Why property sellers need to make use of wasted space

Why property sellers need to make use of wasted space

Why do sellers need to make use of wasted space to increase the value of their home? Online estate agent Tepilo investigates.

When you sell a home, it’s a great idea to make use of every part of your property. You might not think the attic or the spare room is massively important, but neglecting these spaces could prove costly.

This advice becomes even more important when you consider recent research by TalkTalk, which found that the average British home includes £34,000 of wasted space. 

The survey, which polled 2,000 homeowners, found that 15% of the typical British abode goes completely unused. This equates to thousands of pounds of wasted space both inside the home and out.

What are the most unused areas?

The research showed that the attic, spare rooms and the garden shed were the most unused spaces in a home, despite their ability to add value to your home with a bit of clever-thinking, innovation and low-level investment.

We’ve looked previously at how spare rooms can add value to your home, whether by converting it into a study, a home gym, an extra bedroom or a home office. An extra bedroom is likely to add the most value, while a home office will appeal most to the rising number of people working from home needing relaxing spaces to maximise their productivity.

A home gym, meanwhile, might appeal most to young professionals who want to cut costs by ditching their gym membership, while converting your spare room into a playroom will have specific appeal to families with young children.

There are many other options – from a home cinema to a walk-in wardrobe and a library to a games room – which we outlined here.

A garden shed, too, shouldn’t be neglected, especially if you are selling your home in the summer and looking to place a particular emphasis on your outdoor space. Yes, some see it merely as a storage facility – somewhere to bung all those unwanted goods – but it can be so much more than that. It can work as a workshop, a games room, a play den for kids or even extra living space.

It’s a great place for creative people to escape to paint or write their book, plus it’s ideal for sculptors, keen photographers and craftspeople. It is, in other words, a multipurpose venue. If you have one, be sure to make use of it. If you don’t – and would like to add something a bit extra to your outside space – we looked before at how people can go about building one, offering prospective buyers a perfect haven of peace and quiet at the bottom of the garden.  

We also analysed whether luxury sheds – of the sort former Prime Minister David Cameron has invested in to write his memoirs – could add value to a home.

It’s perhaps no surprise that the attic – often seen as a dark, cold, dreary place full of cobwebs and no natural light – is one of the most frequently unused spaces. People typically see it as a place to store old items that have seen better days, but the attic – or any loft space you happen to have – can be converted into so much more.

Granted, loft conversions don’t come cheap, but they are an excellent way of adding value to your home in the long-term, providing extra space – and very often an extra bedroom or living space – to give prospective buyers more room to play with.

According to research, a loft conversion can also increase the value of a home by as much as 20% and, in some cases, can be carried out without planning permission (under something known as permitted development rights). As ever, check in with the experts before carrying out any actual building work.

Poor web connectivity

One of the key reasons for unutilised space was revealed to be a lack of web connectivity in these areas. TalkTalk’s research found that 63% of participants would be more inclined to make use of unused space in their homes if they had stronger Wi-Fi signal, while a massive 96% said internet connectivity is important to them – not surprising in a highly digital world where people need fast web access for work and communication with loved ones.

To the put the importance of fast internet speeds into even more context, a quarter of those polled said they would be happy to pay about £12,000 more for a house with no Wi-Fi blackspots. What’s more, when choosing a new home, those surveyed said Wi-Fi connectivity would be a higher priority than proximity to restaurants and pubs, having parks close by and the quality of local schools.

As a seller, if you can provide fast broadband speeds and excellent connectivity, you will be one step ahead of a competition and will have a major selling point to entice buyers with.

In addition to that, making use of any neglected spaced – whether it be creating a home cinema in the attic, a gaming den in the garden shed or a home gym in the spare room – is likely to increase the appeal of your property. And, even better, could allow you to set to a higher asking price.

Too much good – and potentially valuable – space is currently wasted. If you want to improve your chances of selling, work to bring these neglected areas back into use.