Expert advice to help you get the best price
Interior design expert Julia Kendell and Michael Holmes, both spokespeople for The London Homebuilding & Renovating Show (23-25 September, ExCeL, London, www.homebuildingshow.co.uk/London), provides tips on how to add value to your property:
Kitchen & Bathroom
House sellers should not ignore their kitchen as for most buyers it is the most important room in the house. A tired and or dilapidated kitchen will devalue a property – assuming it is in otherwise good decorative order, as will a very dated kitchen or small cramped space.
Those looking to maximise value should consider spending on getting the space right first, by remodelling or possibly extending to create a kitchen diner, potentially with living space too, as opposed to just buying a new fitted kitchen – especially as many buyers will plan to replace the kitchen soon after moving in as a way of stamping their own mark on their new home.
Clever ways to give an existing kitchen a new lease of life include replacing the worktops, replacing the sink and taps, replacing the tiles – or at least clean grout and use tile paint, replacing kitchen drawer and cupboard fronts – or painting existing units and replacing flooring
However, many are prepared to pay considerably more for a house with new bathrooms and kitchens to avoid the 'pain'. Tick as many 'wish-list' boxes as possible for buyers, such as a range oven, island unit, solid surfaces, walk-in shower etc to maximise the value of the property.
Windows & Floors
One of the key things to add perceived value to your home when selling is to maximise the feeling of space and light. Texture of any kind absorbs light therefore consider simplifying the window treatments by replacing heavy curtains with shutters, woodslat or flat fabric blinds. Fitted shutters are the only window treatment considered to add value to a property. In the same vein, replacing a carpet with a hardwood floor, or a good quality laminate alternative will provide a more open feel.
Wallpapering a room prior to marketing is rarely a good idea as it is a risk to assume that potential buyers will like your taste in wallpaper! However, if the walls are in bad condition it is worth skim-plastering and re-painting as most buyers are pretty savvy these days and can see if a new coat of paint is disguising a bad surface.
Good lighting is key to showing a home at its best, both in creating the illusion of space and to produce an interesting and 'designed' look. Use good quality fittings to highlight good features and move the emphasis away from the less impressive. A statement chandelier or contemporary piece will add sparkle and raise the tone of the property substantially.