Do you want to sell your property more than what you bought it for? Then you’re going to have to add value to it. We’re talking about giving every element of your house, both the inside and out, a refreshing overhaul. That’s the only way you’re going to fully convince potential buyers to take the property off of your hands and to get the best price in the meantime.
Remember, you only get one shot to make a good first impression, so you have to make sure that your property stands out, and also you showcase all your good work. Here are some of the most common ways to increase the value of your home, remember nothing beats a good tidy, nothing frustrates me more than people selling houses that with a day of tidying would help tenfold.
Ways to Add Value to Your Property
1. Renovate Bathrooms and Kitchens
Value Increase: 6%
The kitchen is usually regarded as the heart of a property, it is often the most memorable room. Think about it, the last time you went over somebodies house that you were truly impressed by, did they have a great kitchen?
You’ll come to understand how even the smallest changes can make a huge difference. To get started, we suggest replacing old or antiquated taps or sinks, changing cabinet handles and doors, updating old appliances, or even installing spotlights that can help lift a room’s mood. You don’t need to have a brand new kitchen for it to be a selling point.
Some of the most popular elements that you can use for your kitchen include:
- Marble & quartz: Most buyers are looking for high-quality and luxurious worktop materials for their kitchens like marble or quartz as they’re durable and easy to maintain. That’s beside the fact that they are aesthetically beautiful and can make any kitchen seem high-end.
- Real Wood Worktops: They are actually relatively cheap (when compared with marble), and are just as striking.
- Modern appliances: Country Living reports that purchasing brand new energy-efficient appliances is one of the most popular home-value-adding features.
We strongly urge that you do the same with your bathroom. A dusty or smelly bathroom with a leaky top and old grouting can be a massive deal-breaker for potential clients and also guests.
You don’t have to change the entire bathroom suite; just some new tops, a glass shower, or even a toilet seat are more than enough. Putting a glass screen rather than a shower curtain can make a small space seem larger by comparison.
For added value, you can choose the following elements for your bathroom:
- Underfloor Heating: Nowadays, more and more people are discarding radiators in favour of underfloor heating. Not only does it give homeowners more wall space for a larger shower or bath, but it even heats the entire space evenly and gives it an extra luxurious element. You’ll be very thankful you considered this option when the chilli season kicks in. I must admit though, I wouldn’t rely soley on underfloor heating from personal experience, but it is a nice touch.
- Power Shower: Stepping into a weak shower is not the way to go. According to a poll from Money Wise, 70% of property professionals say that installing a power shower is an important value-adding feature for a bathroom.
70% of property professionals say that installing a power shower is an important value-adding feature
2. Tidy Your Garden
Value Increase: 7-10%
Are you aware that most potential buyers are put off by overgrown gardens? So if your lawn has one, you can get it under control by mowing it, weeding out the flower beds, and trimming the bushes and hedges. All can be done within a day, unless you have a large garden, but it is still worth the time.
You can add some aesthetic appeal to your garden by incorporating planters that are relatively affordable and are also portable, where you can take them with you when you’re moving. And if you don’t have a green thumb, you can let a professional maintain your garden while you look for some attractive pre-planted pots. Having broken fencing really is an eyesore, so if you can, replace any broken fence panels. Also having things like broken fences in general give the impression the house hasn’t been looked after.
Often, buyers will look into the outside storage if you had a run down shed, considerfixing it up. If yours is a bit worn down, try splashing it with a fresh coat of paint. You can do the same for your fences. And once your garden features look like the belle of the ball, think about installing some garden lighting to help home viewers visiting late in the afternoon or the early evening a better view, you can also use this to highlight key features, have a summer house? Put some lighting around it.
3. Take Care of the Structural Issues
Value Increase: 3-15% – This depends entirely on the severity of the issues.
Structural issues can greatly deteriorate any house’s value. For anyone hoping to increase the value of their property, take the structural problems into account. It wouldn’t make any sense to make any internal or cosmetic improvements like installing a new bathroom or kitchen if you don’t fix structural issues.
Subsidence can sometimes result in underpinning expenses, which will probably be some of the most expensive renovation works that homeowners come across. But if they’re hoping to add value to their property, this needs to be taken care of.
Other Structural defects that homeowners need to account for include:
- Rising damp
- A leaking or sagging roof
- Bowing walls
- Structural wall cracks
- Insect infestation
- Rotten roof timbers or joists
- Broken or missing roof tiles
- A collapsed slab/floor
- Unstable chimney stack
I must advise you that you should not, at any cost, DIY this and must call in a professional surveyor, builder, or structural engineer to take care of these structural defects.
4. Consider An Extension
Value Increase: 10-25%
According to real estate agents, open-plan extensions give a property a certain “wow factor,” which gives the house the ability to sell itself. One of the most cost-effective improvements that homeowners can make is a double-story extension that creates extra living space, incorporating an additional bedroom over ground level. It’s also the best way to cover the significant outlay.
According to the figures from MyBuilder, the average price range for extensions is somewhere between £16000 to £67000. The overall cost includes essential building elements like insulation and foundations without including VAT or the finishing touches like kitchen installation or decorations.
