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Now that Spring has sprung, you may be considering moving home. Here at Butcher Residential, we aim to achieve the best possible sale price for our vendors. Therefore, we've put together some tips and tricks for how to maximise your property's value. When you decide to put your property on the market, you must remember that there is competition out there! There are other properties on the market and it's important to try and set yours apart from the rest. This article really focuses on the physical things you can do to your property to get it fit for showcasing to potential buyers. However, when it comes down to the buyer choosing between your property and another, your circumstances and your position in the chain can play an even bigger role in making your property more appealing to a potential buyer.

Here are some ways in which you can put yourself in the strongest position when selling your home and securing your onward purchase:

1. Have your mortgage in principle ready and valid (a mortgage in principle is usually valid for 30 to 90 days).
2. 'Try' to avoid buying a property that is in a long chain. On average in the UK, 1 in 4 property sales fall through at some point (according to the property platform, Wiggywam in 2021). So having as few links in the property chain as possible will obviously decrease the chances of the chain breaking and your onward purchase falling through, and losing your buyer.
3. Buying a new build that has been built or has a completion date in the near future is very beneficial.
4. Buying a vacant property will of course mean you have no chain to deal with for your onward purchase.
5. Be willing to move into rented accommodation as a last resort. This will give your buyers confidence that their purchase will go through. 

The most important things you should do to get your house ready for sale so that it will attract potential buyers and sell more quickly. It may sound simple, but cleaning and tidying up are the cheapest ways to make your home more appealing to potential buyers. It only takes a few minutes of your time or a minor investment in expert cleaners to make a significant difference. 

Get rid of anything that has accumulated over time.  Do you have the option of storing it, selling it, donating it or throwing it away?   Remove any large pieces of furniture that contribute to the cramped atmosphere of the room and replace them with more compact pieces of furniture. 

People must be able to see themselves living in the home and how it will appear. Many people have difficulty with this, so make it simple for the prospective buyer to visualise the living space you've created. However, instead of making it look like a generic hotel, add some personality to it. Aside from that, it assists customers who are having difficulty visualising the rooms in any other manner than as they seem at the time. People nowadays regularly invest in a lifestyle as well as a residence.

The most popular home improvement is redecorating, and a fresh coat of paint can be done for a low cost. Neutral colours are most appealing to home buyers and can help give your home a new lease of life, so do not be afraid to use a paintbrush.

While small problems and defects are unlikely to be the deciding factor in a house sale, they can give the impression that the house is run down or poorly maintained. Larger issues such as damp should not be concealed because they will be revealed during a survey and will come back to haunt you later.

Things to keep an eye out for include:

·         paint peeling

·         soiled walls, particularly near door frames and light switches

·         dripping faucets

·         creaking floorboards, doors, or stairs

·         mouldy kitchen or bathroom sealant

·         Limescale accumulation on kitchen and bathroom fixtures

·         laminate flooring that has been improperly installed

·         faulty lightbulbs 

First impressions are important, and the front door of your home can suggest a lot about the rest of the house to prospective buyers. If you cannot afford to replace the door, give it a power wash or a fresh coat of paint to make it look like new. A new doorknob, house number, or name plaque can also be beneficial. To help your property stand out, make your front door look smarter than your neighbours.

Set the heating to come on before a scheduled viewing if you are not at home. Potential buyers will want to know that your central heating system works properly and that you are comfortable in your home when it is cold outside. On a gloomy day, good lighting is also essential, so turning on lamps in dark corners will help. It is preferable to hold the viewing during the day, but if a potential buyer arrives after dark, turn on any outside lights.

Spend some time sprucing up your front garden if you have one. A few plant pots and a clear pathway can help with first impressions by making the front of your house more appealing. A well-designed garden in the backyard can add a lot of value; it should feel more like an extra space for entertaining or relaxing than an expanse of grass. Trim borders, clear pathways, and prune any overgrown trees or bushes, especially if they block direct sunlight into the property.

A decking area creates the illusion of more usable living space, and 3% of homes sold in 2019 had a summerhouse in the garden, giving owners more space to relax and entertain in the warmer weather.

In some parts of the country, the ability to park close to your front door is extremely valuable; therefore, if you have the space to add off-street parking, you will undoubtedly increase value.

Smart home technologies are becoming increasingly important to buyers; simply announcing the presence of fibre optic cables in your area may be enough to entice buyers. Multi-room music platforms and other statement systems can also be effective. Double glazing will also aid in heat retention and furthermore, keep noise out. A feature worth considering is smart technology such as Hive, which allows for mobile control of heating systems. If a home improvement raises your Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) by a band, it could add thousands to the sale price!

Kitchens are often the main focus for many buyers; if a property has one, they like, it may be the main factor between your property and a further property they are considering. You may not be able to afford a completely new kitchen, but painting units or replacing cupboard handles or doors are excellent alternatives on a limited budget. Good lighting and clean, clutter-free surfaces will also make a significant difference.

Re-grouting, removing all limescale, and replacing taps are all good options for the bathroom. Bathrooms must look clean and fresh, so paint the walls a neutral colour and, ideally, install a new shower curtain or a standard glass screen. In 2019, new bathrooms were installed in 29% of homes sold that year, which could be the key to selling quickly and earning more. 

Larger projects can increase the value of your home. For instance, loft conversions, adding a conservatory, or converting a garage are large projects with large rewards. In fact, 22% of homes sold in 2019 had an extension added, increasing the value of the property and making it more appealing to buyers. 

The ability to park close to your front door is extremely valuable in some parts of the country. If you have the space to add off-street parking, you will undoubtedly increase the value. If you cannot afford an extension or conversion now, it may be worthwhile to obtain planning permission to do so later. You would have to spend money on designing the extension and conducting a survey but knowing the council has already approved an extension may add further interest to a potential buyer.

Do you still have questions? 
Contact the local property experts. 

Butcher Residential is a long-established independent family-owned firm of estate agents with offices in Penistone, South Yorkshire, this office covers the Metropolitan Borough of Barnsley and Denby Dale in West Yorkshire which covers the HD8 postcode in Huddersfield.