Should I do home improvements before I sell?

This is a frequently asked question when assessing a property for sale. The answer depends on the type of improvements you are considering…

In 30 years as an Agent, I have always said that decorating (by yourself) can cost a considerable amount, and 9 times out of 10 will be the wrong shade. There are few decorating schemes that are so bad they cannot be overlooked. Also, the time and money lost whilst decorating cannot always be recovered; or worse, the time spent decorating may mean you miss the best market for your property. However, if you feel it is necessary to decorate, neutral shades are always a safe bet!

It is important to remember with any improvements that there is a difference between saleability and value. Some improvements can significantly increase the saleability – meaning it will be easier to find a purchaser as it will appeal to more people. These type of improvements don’t generally show a return on any costs outlaid, but can expedite your timescales dramatically.

What home improvements could increase the value of your property?

(Only to be used for guidance purposes; assuming a reasonable cost to carry out improvement and a quality finish).

The best return on an investment:

100% – The addition of an extra bedroom in style of original house/upgraded central heating system/addition of a garage.

50% – The addition of a conservatory/newly fitted kitchen/modernised bathroom.

25% – The addition of a ground floor bathroom/double glazing/outdoor swimming pool.

Of course, if you intend to live at the property for 5 to 10 years then any possible over-capitalisation will be compensated by the utility value of having those enhanced facilities to enjoy in your home.

Something that increases the usable square footage will inevitably yield a return on your investment. Luxuries such as hot tubs/outdoor pools don’t necessarily increase value. Certain works can actually decrease the value, such as over-extension of a property that reduces the garden area significantly, double glazing on a listed property or removal of period features (decorative plasterwork, fireplaces etc.).

Keep in mind your timescales. If you intend to remain at the property rather than sell immediately then that will also have an impact.

For guidance or advice, please call us on 01566 777888 or contact us here.