If you’re a landlord or property developer, you’ll know that hanging in there for the long-term is first prize when it comes to making a profit on your investment. That said, sometimes you just want to sell… now. Tenants leave. Circumstances change. The market starts to look precarious. Brexit happens.
If you’re sitting on a property you’d like to sell, you may want to flip it and be done with the hassle. But while the temptation to sell ‘as is’ may be great, your property could fetch a significantly better price if you can afford to invest a little more time and money on a few value-adding updates before putting it on the market.
While it may feel frustrating to sink additional time and money into a property you’re keen to get rid of, a could of quick and relatively inexpensive updates to the house could pay off significantly in terms of resale value. These simple home-improvement solutions could give your property the edge without breaking the bank.
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Converting a loft may be one of the pricer projects you embark on, but a converted loft should add enough value to the property to cover costs, and then some. A converted loft adds a bedroom, which takes your property up a notch on the rental market, so any potential buy-to-let investors will pay extra attention. What’s more, you won’t spend months waiting for council approval, so if you’re looking for a quick sale, a quick loft conversion may be within scope.
It’s worth bearing in mind that while converting the loft will add space in terms of accommodation (that all-important number of bedrooms on the rental listing) the conversion will mean that you lose a little of the available living space, as the staircase has to go somewhere. Depending on the size of your property, this could be well worth your while. The extra room ramps up the value significantly, and if the property is fairly spacious, the loss of living area may not even be noticeable.
One of the biggest challenges is getting enough natural light into the space. You may need to be creative with skylights, dormers or loft windows. Planning permission is generally not required for a loft conversion—rather than adding volume to the house, you are reusing the existing volume. With the help of a trusted builder, you should be able to knock up your loft conversion fairly promptly, so it shouldn’t delay your plans to sell. (That said, if your property happens to face onto a major road, it’s worth getting advice about adding the loft, as dormer windows may require special permission.)
Most buyers look at the house first. If the house fits their needs perfectly, they are unlikely to be swayed by a less-than-ideal garden. However, if a buyer is on the fence about the house, a garden can very easily make the difference.
If your property has a garden, neglecting to optimise the outdoor space is a wasted opportunity. Not only does a well-maintained garden give the whole property a face-lift, but it serves as a testament to the love and care that has been put into the property. A couple of well-positioned benches or a built-in BBQ can work wonders in the imagination of a buyer who values an outdoor lifestyle. If you have a few extra acres to play with, a wire mesh chicken run, a green-house or a duck pond are effective signals to the buyer about the type of lifestyle that this property makes possible.
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Modernise The Bathroom
Bathrooms are notorious ‘deal-breakers’ when it comes to buying a property. If the house lacks a hygienic looking bathroom with a clean appearance, some buyers are likely to be put off, even if the rest of the property suits their needs. And while high-quality but slightly dated bathroom fixtures might be functional and clean, the old-fashioned look has a way of making even perfectly serviceable bathrooms look grubby. On the other hand, a newly remodeled bathroom can seem fresh and appealing, even if the new fittings are not of the highest quality. You needn’t completely overhaul the bathroom to achieve a clean, modern effect, but a few touches, like replacing a dated fixture or adding a little mood lighting can go a long way.
Whether you’re looking to sell an old terrace property or a little flat, it can be hard to resist the temptation to sell ‘as is’ when you’re keen to be free of it. But if you have the time and capital available, a few simple updates could be the key to getting a higher price for your property than you expect.
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