching your home and wifi enabled CCTV systems all add value that any new buyer would appreciate.

  1. Kerb appeal

First impressions count more than ever so take a step back and look at the approach to your home.

Make sure the front boundary, gates, pathways and front gardens are well maintained and looking their best. That first impression is a make or break moment and could put buyers off before they even walk through the front door.

  1. Off street parking

In some areas of the country, the ability to park close to your front door comes at a huge premium and therefore, if you have the room to add off-street parking, you are sure to increase value.

  1. Double glazing

Noisy roads can impact the value of a property. Double glazing will keep the home warm and keep the noise out, even if it’s near a main road. Be aware though that if you have a listed building or are in a conservation area then there maybe restrictions or guidelines you may have to follow with an upgrade like this that effects the external look of your property. The advice is always check with your local council planning department prior to go ahead.

  1. Garden appeal

An attractive, tidy, well-designed garden can add a great deal of value to a property. It is essential to trim borders, clear pathways and cut back any overgrown trees or bushes.

The garden should feel like an extra space for entertaining or relaxing, rather than an expanse of grass. An area of decking gives buyers a sense of having a bigger usable living space.

 Finally and often the most valuable improvement

  1. Add more space

Adding more space to your home is essential in adding significant value to your home and examples include a loft conversion, adding a conservatory, converting a garage or installing a whole new kitchen or bathroom.

A survey by NAEA Propertymark shows that half of estate agents think that adding a bedroom – usually a loft conversion – adds the most value, while a third of agents thought a new kitchen was the best choice.

Whatever you choose to do, it is a good idea to speak to a local estate agent about the sort of features that make the most difference when selling homes in your area.

Even if you can’t afford an extension or conversion, it might be worth obtaining planning permission to do so at a later date. You would have to spend money on drawing up the designs and getting a survey, but it would remove a big element of doubt from a potential buyer’s mind if they know the council has already approved an extension.

You might also want to think about your target audience and try to reflect their needs. For example, is your house most likely to appeal to young professionals? A room could be set aside as an office or you could add an extra shower room. If young families are the most likely buyers, could you turn the adjoining garage into a playroom?

Summary

So that concludes today’s episode giving you our top ten improvements that really add value to your home. I hope you’ve found it useful and that it’s given you a few valuable pointers to consider before marketing your property or even implement now if your property is already on the market and not getting the interest you expected.

So that leaves me to just say thank you very much for listening to this episode of the Podcast.

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About the author, David Thomas

David Thomas is an Entrepreneur and passionate Estate Agent who loves helping others on their property journey.

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