Even if you do decide to go for this, you need to be careful with both the design and the layout as an ugly, oversized, badly placed, or designed extension could increase value but lower the salabilty of your home. The general rule of thumb is to make sure the extension is in proportion and keeping with the current property, and the new space works great both on the inside and the out.
You have to make sure the upper to ground floor room ratio is balanced, and the outside space isn’t reduced considerably.
5. Remodel The Interior
Value Increase: 3-6%
If extending the property isn’t going to happen, then changing the internal layout is another idea. Open plan living is the trend at the moment, and people will pay a premium for this.
This means that you’re going to have to knock down some walls to create an open-plan living area, for instance. But before you do this, please ensure that the wall you’re going to knock down can bear the load or not. Knocking down any walls without taking the proper precautions in mind could literally bring the house down. That’s why you need to consult with a structural engineer or an architect first.
You can also add fitting out of storage in alcoves or any other awkward space that would otherwise go unused. Most buyers consider fitted storage an excellent bonus, especially around city flats, where space is at a premium.
6. Transform Your Basement/Cellar
Value Increase: Up to 30% – This depends on the area you live in
Transforming a basement/cellar into a storage or living space can boost a home’s value by 30%. This is taking into account that the build cost per square feet is less than the area’s price per square feet.
As a matter of fact, changing the cellar or basement is considered to be one of the least complicated home improvements that homeowners can make since it is considered to be ‘change-of-use’ for planning reasons. It is worth mentioning that we are not talking about the basements we hear about in London where the houses fall down! If you don’t already have a space somewhat suited, this will not work for you.
This means that homeowners don’t necessarily need any planning permission to carry this out. On the other hand, if you’re planning on making any structural changes to a listed building, then you’ll need to talk to a local planning officer.
7. Do Some Painting and Decorating
Value Increase: 3-7%
Avoid ‘in need of modernisation’ on your listing, how many times do you read that when looking at a home? Now you are not going to apeal everybody but keeping things neutral will help.
To help it get into the 21st century, you’ll need to whip out some brand new colours and consider replastering your room.
We suggest using light-reflecting paint and some mirrors to trick potential buyers into believing a room is bigger for tiny spaces. You should also consider decluttering while as well as ensuring that the rooms are well-furnished to boost the maximum value of your property.
With the ever-changing trends, it’s best to keep the decor of your house neutral if you want to bring more value to it. Not only will it help the place look good, but it can even brighten up rooms and enable buyers to use your house as a blank canvas so they can personalise it to suit their own tastes.
If you want to save your buyers the effort on their end, you can go the complete opposite route from the previous passage. There’s nothing wrong with going for a more modern look to appease current tastes. This is especially helpful to buyers who lack creative flair and seeing something pretty stylish and readily available can really do it for them.
8. Declutter the Place
Value Increase: 1-3%
Not only does it make your home look bigger, but seriously who doesn’t tidy their homes when trying to sell? I like to renovate homes and I make a living that way, but most people don’t. Tidy your home!
Want to know the simple trick of making your interiors look bigger while also saving on your budget? Decluttering. This is to give buyers more space to unpack after buying the property.
However, there’s a less haphazard way to approach this matter before you end up throwing away some of the things that you shouldn’t have. We suggest you take a good look around the place just to see what needs to be cleared and what needs to remain. Set your focus on individual areas or rooms and segment items in different boxes or carts depending on whether you want to donate them, sell them, or ultimately throw them away. Once you’re done gathering all the stuff up, head out to the charity, car boot sale, tip, or you can sell them online.
Plus, it will actually make your home much easier to sell, who doesn’t put the effort in to tidy their home before they sell?
9. Upgrade to a Central Heating System
Value Increase: 4-6%
Nowadays, many heating systems are being constantly improved and modernised to ensure they’re more efficient in their performance. Without a properly optimised central heating system, your house’s value and your Energy Performance Certificate can take a huge hit (more on this later). Similarly, the sentiment is the same towards an outdated or old boiler.
Therefore, if you have a boiler or central heating system that’s more than 15 years old, we highly recommend you replace them. Just bear in mind that doing so is not going to be easy on your wallet, but in the long run, if you are considering putting your home on the market within the next few months this probably isn’t a worthwhile investment, unless the current boiler you have is on it’s last legs!
Be sure to hire a gas registered fitter to install your boiler and that all of the safety certificates are prepped and ready for a new house buyer. To add more value to your property, we suggest boxing in the boiler and the pipes to boost your house’s overall curb appeal.
To ensure your central heating system performs more efficiently, you have to make it smart ready. This means that your central heating system can automatically adjust its setting to the desired heating levels so that it doesn’t push up your energy bills at the end of the month.
Besides that, you should also make sure that your boiler is A-rated, like many of the other models are today. For period properties, many buyers desire column and cast iron radiators to add more value to the property.
Tip: If your boiler would work with a smart thermostat, get one installed, they are only around £150 for a nest at the moment and it makes the whole system feel brand new.
10. Loft Conversion
Value Increase: 15-22%
Generally, a loft conversion can cost between £500-600/m² double that if you’re thinking about an extension. In regards to adding value, a loft conversion is very likely a good investment as it adds more space and most of the time it won’t cost a lot compared to a traditional extension.
