Top tips for selling your home

By Mark Pearce, Managing Director, KJM Windows & Conservatories

Spring and early summer are consistently the best months for selling your home. Your garden’s sprung back into life, the sun is shining (well at least a little more than before!) and the feel good factor has returned.

But persuading home buyers to walk through your front door is only half the battle. The condition of your property can have a significant impact on not just its salability but also its ability to hold its value.

While ‘doer-uppers’ have appeal for some, most house-hunters will be looking for a property which is already in a good state of repair. If, for example, your windows and doors are old, unattractive or badly maintained or your bathroom is a shade of avocado that ‘time should have forgot’, it’s going to have an impact on not just its appeal but also price.

As a house buyer, you’re probably mortgaged to the hilt and every penny counts. If you know that you’re going to have to buy new windows or doors or replace the bathroom, you’re going to cut that cost from your offer and as part of the bargain, inflate the cost of doing the work.    

Home maintenance is key in holding a property's value, at point of sale but also through life. Maintaining the exterior of your home, investing in energy efficient windows and doors – it all contributes to not only making your property a nicer place to live but also ensures that should you come to sell it, it’s going to hold its value.

  • Curb Appeal: Your garden, landscaping, and exterior are the first things that people notice as they drive up to a home. There is only one chance to make a first impression, so keep in mind the importance of things like: flower beds, a well-manicured lawn and trimmed bushes
  • Make sure your doors and windows are clean and in a state of good repair
  • If you have pets then keep them out of the way. Some people love them and some people dont. Those that love may pay more attention to the pet than looking at the house.
  • Declutter - People need to be able to envisage what the property would look like if they were living there
  • If you have a fire then light it (assuming its not midsummer) Consider burning some pinecones for the delicious smell
  • Smell - Make sure the house is aired and does not smell of the morning's fry-up, use air fresheners or consider baking bread or cakes for a great aroma 
  • Your front door is particularly important – it’s your prospective buyer’s first physical point of contact with what could be there new home. Make sure it’s in a good state of repair. The ‘clunk’ as it closes shuts the rest of the world outside. People want to feel secure
  • Repaint internal walls a neutral colour and if you are the owner of an avocado bathroom, consider its replacement with a more neutral finish
  • Energy Efficiency: Your property will be advertised with an Energy Performance Certificate, which highlights what it is now and what it could achieve. With rising energy bills, poorly performing properties may be difficult to sell. After boilers, loft and wall insulation consider replacing windows and doors. They won’t just make your home more energy efficient but will also give it critical curb appeal.

Of course the cost of moving can quickly add up. Stamp Duty on the UK ‘average £180,000 home is £1,800. But with house prices still spiralling ‘average’ houses across Southern England are few and far between. On a £500,000 property, you’ll pay £15,000. Add estate agent fees, surveyors bills and of course those 200 word letters from solicitors and the cost of moving could be 10 to 15 per cent of the purchase price.

If on reflection you decide that you like where you live but could just do with a few more square feet you may decide to stay put and just extend. Again, a little thought can go a long way.

A single storey extension will cost you anything in the region of £40,000 to £60,000. A new generation glazed extension comes in at a fraction of the cost and is a very effective way of adding space to your home – but even better, they’ll add value to it.

According to peer-to-peer lending service Zopa, adding a conservatory or orangery to your property delivers the single biggest return on investment of any home improvement, with an ROI of 108 per cent and typical profit of £5,700.

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors makes a similar assessment, suggesting that the addition of a conservatory or orangery will increase the value of your property by around five per cent. So regardless of whether you choose to improve now and not move or improve and then move later, you’re in a win win situation.

The other thing we should probably add is that the installation of a glazed extension is significantly less disruptive and time consuming than the build of a traditional extension.

Feel free to contact me or a member of the team by calling 01264 359355 or by email sales@kjmgroup.co.uk . A little research and planning before you sell could help you maintain the value of your property at point of sale or maybe even avoid sale altogether.