Add Value to Your Property When Selling

Add Value to Your Property When Selling
  • Having converted the attic and added an extension and/or a conservatory there are a number of further improvements which will add additional value to your home. 
  • Install central heating. An efficient heating system is an essential. If your home doesn't have any central heating or if your system is old, renewing it should add more to the value than it costs. While you are at it, check for draughts and seal around any ill-fitting doors and windows.
  • Improve the kitchen. A well-groomed kitchen is usually one of the major selling points in a property. A complete replacement should be preceded by a look at the shape of the room and the position of the appliances to see if the design minimises the walk from one area to another when working. If a complete replacement is not required or is deemed too expensive, then consider changing the doors and the worktop to give a fresh new look. Replace the central pendant with a few halogen lights. These give an ideal light for a kitchen. Lights under the upper units are very useful when cooking and are inexpensive to install.
  • Improve the bathroom. If you don't have a power shower consider installing one. For some reason people now have an aversion to some sanitary ware colours such as avocado and chocolate brown. Such an aversion is usually an indication that something is about to come back into fashion. For now, however, white seems to be the only acceptable colour. A basic white suite won't set you back too much, but unless you intend to replace the tiles make sure it will fit in exactly the same spot on the original. A touch of luxury can be added by merely changing the fittings to newer, better designed versions. Some lovely ones are widely available now. Today carpet is even more unacceptable in bathrooms than a coloured suite. Vinyl flooring will do at a pinch, but ceramic tiles on the floor are ideal.
  • Restore the character of your house. Many older buildings have been subjected to much abuse in their time. If you are lucky enough to have a period house you can increase its value by undoing some earlier 'improvements' and getting back to basics. Go to the library and study building techniques and materials to know what the original was like. Remove the following if they are present anywhere in your home: woodchip wallpaper, flush doors, stone or pine cladding on walls, polystyrene ceiling tiles, fake beams and modern fireplaces. Many of these features have their uses but have no place in a restoration project where the aim is to make the building as close as possible to the original. Pay particular attention to the windows. Replicas of original timber windows can be made by good joiners. Don't worry about imperfections in the plaster. An old house will be forgiven for looking its age. It will, at least, look authentic.
  • Replace your windows. New windows will not only make your home look smarter, but will greatly increase your level of comfort. This is especially true if they are replacing old ill-fitting ones. New building regulations mean that the standard of new windows is now very high. pvc is very popular, as it is maintenance-free and efficient. I think people are, however, beginning to get tired of ubiquitous white plastic. As with other improvements, work in sympathy with the style of the building as far as possible.
  • Tidy the garden. Keep it well maintained, the hedges and shrubs trimmed, the grass cut. It is worth getting your garden properly designed once. You may not do a complete landscaping job immediately but you will then have a plan towards which you can work. This may actually save you money on bad choices of plants, which later have to be pulled up. A well-designed patio or deck will give additional living space and greatly enhance the appearance of your garden.
  • Be a legal eagle. If you have a large garden which is not in use you could try to get planning permission on part of it for either another house or for a granny flat. If you succeed you will then have a very valuable asset. You can then sell the plot or build on it yourself.
  • Buy out the ground rent on your property. When it comes to selling, a freehold property is a more attractive buy than one with a lease where ground rent must be paid. Buy some adjoining land if you can. Whoever said that land was the best investment as they were not making any more of it was right. A larger garden is a great asset as it adds potential for attractive landscaping, increased living space, more parking or for building.  Things You Should Never Do
  • Build an extension that is poorly constructed or badly finished.
  • Construct an extension without planning permission.
  • Add an extension that occupies the entire garden.
  • Add stone cladding.
  • Concrete over the front garden, unless it's to provide necessary parking space, in which case you will need planning permission.
  • Reorganise your space so that you have a smaller number of bedrooms.
  • Install pvc windows in a period building.
  • Remove period features such as fireplaces and picture rails.   Remember The higher the value of the property, the more important are aesthetic values.

From Making Property Work by Maureen Moran