If you're selling a property in 2020, you'll understandably be a little nervous about selling at a good price. With the situation around house prices in the UK remaining uncertain and a market slow down at the end of the year still likely, you'll want to make the most of the late summer and autumn months to secure a buyer.
These tips from property experts, including property gurus Phil Spencer and Kirstie Allsopp, will help you make clever tweaks that will add value to your home after Covid-19.
- Learn more about house prices 2020 in our guide
- How to add value to your home – 20 ways to make a difference
1. Boost your kerb appeal
Let's start with the easiest improvement you can make: improving your home's kerb appeal. This is a simple yet effective upgrade that leans on the notion that first impressions count, so head outside and examine what you could change about your home's exterior to impress any potential buyers. It's worth remembering that your home will be examined from all angles, so be sure to pay attention to the back and the sides, as well as the front of the building.
For instance, at the front, you could swap out your old front door for a new model to dazzle visitors as they enter your home, or you might want to give your front garden a tidy if it's seen better days. Around the back, you could add plenty of flowers and plants to make the space as lovely as possible, as well as making sure any features, like ponds or decking, are in good condition. Side areas are often overlooked, but sprucing up a driveway or painting a border fence are always worth the effort.
Browse front garden ideas in our gallery.
2. Add an electric vehicle charging point
Adding in an electric vehicle charging point may not be something that you'd consider a classic home improvement, but it has the potential for a great return — around a 2% increase to your asking price according to GoCompare. EVs are increasingly popular: sales of these vehicles in the first half of 2020 were up 86% compared to 2019 (NextGreenCar), and there are Government plans to outlaw petrol and diesel cars by 2035. Simply put, more and more homeowners will be looking to include a charge point at home in the future, so why not get ahead of the curve?
3. Make energy efficiency improvements
Making sure that your home is as energy efficient as possible is a great way to add value. Potential buyers will be happy that you've organised renovations, like energy efficient glazing, insulation, or a more efficient boiler, so they don't have to. In addition, they are sure to be attracted by the annual savings on energy bills your improvements will offer.
What's more, you'll soon be able to get a helping hand from the Government to make these changes via the recently announced Green Homes Grant that is set to be introduced in September 2020. This scheme will see up to £5,000 in vouchers made available to homeowners that can be used to pay for various improvements that will make your home greener, offering excellent value should you sell up.
Browse energy saving ideas for old homes in our guide.
4. Buy new things before moving
Property expert Kirstie Allsopp advises: 'You don't need to buy loads of new stuff but anything that is looking a little grotty and you think ''I'll buy a new one when I move,'' buy it now and take it all with you.' This works not just for new furniture, but also for things like new bed sheets and soft furnishings, which can have a surprising effect on how buyers perceive your property.
5. Give your house a name
This easy tips from Phil Spencer will add value to your home while costing you absolutely nothing. Did you know that naming your home something nice, like 'Earl Manor' or 'Owl Cottage' makes buyers keen to pay that little bit extra? It also costs you absolutely nothing: you just need to notify your local council and Royal Mail know. This small addition will increase you home's value by up to £5,000.
6. Get planning permission – even if you're not extending
If you haven't quite got the funds for an extension, get a planning permission for free, Phil advises, and increase your home's value by £5,000. Yes, people hate paperwork enough to pay thousands for someone else to do it. Besides, now more than ever, showing that the house has ready potential to be expanded (say, with an additional home office) will be seen as an attractive quality.
7. Don't leave DIY jobs unfinished
According to Kirstie Allsopp, 'there nothing more off-putting than half-done DIY jobs' when it comes to buyer looking at potential homes. So, however small it is – that little bit of the bathroom that you've almost finished retiling, or even the front garden fence that you've half painted – your potential buyers will notice. So, get it done before arranging viewings.
8. Convert your loft
One of the most effective ways to add value to your home is by increasing the space available, and you'll find that converting your loft offers great returns — an estimated 10% boost (GoCompare). Rather than spending tens of thousands on an extension to your home from scratch, an attic or loft conversion is a cheaper way to make the most of the space you already have, but aren't using.
There are a few things to consider, however. You'll need to find out whether your home is suited to a loft conversion, as some aren't and require extra work (and investment) that may make the plan unfeasible. You will also need to check if you will need planning permission, though most projects don't as long as you're not altering the exterior of your property. But, if you're able to convert your loft or attic, you could be set to see a hefty boost to your home's value.
Browse our loft conversion ideas for advice and inspiration.
Tips 1,2,3 and 8 are courtesy of Roof Windows 4 You