Moving home

If you're planning on selling your home, make sure that it shows its full potential and increase it's value with this advice from expert property renovator Michael Holmes.

If you’re planning on selling your home, make sure that it shows its full potential and increase it’s value with this advice from expert property renovator Michael Holmes.

Selling your home

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How to maximise value

If you want more space and are thinking of moving, you can invest time and money to maximise your home’s appeal to potential buyers and improve its value.

The more buyers that are interested in your home, the more you are likely to make from selling it. Write a list of what could put off a potential buyer and consider what you can resolve cost-effectively.

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Essential repairs

Start with the basics by making sure your home is in good repair, safe, dry and warm. Ensure the building is sound, free of cracks and major wear, that the roof is not leaking and there are no signs of damp – all of which could send buyers fleeing, forcing you to discount your asking price.

Repair the simple problems too, such as broken handles, locks, dripping taps or leaking basins, broken window panes and anything that might give the impression that your property is in disrepair and needs a lot of money to be spent on it.

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Cosmetic improvements

A buyer’s first impression of your home is all-important, so it’s a good idea to give your property a makeover. Start by having a serious clear out, leaving only your day-today clothes and belongings, accessories and main furniture in situ. The rest can go into a car boot sale or to eBay. Put anything you can’t part with into boxes and store it in the garage or shed. When a buyer looks around your home, you want them to see lots of spare storage space and no clutter or junk. (Read ‘Get Organised in 2012’ on page 46 for great storage solutions.)

If the bathroom and kitchen look dated and shabby, give them a makeover or replace them. You can transform a kitchen cost-effectively by repainting door and drawer fronts, changing handles, upgrading worktops, basin and taps and improving the lighting by changing dated light fittings. You can replace door and drawer fronts while still keeping the units.

If your bathroom suite is dated, a new white suite can cost as little as £300 from a builders’ merchant or DIY supplier, and white ceramic tiles cost from £6 per m².

Carpets should be cleaned (you can hire a steam cleaner for £24 per day), and very worn or dated flooring should be removed and taken to the tip or put in a skip.

Floorboards can be painted or stained for a fresh but inexpensive new look, or sanded and stained. You can hire an orbital and belt sander set from £45 for the weekend. Alternatively, a laminate wood effect floor can cost as little as £6-£7 per m².

Redecorating walls and ceilings in a light neutral colour will help the space look larger. If the walls are damaged, repair them using filler and sandpaper. You can repair them with a new skim coat of plaster if the damage is extensive. It will cost around £1,800-£2,200 for a typical three-bedroom property but it can be less work than stripping or sanding and filling. Woodwork and windows should be thoroughly cleaned and redecorated where necessary.

Outside, the garden should also be de-cluttered and tidied, overgrown trees or shrubs cut back, the beds weeded and the lawn mown. You can then put your furniture back into place ready for viewings.

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