10 top ways to add to your home’s value and tempt buyers

Extensions such as conservatories can add to a home's value. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO

Extensions such as conservatories can add to a home's value. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Thinking of putting your home on the market? Here are 10 top tips for ways to add value and attract buyers.

An updated bathroom is one way to add value. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO

An updated bathroom is one way to add value. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

How to add value, attract buyers - and avoid putting them off - are topics which loom large when you are looking to sell, and are constantly discussed in TV property shows.

You will be able to add the most to the purchase price you can ask by major projects such as building extensions or installing new kitchens. However, it is also possible to add value without spending a fortune.

Tackle repairs and small defects: A new survey has found that the number one thing which will put buyers in the East of England off choosing a home is if it needs repairs. The survey, carried out for Terry’s Fabrics, found that 41% of people in the region are put off by this. Fairly minor things, such as a dripping tap or a cupboard door which won’t shut, can give an impression that a house isn’t looked after. Of course, more major defects, such as problems with the roof, will be picked up by a surveyor and may lead to your asking price being knocked down.

Improve kerb appeal: The survey also found that 25% of buyers in the area are put off by an uninviting exterior. Crumbling window frames and dirty paint are definite turn-offs. Chris Jessup, a partner at Fenn Wright in Ipswich, said: “People do drive by first, so you have got to make sure that you stand back and look at your house, and see that it’s the best that it can be.” Mr Jessup said a good agent will help you to take a thorough look at your house and suggest how to present it to its best, both externally and internally. He added that it could be worth adding touches like a hanging basket of flowers.

Update the kitchen: Surveys have repeatedly shown that the kitchen is the most important room to a potential buyer, and it was selected as the key room by 54% of those in the latest regional survey. It has been estimated that a new kitchen could add around 6% to the value of your property, as long as the kitchen is appropriate to the home. If you don’t want to install a whole new kitchen, it is often possible to update the existing one, for instance by replacing the doors and handles or units or redecorating.

Clear up the garden: If your outdoor space looks as if it will require a lot of work, this could be daunting to a buyer. Making sure it isn’t overgrown can also help to make the plot seem more spacious.

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Improve parking: TV property presenter Phil Spencer suggests that, if you live in a built-up area where there is limited parking, it could also be worth paving over the front garden and adding a drop kerb, which is likely to need planning permission. This could potentially add thousands to your home’s value.

Redecorate: Adding a fresh lick of paint is the most popular home improvement. Experts advise choosing neutral colours, such as white, rather than a decor stamped with your own personality, because it will make it easier for buyers to envisage making the house their own. Most house-hunters are looking for a blank canvas.

Declutter: If you watch a TV property show, it’s always noticeable that a home crammed with personal possessions looks more cramped and less tempting. It’s worth making the space as tidy as possible and getting rid of any items now that you won’t want to take with you when you move. Spring cleaning at the same time will also help to make the house even more attractive.

Update the bathroom: As with the kitchen, an old and outdated bathroom will put many buyers off. If you don’t want to buy a new suite, smaller steps like replacing taps, regrouting and removing anything damaged by limescale can still improve the look. It may also be worth adding a shower if you don’t already have one.

Replacement windows: Many buyers will regard replacement double-glazed windows as an essential, but they need to be in keeping with the property’s look and style, or they could actually end up putting a buyer off. If you already have double glazing, it’s worth making sure that it is in good repair.

Extensions and loft conversions: If they are carried out correctly, these major projects should add to a home’s future selling price. Loft conversions are one of the most popular options, and can often be a good way of adding an extra bedroom. A conservatory can also add to a home’s value.