Spending so much time at home this year has prompted lots of us to think about moving, whether in search of more space, a new home office, or perhaps a complete relocation to somewhere more rural.
But before you can get too excited about the new home, you’ll likely have to sell your current property — and you’ll want to get the most you can for it.
With many of us likely to be staying home this Christmas, what better time to work on some home improvements? Not only will it make your home feel polished, but it could also boost its value at the same time.
We spoke to Sam Mitchell, CEO of online estate agent Strike, to get some insider tips on where to begin if you’re jumping into some DIY.
1. Don’t be afraid to start small
People often underestimate how much value small tweaks can add to your home. Making your home look as clean and appealing as possible is key and achieving this could be as simple as a fresh lick of paint or resealing in the kitchen and bathrooms.
Think about what your potential buyer wants to see when they walk into your home. Remember, they’re more likely to notice the small details that you may have got used to. No one wants to see cracks in the ceiling and plasterwork, loose tiles or dripping taps!
These small DIY improvements won’t cost a huge amount and even just freshening up the walls with paint has the potential to add over £4000 in overall value.1
2. Smarten up spare space
One of the main reasons people are looking to move home this year is in search of extra space – so keep this in mind when you’re getting your home ready to sell.
If you have a spare room in the house, then use it wisely. Think about who your buyer might be and what they will be looking for.
For example, are they looking for a family home with lots of bedrooms? Or is a home office a better way to show the space off? Research from Strike recently found that a home office is the top priority for a quarter of home movers in light of changing work circumstances. You can easily set up a faux home office so your buyer can see the potential of the room.
If you feel like going bigger, you could consider converting spare loft space. If done well, loft conversions have the potential to add over £23,000 on average to the value of your property.2
3. Focus on your kerb appeal
Although you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, that rule doesn’t really apply when it comes to home viewing — as first impressions are always crucial.
Your front door is a great place to start. It could be as simple as cleaning it to make it look as good as new, or maybe even a fresh lick of paint. Polishing any metal fixtures and removing rust is another quick trick to freshen your front door.
The garden is also a deciding factor for many buyers, so put some work into it this winter to show it off to its full potential. Cutting the grass, raking any leaves, weeding and cleaning pathways or patios could really make a difference to your kerb appeal.
4. Be energy efficient
Everyone knows they should be doing more for the environment, so buyers are increasingly looking for homes that include green features.
Some people find the idea of making their home more energy efficient daunting — they assume it will cost a lot or just be more effort. Luckily, small changes can be made that won’t cost a fortune.
Swapping light bulbs for energy saving bulbs, stopping drafts around doors and windows or adding some insulation to your loft are all easy ways to make your home greener.
If you want to try bigger changes, installing double glazed windows not only reduces heating bills, but could add value of 10% to your home.3
5. Boost your bathroom
It is easy to overlook the difference a clean bathroom can make. But having a bathroom that is free of limescale and mould, looking fresh and hygienic, is going to be worth your time.
It often doesn’t take too much effort to remove limescale and re-seal or re-grout around showers, baths and sinks, but it can vastly improve the appeal of a bathroom.
If you don’t want to get your hands dirty, replacing the shower curtain will elevate the room, or if your budget allows, adding a glass screen is a simple and effective way of giving the room a different look.
Last but not least, if your bathroom is small, adding a mirror could help make it look much larger – an idea that could work in multiple rooms around the house.