Best Home Improvements Before Selling a House

If you are considering putting your house on the market, you may also be thinking about what the best home improvements before selling are. As experienced estate agents, we have been asked this question many times. In this article we will look at what you can do and how a good agent is best placed to advise you.

The decision to sell a property, especially a family home, is made for many different reasons. Upsizing, downsizing, a new job in a new area, an executors’ sale to name a few. Whatever the motive, sellers want to sell in good time and to get the best price that they can.  As you think about putting a house on the market you will consider improving its value and making the property attractive to potential buyers. Both these involve home improvements which can vary in scale.

Large scale home improvements before selling.

Best Home Improvements Before Selling a House

Probably the two big-budget home improvement projects are kitchens and bathrooms. Buyers are drawn to these areas of a property because they would need to factor in replacements should they require upgrading. Kitchens and bathrooms that are in good condition are a great selling point, so if these are areas that need attention, should you replace them? This is where your agent is the best person to talk to.

Replacing Kitchens and bathrooms

A good agent will have their finger on the pulse of the local property market. They will be aware of what is selling and be able to offer an accurate assessment of the value of your home, both as it stands and of its potential if a new kitchen and / or bathroom is fitted. If you need a quick sale, and the added value from a new kitchen and bathroom is little more than the cost of the works, then it may be best to sell as it stands. This gives the prospective buyer the chance to upgrade to their own taste, and this will be reflected in the price.

However, if replacing a kitchen or bathroom has the potential to ensure a sale at a price that will pay back the investment, then that may be the best route for you. The main factor here would be time, as large home improvements such as these are not quick fixes.

Best home improvements before selling when on a budget

If you don’t have the time, or the budget to carry out large home improvements, or your agent has given you advice and you decide it’s not worthwhile, what can you do to make your home more attractive to potential buyers?

It doesn’t need to cost a lot of money to create a ‘buy-me’ look. Here are our top tips.

The right approach – we mean kerb appeal.

What does your house look like from the outside? Is the paintwork in good condition? What is your front door like, is that in good condition? If not, maybe you can repaint it or give it a good clean, replace the handle and knocker. Are there any loose tiles on the roof? Get them fixed. If you have UPVC windows and soffits, are they clean? Is your house number clear?

If you have a garden, is it tidy? Is your drive neat and tidy. Cleaning and clearing up will make a big difference to the first impression your potential buyers get. If you have wheelie bins that need to be at the front of the building, perhaps they can be tucked away or put into a well-maintained bin store or behind a neat screen.

One of the best home improvements before selling is to make the approach to your house welcoming and appealing. Here’s your checklist:

  • Stand back and inspect the overall look
  • What is the front door like? Can it be cleaned? Improved?
  • Tidy the garden, mow the lawn, maybe add some flowers in pots.
  • Sweep the drive, power-wash flags, rake stones and sweep from kerbs and edges.
  • Keep wheelie bins out of sight, either in a bin store or behind a screen or large shrub.
  • Wash UPVC windows and soffits
  • Check the roof and replace any broken or missing tiles
  • Clean or repaint paintwork
  • First impressions last

Do I need to redecorate?

Once inside your house a buyer needs to feel it’s right for them. We have discussed the kitchen and bathroom; the rest of the living areas are easier to fix. The quickest fix is a lick of paint. In some instances, redecoration will not make much difference. The buyer may be looking at the property in terms of a ‘doer-upper’, so it’s not necessary to spend on paint or a decorator. As with the larger projects, your agent is the best person to ask what difference redecoration will make. If you need to spend more than you will make, then it’s probably not worth it.

Amongst the best home improvements before selling is redecoration, especially using bright but neutral colours. This will give a cared for impression whilst at the same time allow a buyer to see that they can move in and quickly make it their own. When decorating, don’t neglect any small defects, such as cracks or chipped paintwork. These should be dealt with, as they will stand out at a viewing. Here’s your checklist:

  • Speak with your agent about redecoration
  • If you are to redecorate, set a budget that will make it worthwhile
  • Use neutral colours
  • Ensure defects, such as cracks in walls and chipped woodwork, are dealt with

Size matters – making the most of the interior

One thing that sells is space, so making the most of each room gives buyers a chance to imagine themselves within it.  One of the easiest home improvements before selling is thinking about the space within a room. Each room has its function, living, eating, sleeping, working, or playing and your home is meant to be lived in. However, having a room packed with all kinds of items makes it look small and cramped, so declutter.

Think about how your furniture is arranged. Whilst it suits your purposes, think about rearranging it so that the room appears larger. Are the carpets or flooring clean and in good condition? If they are to be left and they can easily be seen on viewing, clean them, or consider professional cleaning.

Use mirrors. Large mirrors strategically placed will reflect and refract light creating an impression of space. Alongside using mirrors, lighting can also help with brightening a room and create ambience and mood. And don’t forget to include your ECO credentials, use LED bulbs. Here’s your checklist:

  • Declutter
  • Rearrange furniture to create space
  • Clean carpets or polish flooring
  • Use mirrors
  • Use lighting to brighten and create mood

The best home improvements before selling – Kitchen, utility rooms, bathrooms, and rest rooms

Best Home Improvements Before SellingIf it’s decided that the existing kitchen and bathroom will stay, then there are things that can be done to improve them or ensure they are not off-putting to a potential buyer.

Kitchens look best without clutter and with any chrome shining. Appliances, especially those which are to be left, must be clean and in good condition. Many kitchen styles can have doors replaced, or maybe painted. New handles can be fitted to give an up-to-date look. These are inexpensive changes that can make a difference. Finally, ensure the flooring is clean.

Even the oldest bathroom can look so much better if they are deep cleaned. Chrome should have any limescale removed then polished to a sparkle. There are proprietary cleaners, such as Viakal, that do this job well. This includes taps, shower heads, toilet rims. Similarly, clean dirty or mouldy sealant and clean tile grout. If you have the budget, and it will be worthwhile, consider professional cleaners for a deep clean. Here’s your checklist:

  • Can the kitchen cupboard doors be updated; new or painted or given new handles?
  • Ensure appliances that are to be left are clean and in good working order
  • Have the boiler serviced
  • Deep clean kitchens and utility rooms
  • Deep clean bathrooms and restrooms
  • Get rid of limescale
  • Deal with mould on sealant and in tile grout
  • Is it worth engaging professional cleaners for a deep clean?

Your agent is your friend

Keeping a house in good condition whilst living in it will stand you in good staid if it comes to putting it onto the market. The suggestions in this article are just that, suggestions, but as you can see, there are simple things that you can do to give yourself an advantage when a potential buyer visits.

When it comes to the best home improvements before selling, each home and seller is different. Your situation, the location of the property, its condition, the local market at the time it is to be put up for sale should be seen as a whole. All these factors need to be considered and professional agents such as Castleman Estate Agents are best placed to answer your questions on what action you can take to help to sell your house.

If you are considering putting your home on the market and want advice on the best home improvements before selling, then Castleman Estate Agents have experienced agents ready to help.

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