A recent study of property sales has revealed the features and home improvements that will increase (and decrease) the value of your home, according to house hunters and estate agents. If you’re planning to put your property on the market, boost the potential asking price of your home by checking our list of pros and cons:
Features that add value to a property:
- More than one bathroom. 70% of estate agents believe that an extra bathroom helps to sell a house, and research has shown that an extra bathroom can add up to £12,000 to its value. For properties with four or more bedrooms, 95% of estate agents say that two or more bathrooms are essential for a sale. If you can’t stretch to a new bathroom, then a shower room or en-suite can also boost the asking price by at least 5%.
- Off-street parking. A driveway, paved front garden, or garage are all major bonus points for house hunters. Not only does off-street parking help to increase security of vehicles but it also reduces the price of car insurance and can be a vital selling point for inner-city properties.
- A new kitchen. According to research, over half of buyers said they would be swayed by a brand new kitchen. As with any home improvements before a sale, make sure to choose a neutral style that suits the age and general décor of your property.
- High quality floors and fixtures. Wooden floors are a big plus for many house hunters, as they’re long-lasting, hygienic and give the appearance of greater space. Similarly, high quality permanent fixtures (such as bathrooms, kitchens, and in-built furniture) are all attractive selling points.
- Open plan living and extra living space. Knocking down walls to increase the sense of space between living areas can boost your asking price, too, along roof conversions, conservatories, converted garages, and bi-fold doors that open up onto a garden.
- A light and airy appearance. Increasing the light in your home is a great low-cost way to add value, and can be as simple as a fresh coat of white paint, hanging mirrors in hallways, or replacing dark curtains with airy drapes. New windows and skylights are another top selling asset if you have the funds to replace them before you sell.
Features that reduce the value of a property:
- Coloured bathroom suites. Sorry, those 70s avocado fixtures are going to have to go! As a general rule of thumb, neutral décor helps to give the impression of a blank canvas to prospective buyers, but nowhere is it more important than in the bathroom! Stick to simple white fittings wherever possible.
- Noise pollution. According to the study, buyers are also put off by the noise of traffic, public transport, pubs, shopping areas and nearby school playgrounds. Obviously the location of your home is something you can’t magically change, but you can help to minimise noise by updating your double glazing or planting a buffer zone of trees or hedges in your garden to reduce traffic noise.
- Dated interior design. Buyers reported a long list of interior design dislikes, such as textured wallpaper, Artex ceilings, brick fireplaces, patterned carpets, wood panelling and woodchip. If your décor is on the dated side, it might be worth spending a bit of time and money updating to get the best price for your home.
- Space-restricting furniture. While storage is usually a bonus, many buyers cited built-in wardrobes above beds as a particularly off-putting feature, presumably since large fixtures like this dictate the rest of the room’s layout and restrict space. Try to show off the space you have by decluttering and removing any large pieces of furniture.
- Lack of cleanliness. It should go without saying that you should give your home a thorough clean before a viewing – especially the bathroom and kitchen, as these are two areas prospective buyers will be paying lots of attention to. A professional deep clean is a worthwhile investment for the sake of a great first impression.
- Being shown round by the owner. Interestingly, prospective buyers reported feeling more comfortable being shown a house by an estate agent, as they had more freedom to comment (and criticise) than if the owner was present. So it might be worth making sure you’re out next time you have a viewing!
For more advice on house hunting, property searches, legal issues, and for a free online conveyancing quote, get in touch with the property team at Frances Lindsay & Co. Our experienced, friendly property team can take the weight off your shoulders, helping you to get a great price for your home and find a perfect new property!