Thinking Of Selling Your Home? Then Read On
March is a good time to spruce up a property: longer days and better weather mean more natural light to illuminate the best features, but it will also show up anything in need of renovation.
"With house prices on the rise, 2014 is predicted to be the year that property transactions return to their pre-recession levels. With some clever DIY and savvy buys it's possible to stand out and even add value to your home. First impressions count so make sure the front door is freshly painted and clean the windows and frames. Remove all evidence of front garden neglect by de-weeding, mowing the lawn, replacing dead plants and trimming hedges and bushes."
Once the exterior is looking its best, take a view on what you can achieve inside, starting with the basics. You don't need to employ an expensive interior designer these days as there is already a huge amount of information on the internet with retailers including Laura Ashley, Ikea and John Lewis offering a home design service.
The two most important things for any makeover are to clean and de-clutter. This will showcase the elements that you want people to see and make them aspire to live there."
Having de-cluttered, start the spring clean and work downwards if possible: check for rogue cobwebs or marks on the ceiling; make sure windows and frames are squeaky clean and sparkling, as these are the first things prospective buyers look at; clean all furnishings, polish woodwork so the house smells like a National Trust property and finally clean floors and carpets thoroughly.
Next set a realistic budget for any interior design improvements. Stay practical when it comes to interior trends, putty and stone are two of the current colour trends that most people like, yet are easy to match. Warm grey colours are a good replacement for beige or magnolia and will update a property immediately.
British homes are among the smallest in Europe, so storage space can be a key selling point. Clever storage solutions are increasingly in demand.
"Scatter cushions, rugs and lamp shades can add a new lease of life to your home without breaking the bank.
When it comes to more major improvements, it pays thoroughly to research what adds value to a house before splurging: "Bathrooms and kitchens, while a hefty investment, can be worth the expense," says Julia Kendell, a spokesperson for The Home Improvement Show (improveyourhomeshow.co.uk) at the NEC in March. "Most buyers are prepared to pay considerably more for homes with new bathrooms and kitchens to avoid the pain of installing them."
Ed Mead, of the estate agent Douglas & Gordon (douglasandgordon.com), says that the uplift in value if people give their house an interior makeover can be huge.
"A simple declutter will make it saleable. Concentrate on cleanliness first, and then work on making bathrooms and kitchen look their best.
He recommends investing no more than £10,000 in a makeover: "Start with free tweaks like cleaning and weeding and work up, but never spend more than £5,000-£10,000. "As a rough rule expect £2 for every £1 you invest in making the place look good."