Property expert on boosting your home’s appeal to potential buyers

WITH the spring selling season around the corner, a property industry expert outlines some common blunders that could put off potential buyers.

MANY home owners eyeing a move in 2019 may already be sprucing up their properties to get them ready for market, writes Vicky Shaw.

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But while moving can be an exciting time, estate agents warn that it’s easy to make mistakes while trying to sell, which could potentially knock value off your property.

“Sometimes the improvements and changes you have made might make the property less attractive to buyers,” said Mark Bentley, president of NAEA Propertymark, the National Association of Estate Agents.

“So before you start marketing your home, it’s worth taking stock and making any necessary alterations to give you the best chance of securing your asking price.

“You can ask friends or family for their honest opinions, or your estate agents can help advise on any small changes you may want to make before placing your home on the market.”

Here are some of the key factors that NAEA Propertymark members have experienced as having a negative impact on a property’s value.

1. Over-personalisation

People’s homes suit their personalities. But if you like your decor big and bold, it may be worth toning it down a bit, unless you can find a buyer who has similar taste.

Typically, modestly decorated homes are most desirable, as home owners can easily see how they could make it their home.

2. Property condition

Tell-tale indications of damp, cracks on walls, a poor roof condition, an old boiler and single-glazed windows can all impact on the value of a property and interest from buyers.

3. Bad presentation

Show off your home at its best. Everything should be clean, with clutter tidied away and any outstanding DIY jobs finished.

If a home smells fresh and clean, it has a much greater chance of selling quickly.

4. Swimming pools

They may be great fun in the summer, but swimming pools in the UK can put some potential buyers off, although others may be wowed.

As well as the issue of potentially costly maintenance, pools take up space and some buyers may see them as an unwanted hassle.

If a property has an outside swimming pool that is rundown, owners might want to consider filling it in.

But if it’s great condition, then selling the home in the summertime could show the pool off at its best.

5. Not having the right paperwork

If you have had work carried out while living in the property, such as extensions or conversions, make sure you obtained appropriate planning permission and building regulations, and have access to these documents.

If you haven’t got the right paperwork, you may have to pay for it retrospectively before agreeing a sale.

6. Darkened rooms

Your home may appear gloomy to buyers if you’ve planted lots of bushes and trees close to the windows. Frosted glass windows or net curtains can also sometimes have the same effect.

7. Japanese knotweed

If you think you can see any in your garden, call a professional to excavate it as soon as possible.

8. Clutter

Clean each room from top to bottom, paying special attention to high-impact rooms, such as the kitchen and bathroom. Too much furniture, children’s toys and unused gym equipment can make your property feel smaller.

9. Dated fixtures and fittings

Kitchens are often the focus for buyers, so it’s important they don’t look too outdated. Painting kitchens and replacing cupboard handles and old taps can be a cost-effective way to update.

10. Over-improving

As well as not doing enough, you can do too much.

For example, putting fake grass in the garden may have benefited your sporty family but it may not appeal to buyers who love the smell of a freshly cut lawn.

Keep improvements simple.

11. Not being energy-efficient

A home’s energy performance has become increasingly important to purchasers.

So if your home needs an energy-efficiency boost, consider steps to make it happen, such as installing double glazing, topping up your loft insulation or upgrading your old boiler.


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