Giving tips on how to add value to a home, in my opinion, is very individual to the property and to the homeowners themselves. There are many variables to often consider as every seller’s situation is different. Some people have less time, others have a bigger budget, to name a few of the different circumstances. What I aim to do when giving advice to my clients, is to help them put into perspective what the priorities should be within the parameters and resources they have available. The objective is to maximise the value and reduce a buyer’s excuse to offer a penny less than the asking price and, in some cases, over asking price can also be achieved.
Working from home
Speaking to friends, family, and contacts regularly, one thing I know is that most of them cannot imagine returning to the work environment we all once knew pre Covid. Perhaps a day or two in the office eventually but overall working from home is the “new normal”. When it comes to socialising and eating out in the future, hosting from home is going to become the new, as quoted by comedian Micky Flanagan, “out, out”.
What has any of this got to do with the property market I hear you ask? Well, if you have a property with any outside space, not only is your asset set to increase in value, but your opportunity to add more value has just increased.
My advice would be to find a reliable and local landscape gardening design expert and ask them what the most recent trends are with regards to creating outside living space that is suitable for entertaining your friends, family, and business associates. You will want the option to have a removable cover to enjoy the sun when it shines, be sheltered and dry when it rains but also have the flexibility to create the most appropriate ambiance depending on the occasion.
Please be mindful in making sure any new external structures should be in keeping with the aesthetics of your home whilst blending into your garden. I would also encourage you to consider the impact on the wildlife in your outdoor space and find new ways in which to ensure the birds and the bees continue to thrive. The photo above is a fabulous example of this and is a stunning home I had the great pleasure of valuing in West Sussex recently.
Depending on timescale, selling situation and budget, the more obvious hints and tips around the house to maximise the value of your home would be to replace any blown double-glazed windows, particularly if condensation is a problem. I also suggest getting rid of mould around bathroom seals and re-painting peeling paint caused by those hot steamy showers. New carpets if time and budget allow or a quick fix could be to hire a vax machine and give them a good clean yourself are all worthwhile investments.
Re-decorating will give you a more effective result, particularly when it comes to the photographs, and is a relatively low-cost investment. Now, get ready to de-clutter, everything needs to be seen to have a home. If you have shelves, a TV stand, or a mantelpiece, clear the decks, it gives the illusion of more space.
Let’s not lose sight, it is still your home and you still have to live in it BUT if you can pack up the things you do not use regularly, it will help buyers to visualise themselves living in the property.
The final piece of advice I would give anyone is, when investing in your property, make sure you will get some pleasure yourself from the investment. I never advise people to purely spend money to increase the value of their home because I feel the biggest value will be realised for the enjoyment you and others in your world will get in return. Unless of course, you are a property developer in which case it’s a completely different ball game.
Contributed by Sarah Harvey. Sarah began her estate agency career in 2004, and also has two solid years of direct sales experience working in property aerial photography. You can find her at: Estate Agent Billingshurst (alexharveyestateagents.co.uk)