Expert advice: Which improvements can increase your property value?

Expert advice: Which improvements can increase your property value?

How can sellers add value to their property? As part of National Home Improvement Month, Tepilo analyses some of the best options for home owners.

As someone selling a home or thinking about putting it on the market, it’s likely you’ll be looking for ways to add value to your property. If advice on how to do this comes from experts of the housing world, all the better.

It is for this reason that we read with interest the recent tips offered up by NAEA Propertymark (formerly the National Association of Estate Agents), which give owners some top advice on how to improve the look and feel of their homes.

Some home improvements are small and incremental over time, others might be bigger jobs that cost more but bring much better long-term rewards.

The NAEA’s top tips cater to those on a budget and those willing to spend, as well as those looking to make the most of the space they’ve got and those who like a bit of innovation and invention when it comes to home improvements. Either way, it’s all about adding value and making a home ready for the market.

Combining the NAEA’s top tips, and some of our own advice, we outline below the best ways to increase the price of your property this spring…

Garden makeover

An obvious improvement, perhaps, but no less vital because of that. Certain buyers, in particular young professionals and families with young kids, will place a lot of importance on good garden space, so getting yours in tip-top shape is always a wise move.

None of this takes too much time, money or effort. Mow the lawn, sort out any weeding issues, plant a few flowers and cut back any overgrown trees or shrubs.

Once your garden is in tip-top shape, the NAEA says creating a ‘feeling of solitude’ and calmness will help to elevate its appeal. Make it a space where people want to sit and relax, to hold summer BBQs and informal dinner parties. Make it open, clutter-free and private. Assembling a structure, such as a pergola, is one way of achieving the necessary levels of privacy as well as making your garden usable in the winter months too.

Door transformation

You might not think so, but your front door is a key part of your sales pitch. In many cases, it is one of the first things would-be buyers see. As the expert advice points out, first impressions count double during house viewings so you don’t want any reason for buyers to be put off.

Replacing the front door entirely may be worthwhile, but if you can’t afford to start afresh completely then a quick repaint or power wash will help to give it a bright, shiny, welcoming gloss.

Mirror, mirror on the wall

Who’s the greatest light-creator of them all? Yes, that’s right, the humble mirror. If you are unable to go the whole hog with skylights or the building of a conservatory to flood your home with natural light (and, let’s face it, both those things don’t come cheap), mirrors are the next best option.

“Hanging mirrors opposite windows tricks the eye into thinking there is another window there and maximises the impact of natural lighting,” the NAEA advises. Meanwhile, to make your home appear bigger, better and brighter, reflecting light into dark corners helps to create the illusion of a larger space.

Window glazing

Most homes these days already have double glazing, but if you own an older or period home this might not be the case. If you live near a busy road, double glazed windows become even more important as a defence against excess noise. Even if you don’t live next to a busy road, double glazing still helps to keep things nice and quiet in your property – a picture of peace and serenity.

Double glazing also helps to keep a house warm, well-insulated and toasty, which will become particularly important to buyers in the winter months. 

Energy efficiency

This is an increasingly important consideration for buyers, with environmental issues and energy efficiency regularly featuring on the news agenda. For homeowners, value can be added to your home with the introduction of energy-efficient appliances. The main reason for this? Lower energy bills and costs, something that is likely to have significant appeal to buyers if you are selling your home or considering a sale in the near future.

“With a huge variety of new products on the market for this, it’s increasingly becoming a key feature for new homes,” says the NAEA.

Kitchen upgrade

Numerous polls in recent years have suggested that the kitchen is now the most important room in a home. So, if you’re looking to add value, it makes sense to focus on this space in particular.

Whether your kitchen is rustic, contemporary or somewhere in between, a few small steps can ensure it’s looking clean, bright, attractive and fresh. “Start by painting the cabinets to give a fresh look and replace doors and handles if needed,” the NAEA suggests. “Improve kitchen storage where you can; a larder for example is hugely attractive among house-hunters.”

It’s also advisable to make sure your kitchen has the appropriate levels of lighting. A dank, gloomy room will not go down well with buyers. Luckily, under-unit lighting is very easy and cost-effective to install, plus kitchens tend to be in a strategic location for natural light (and sunshine, if you’re lucky) flooding in.

Flooring – whether it is tiles, wood, vinyl or laminate – should be well-fitted, in great condition and a suitable colour for remaining clean and well-maintained over time.

In addition to the above, there are other – slightly more extravagant and expensive – ways to up the value of your home, including loft conversions, the installation of a practical and characterful fireplace, and knocking through walls to create an all-in-one dining room and kitchen space.

None of these options will be particularly cheap, and would require hiring in experts to carry out the work for you, but could bring greater long-term value to your home once they are completed.

Remember, if you are looking to convert your loft for an extra bedroom or extra storage space, you will need to apply for planning permission first.

As you can see, there are steps – both big and small – that can be taken to add value to a home. Doing this slowly but surely over time will aid your chances of receiving an excellent offer on your property.