According to the latest figures from Nationwide, house prices in the UK increased by 0.3% in May, taking the average to more than £195,000. Low interest rates and an increase in mortgage approvals means that people will be looking to invest in property. If you’ve been thinking about putting your home on the market, you may be thinking now is a great time to sell up. But you have to ask yourself: is your home ‘sale ready’?
You want potential buyers to be excited about coming to see your home, and now that summer is just around the corner, it’s a great time to make some upgrades. People are going to be on holidays, so you’re better off waiting until autumn and making changes that will enhance the likelihood of getting the asking price (or more!) over the summer. Here are 6 upgrades you can make to increase the resale value of your home:
1. Cook up a fabulous kitchen
The kitchen is considered the heart of the home and just like a person, if the heart isn’t beating there is no life. Bringing the kitchen up to modern standards is one place you are guaranteed a return on investment. No need to gut and redo the kitchen – bring in premium appliances, granite counters, and ensure the cabinets match. Keep the style and colours neutral – taste is very personal so you just want to get the place in a move-in condition.
2. Clean up the bathroom
Adding an en-suite bathroom to one or more bedrooms can add as much as 10% to the resale value of your home. If you don’t have the space or adding an en-suite is beyond your budget, don’t force it. A cramped ensuite is worse than none at all. Replace old wallpaper with a fresh coat of paint (neutral colour!), change the taps and shower doors or tubs, re-grout the tiles, and upgrade the lighting to give all your bathrooms a clean and bright feeling.
3. Size matters: make your home feel bigger
Square-footage of your home will affect its value, but if an extension is out of the question, make your home feel bigger. Swap heavy curtains with shutters or blinds that let in more natural light. Replace walls with internal room dividers to create an open plan space. To make a room feel less cramped, be sure to get rid of any clutter either by sending old items to charity shops or building shelving or storage units to organise it.
4. Waste not, want not
Energy-efficient fixtures will give buyers the impression that they will be saving money in the long-term, something they will spend more money to have. Install double-glazing (but keep period features), replace old lighting with energy-saving light bulbs, and insulate floors and walls to keep heat in. The best part? Government grants are available to make these upgrades, which means even more return on investment when your home sells.
5. Adore the floor
Home buyers are turned off by the idea of having to immediately replace the flooring in a home. If your carpets or hardwood floors are worn out or stained, replacing them is your best bet. If your finances don’t allow a full upgrade, change the flooring with the worst wear or at the very least give the carpet a thorough, professional clean. For hardwood or cork flooring, upgrade if possible or have them re-stained or polished.
6. Neutrality is key
Once your home goes on the market, you want it to seem like a blank canvas. Of the biggest pieces of advice an agent will give you is to remove family photos and personal touches – potential buyers should be able to picture themselves in the home. The same goes for the rooms in your home: a children’s playroom may endear parents but could put off a single man who might prefer a study. If you’re giving the place a fresh coat of paint (which will certainly enhance the house’s look) stick to white and eggshell colours. Don’t add a wine cellar because it’s trendy or install a pool – these additions can actually make the house less valuable.
When considering putting your house on the market, you need to take a step back and ask yourself if the house is move-in ready. Once you have the basic maintenance (leaky roofs, mold in the bathroom) and painting done, then start considering the kinds of upgrades that buyers will really care about. The money you put into home improvements can make you a profit when you find the right buyer.