How can I increase my home's value?

Angela Ellis

Aside from the most obvious way of increasing your home's value by increasing the size of it, or fitting a new kitchen or bathroom, what else can you do to achieve the best price?

1. Make your home LOOK bigger

The size of your home definitely affects its value and you can influence how large your home FEELS to potential buyers. Start by packing or throwing away some of your clutter and store your treasures safely out of the way. It's fine to keep a few ornaments on show but having too much on display makes it harder for potential buyers to visualise living there.

Look to replace those chunky curtains with blinds. Use mirrors to visually double the space in your home. Move furniture around to see if your rooms could look bigger such as by pushing your sofas and side tables back against the walls. If you have too much furniture, look at putting it in storage ready for your new home. Take up that rug – does the room look bigger without it? Plain carpets tend to make rooms look bigger, so replacing that patterned carpet would be a good investment to help you achieve the best price.

2. Clean / repair / finish / replace it

Stand outside and imagine you're seeing your home for the first time. What would you notice? Make sure that your front garden and the pathway to your front door is neat and tidy. Check for broken concrete/slabs/steps and repair them. Remove any weeds. Empty those gutters. Tidy up any exterior paintwork. Ensure the front door and the windows are clean and presentable. If that means replacing the letterbox or the house numbers on your front door or applying a fresh coat of paint, then it's only a small investment but a huge impact.

As you wander around your home, check for things that need cleaning, repairing or replacing, and ensure that those almost-finished DIY projects are actually finished! Lots of people say they knew they’d found the right place as soon as they walked in so it's worth looking to see that your entrance lobby or hallway is creating the right kind of feeling. You should also inspect your flooring as it's a definite turn off if buyers think they'll have to immediately replace most/all of the flooring in a home. If you have a limited budget, replace the carpet in the room that shows the most wear and tear.

Your kitchen and bathroom will be high up on the list for potential buyers, so consider small improvements such as replacing old taps or an old light, replacing the shower head, putting down new tiles or swapping the shower curtain for a shower screen.  By replacing old appliances with modern ones which aren't built in, they can come with you to your new home so will be effectively adding value to both properties.

3. Pick the right agent to sell your home

An agent that is proactive with their property marketing will mean your home will reach a larger audience than one that doesn't. The agents in the strongest and most visible locations will attract the biggest audiences. The bigger the audience, the more chance you have of finding the right buyer to pay the right price. The agents who accompany viewings will also have a much better chance of extracting and increasing an offer than those who don't.

4. Minimise the cost for your buyers to personalise it

Most buyers will try to picture their furniture in your home and you can help them do this by having fewer patterns on the walls. Invest in a coat of neutral colour paint, if needed. It may not be your taste but it will reduce the likelihood of them factoring those decorating costs in when they're working out how much to offer on your home.

5. Ensure all your rooms have a defined purpose

Do you have any multi-purpose rooms in your home? You know, one that's a laundry room and an office and a play room?  This room won't help your buyers to see your home in its best light. Work with your agent to find out who’s your most likely type of buyer, as this will help you to decide whether your multi-purpose room should be presented as a play room, an office or an extra bedroom. This doesn't mean you have to purchase new items, just reshuffle your existing furniture to make it a more effective layout for potential buyers.

6. Present your home at its very best

It's worth going to the effort to ensure your home looks immaculate for every viewing. The smell of fresh baking bread or grinding coffee may be extreme but does work. If it's Winter, that your home feels warm. And if it's a darker day or your home doesn't receive lots of natural light, make sure it's nicely lit. For evening viewings, do have the outside lights on too. Place fresh towels in the bathroom and kitchen, and add a vase of fresh flowers on the dining or coffee table. Little things like this go a long way not only to tempting a buyer to offer but in them being more likely to offer a higher price. This is exactly how New Homes companies achieve top prices by staging the home and investing in how it presents to potential buyers. Using an agent that has a professional photographer taking the photographs of your home for its marketing will also help to present your home in its best light.

7. Find out about extending your lease.

If you have a leasehold property where the lease has a remaining term of 79 years or less, finding out from your freeholder the cost of extending the lease will be essential. You won't need to necessarily go through with the entire process, but you'll have to complete whatever is required to confirm a figure for this.

We can help you with this if you're unsure how to go about it. Use our contact page to reach our Watford branch.

If you're considering moving and want to know what your home is worth, take advantage of our FREE market appraisal service. Click here to book your valuation appointment.