If you’re planning to move house in the future, why not use this time to get your home into the best possible condition and ready for sale? A quick spruce up and a bit of ‘home staging’ will make all the difference to bagging a buyer, and you can tackle these tasks yourself. Who knows, perhaps these little DIYs will actually boost the value of your home too?
All you need to do to prepare your home for sale is think back to when you were looking for a house. What were the things that put you off? Or what did you wish you could find in a property that never materialised? If you can put yourself in the mindset of a buyer, you can try to provide everything they need. Or, at the very least, can ensure that easy fixes don’t end up preventing a sale.
Here are some common buyer’s gripes that you can easily tackle yourself before putting your home on the market…
IT NEEDS DECORATING
Perhaps the most obvious thing that puts off buyers is a house that needs decorating. While some people might be on the look out for a property in need of renovation, these are probably the same buyers who are looking to get a bargain that they can add value to. So if you want to achieve a better price for your home, you might want to decorate in advance so that viewers will feel like they can move straight in without having to do any work.
As DIY tasks go, this is one of the easier projects to do. You just need to take care while painting around the edges (ceiling, woodwork, doors etc) in order to get a neat finish. Using neutral tones, such as a white, soft grey, and light colours means that any wobbly lines along the edge of a wall wont be as noticeable as a dark colour. And don’t forget that strong colours are a matter of personal taste so even though you love that rich red wall in the living room, buyers might not!
THERE’S NOT ENOUGH STORAGE
If you’ve ever walked around a house and thought ‘where will we put all our stuff?’ you’ll understand the need for built-in storage. If a buyer can spot places to stow their belongings, they’ll feel reassured that they could easily move into the house. Even though you might feel like you’re already making good use of the space with your furniture, if you can add built-in storage that stays with the house, that adds more value.
Look around for spaces that are under-utilised. Have you done anything with the space under the stairs? At the very least this should be a clean, painted space with plenty of shelving and space for a vacuum etc. Those alcoves either side of the fire place? Add some fitted shelving or, if you have the DIY skills, add doors to turn the alcoves into build-in cupboards.
Go around the house and fill any alcoves, cubby holes and corners with useful storage. I added shelves to all my alcoves and boxed-in the under-stairs space to keep it clean and neat. A fitted wardrobe adds value to your home so you could always invest in a custom-built unit that you install yourself, like the flat-pack fitted wardrobes I installed a few years ago.
IT DOESN’T HAVE KERB APPEAL
One thing that’s sure to put off potential buyers before they even get inside your home is an exterior that looks messy. It could be as simple a fix as tidying up and moving the wheelie bins around the back of the house or into a store – here’s the bin store project I made. Or perhaps your front entrance needs more TLC than that?
Re-painting a door can make a difference, especially if the paint is looking faded or is peeling. It’s a simple DIY task – all you need to do is sand back the old paint and then use a primer to prepare the surface before adding a fresh top coat. Did you know that the colour of a front door makes a difference to the value of your home? Apparently a blue front door can add up to £4000 to the asking price!
Painting the fence, gate and any masonry will give the impression of a well-maintained home and will make buyers Excited to step inside. If you’ve got space to add plants and flowers – even if just in pots or a window box, this will also boost the kerb appeal of your home.
THERE’S NOT ENOUGH ROOM
If a buyer can’t see the space in a room, they’ll be more likely to walk away without making an offer. Often, this isn’t a case of the house being too small, but that the rooms are too full of stuff. So you can help them to imagine themselves living in the property by clearing out as much of your personal items as possible and staging your home. Well, you’re planning on moving anyway, so you might as well start the packing process now!
A quick declutter will help to make rooms feel more spacious straight away, and will make it easier if you’re going to be decorating or DIYing some built-in storage anyway. You can even pack away unneccessary furniture to make more space in a room, leaving just the essentials – sofa, coffee table etc. The key is to have less stuff but still make the room feel homely, not sparse. This is where ‘home staging’ comes in – use pot plants, cosy cushions and lovely lighting to make the space feel welcoming.
Do you have any tips for selling your home? What did you do the last time you moved in order to boost its value and find a buyer quickly? Let me know your hacks in the comments below, I’d love to get some more advice on the topic from you 🙂
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