February 9, 2016

From the Outside In - Refurbishments you should make before selling your home

Obviously when you are looking into selling your home, you want a swift, easy transactional process that gives you cash in hand, or at least in your bank account, at the end of a short period of time. Unfortunately the property market doesn’t always work like that, particularly if your property is in an area of low demand, or if your property isn’t quite up to scratch when compared to similar properties in the area. 
selling your home

In order to have an easy time selling your property, you need to make sure that it provides a good number of opportunities for renovation, but it is also in good condition to start off with. Not everybody wants to be shelling out thousands of pounds in repairs before they have even moved in so it is important to bear this in mind. Of course, you can always go with a cash buyer if you want a quick sale, but you are only likely to get a fraction of the price you might have sold it for on the market, so it is really in your best interests to make it attractive to potential buyers if you want to turn a real profit.

So what should be prioritised when renovating your home in preparation for putting it on the market? Here are a few things we have listed to get you started. 

Clean up your Garden
If you have a front garden or even a small back garden, it is likely that any potential buyers will be looking at it at some point during the house viewing. If it is in a right state, nigh untouchable, they are probably going to get a little put-off. If you hack down all the weeds, get rid of any old pieces of furniture and lawn accessories and mow the lawn, it can make a huge difference in the reception you will get when showing people around. While it may not make a difference in regards to the overall value of your property, you are more likely to garner interest and property viewings if your property is at least presentable.
Check and Clear Gutter Lining and Roofing
Talking of presentable properties, a leaking roof is certainly a dangerous sign! By checking your gutter lining and roofing for signs of leaks or cracks and making sure the gutter is clean and clear, you are creating a presentable exterior to any viewers as well as taking steps to repair any roofing defects before they can become a major problem. An experienced surveyor will be able to easily identify roofing defects which can be time-consuming and expensive to fix, so in order to increase popularity with your potential buyers, make sure to check that everything is working as it should in the roofing department.
Fresh Coat of Paint
Tread carefully here. It is important to re-paint your home, preferably in a light colour, to give potential buyers an idea of what can be done with the space in hand. However, painting it and then immediately putting it on the market could set off warning bells with viewers and potential buyers.
Wait a few months for the paint to set properly so that you are not giving the impression that you are ‘hiding something’ with your new coat of paint. The new coat will still give the property a new and ‘open’ look, but you won’t have to worry about suspicious viewers asking why you decided to re-paint the house, looking for spots of mould and signs of damp. If you do discover damp, don’t cover it up with paint! Get it properly treated and removed before you make any cosmetic improvements to the property. 

Work on Improving your EPC
Many prospective buyers will be looking at the Energy Performance Certificate as a means of determining the approximate costs of living at your property. If your EPC isn’t graded very well, it is likely that electricity, gas and water bills are likely to be slightly more expensive than what is expected for that local area. There are a few minor ways in which you can improve your EPC if you want to make it look more attractive to potential buyers. 

Invest in energy saving light bulbs for most of your internal lights. Modern energy saving light bulbs are a far cry from the dim bulbs manufacturers were producing when environmental awareness first came about and are almost as – if not brighter – than your average lightbulb nowadays. Investing in some loft insulation and doubling up on your wall insulation will also help to reduce your heating bill as there are schemes available that will provide you with free loft insulation; you only need to search for it. There are other ways of improving your EPC and the EPC itself will be able to provide you with more information on how to do so.

As with any type of investment, you want to make sure that it is well invested and that your hard work will pay off. By making renovations on a property you are planning to sell, you are already improving the likelihood of increased interest in your property. Anything that is done to make your property stand out and look more attractive in today’s competitive market is welcome. You may even find the value of your property increasing as well, so it is well worth putting the time and effort into making those changes where possible. 

Article provided by Mike James, an independent content writer in the property industry – working alongside a selection of companies including MC Property Maintenance, who were consulted over this post.