You can add natural light by either roof lights or dormer windows. Normally, loft conversions don’t necessarily require planning consent as this uses the existing space of your house. However, planning permission is required if you want to install dormer windows when facing a highway.
11. Windows Need Changing?
Value Increase: 4-7%
Most homes now have double glazing(although triple glazing is out there), and by adding it, you can definitely increase your house’s value (if you currently have single glazing). However, if you’re renovating a period property, you need to be careful of the house’s style, or else you’ll decrease its value, but to be honest this is rarely an issue as you can keep most styles with modern windows.
Whereas old windows need to be replaced, double-glazed windows need to be replaced like-for-like. But you must ensure that they are double-glazed to meet with the ongoing building regulations unless the building is in or listed as a Conservation Area.
And if you’re going to replace the windows, make sure that they:
- avoid the unconventional little top lights or top hung air vents
- have equal sightlines and are well-balanced
- Have taller than wide proportions, preferably at a ratio of approximately 1:1.6 for each light and casement.
For period houses of higher-value, aesthetics become a greater focus to the point that a premium can be placed on a house with existing period windows, as long as they’re functioning well and intact. However, these windows are only considered worth replacing for such properties if they’re not suitable in terms of style, are beyond repair, or require more light.
13. Repair or Restore Period Features
Value Increase: 1-3%
Restoring or reinstating period features can add value to your property, but doing so more can be more challenging than it sounds. Remember that features are only good if they’re in good condition, a period fireplace won’t add value if you renovate it like crap for example.
Today, most buyers are willing to pay a premium of 30% for a character property of several hundreds of years old with its original features and are willing to pay an extra 8% for a Victorian house.
High-quality reclaimed products are not cheap, and reproduction items won’t have the same effect until they use traditional construction methods and materials and are difficult to tell apart from the original piece. We also don’t suggest doing any kind of restoration on your own as it could do more harm than any good. That’s why it’s worth stretching your pockets a little wider to call the professionals.
The features must also be in the same era, style, and proportion of your house, so do take as much time as you need to research your house’s history so that it ends up looking authentic before you attempt to sell it off.
14. Make Your Property Energy-efficient
Value Increase: 1-8% – Depending on start and finish position
Now more than ever, buyers are looking for houses that are energy efficient. The utility bills that get tallied at the end of the month are just too much for many to bear. Fortunately, when the time comes to sell the house, it will be examined for its energy-efficient performance and rated according to the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).
This rating informs potential buyers whether the house allows them to save on heating costs compared to the other neighbourhood houses. Hence, your buyers will factor in this information and use it to decide whether your property is worth investing in or not.
There are several ways to improve your energy efficiency ratings, like adding solar panels, insulation, replacing your regular light bulbs with those that are energy-efficient, and, as we said earlier, upgrading your boiler.
Solar panels are gaining more traction these days because of the overwhelming energy bills many homeowners face. These convert the rays from the Sun into energy that’s enough to power an entire household. Because of this renewable source of energy, you can push down your energy bills. What’s more, solar panels that are being sold these days allow homeowners to generate enough electricity to sell it back to their energy provider.
Unfortunately, not everyone can afford solar panels. But if you’re looking for a more affordable and easier alternative to the point where you can do it yourself, when installing extra loft insulation is what’s best for you. The recommended thickness of loft insulation as of now is 250 mm, which has been upgraded from what it used to be, which was 100 mm. You also don’t need to remove your existing insulation as you can just lay the new one on top of it, allowing your property to retain heat, reduce your bills, and improve your overall EPC.
Another excellent way of improving your EPC is by swapping out your standard light bulbs with those that are energy-efficient. These bulbs last a lot longer, are affordable to run, and, most importantly, reduce your electric bills, and are about the same cost as a regular bulb.
15. Important Exterior Makeovers
Value Increase: 3-12%
Of course, you can’t forget about the outer face of your house, otherwise known as the exterior. After all, first impressions are what really count initially. This is the most crucial moment to nail as best as possible to catch prospective buyers’ attention. Some buyers will simply drive around the neighbourhood from the inside of their car to see whether a certain property catches their eye or not.
Think about it, when you’re looking on Rightmove, all the first photos are of the exterior, and we only click on the homes that catch our eye.
A property’s exterior makeover might involve any of the stuff mentioned below:
- Repainting windows and doors
- Repointing brickwork
- Repainting walls
- Replacing an outdated garage door
- Removing stone cladding
- Repairing or changing Windows
- Repairing broken or cracked cladding like timber or render
- Adding or replacing a house number or sign
- Adding a porch
- Adding climbing trellis or plants
Large-scale makeovers can completely change a property’s overall appearance from the outside. Some of the things that require changing include roofs, windows, wall cladding, porches, and chimneys. Converting existing space like the roof or a garage or even extending can add more appeal and value to your property.
We believe that this is more than enough to help you be on your way and sell your property to future buyers (or current buyers if you’ve already got some). Do let us know if there are any other improvements that you’d like to suggest in the comments below.