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Selling property? How much is your home really worth?

October 09, 2015  |   Posted by :   |   Blog

property solicitor Thames Valley

When selling up and moving house, you want to get the best price for your home, and once it is sold you want to be able to get the paperwork done quickly. First things first, get in touch with your solicitor and get those Law Society Property Information Forms and Fittings contents completed so your lawyer is ready to go! Having done all that, it’s time to think about the many factors that can affect the value of your property that go beyond its size and location – the little details often make the biggest impressions on prospective buyers during a viewing, and there are plenty of easy tweaks you can make to increase your asking price.

Here are the top ten value-boosting tips from the property experts at Frances Lindsay & Co:

  1. Make a good first impression: make sure the front of the home is welcoming and well maintained, including any pathways, gates, porches or garden areas. Does your front door need a lick of paint? Faulty doorbell needs fixing? Even recycling bins can be made more appealing with a storage unit or screen. If your viewer’s first impression is of peeling render, an overgrown yard and a doorway full of cobwebs, they will immediately get the impression that the place is going to be a lot of work.
  2. The living room is one of the most important features of your home as it represents the main living space. Emphasise the space and natural light by keeping windows clean and lightly dressed, furnishings and decoration neutral, and the room clear of any clutter. Think about what you want from a lounge area: somewhere cosy and inviting with space to entertain; a place for the kids to play but also a haven for the grown-ups to chill out in the evening.
  3. The kitchen is the hub of the home. Make the most of the space you have, keep it spotless, and show off as much storage as possible by keeping open shelves de-cluttered and surfaces clear. If you have space for seating or a table, show prospective buyers the best way to use the area to create a sociable, functional kitchen.
  4. The master bedroom is another area to focus on to woo your viewers. The main points to consider here are: storage, comfort and tidiness. If you have built-in wardrobes, keep them neat and as empty as possible to show off their potential; if you have free-standing storage, arrange it to maximise the space in the room. Much like the living room, a master bedroom should be a place for relaxation – keep it simple, neat and comfy.
  5. The same rules apply to the bathroom as the kitchen: keep it super-clean, free from clutter, and emphasise storage options – a good excuse to get rid of all those half-used toiletries and invest in some fresh new towels!
  6. If you have a garden or outside area, treat it like an indoor room and keep it neat and tidy with a dedicated seating area. You don’t have to be an experienced gardener to keep the lawn mown or patio weeded, and if you only have a small outdoor space you can easily brighten it up with hanging baskets, potted plants and a little bistro table and chairs.
  7. Get rid of clutter throughout the house to show off the potential space, even if it means putting a few things into storage. The aim is for prospective buyers to be able to visualise their own stuff in the space, which is hard to do if every available surface and corner is filled with yours!
  8. Similarly, offer them a clean slate in terms of decoration. Keep colour schemes and flooring neutral, and avoid bold colours unless they’re reserved for artwork or a few choice pieces of furniture.
  9. Sort out any easily fixed issues – a crack in plaster, a broken kitchen tile, or a leaky gutter might be small problems but any imperfection can cast doubt in a prospective buyer’s mind and make them wonder if there’s a bigger problem, such as: subsidence, damp, or a damaged roof.
  10.  Consider making some small-budget updates to increase the asking price, such as flooring, tiling or even fixtures. You don’t have to re-do a kitchen or bathroom to make it look new – replacing the worktop or cupboard doors, or installing a nicer shower can make all the difference and might only set you back a few hundred pounds.

The main thing to remember in preparing your home for sale is not to be complacent and assume that buyers will look beyond the imperfections. Remember that they’re very likely also looking at many other properties, whose owners may well have gone the extra mile to de-clutter, redecorate, and update. A bit of effort on your part could help to raise your asking price by thousands, and speed up the sale of your home.  And once you have sold your home, don’t forget to review or change your Will.

For a free conveyancing quote and advice on buying and selling property, wills and probate in Maidenhead and across the Thames Valley, Beaconsfield and London, contact Frances Lindsay & Co for expert, fixed-fee legal services. 

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