A renovation may not always add value to your home. While an extension or loft conversion will nearly always boost the price of your property, other improvements may be anything but an improvement to a buyer. Find out what to avoid with these warnings from Fine & Country agents and members of Fine & Country Interior Design.
1. Adding more personal touches
Personal items like photos, ornaments and trinkets make a house into your home. But adding more touches, especially ones that are hard to reverse, can make it hard for a buyer to imagine living there, and therefore devalue your home.
Charles Eddlestone from Fine & Country Fulham said: “In my opinion, the two main issues when selling your property is over personalisation and too many belongings. This may be perceived as a sense of style and making one’s home cosy, but to buyers, your property can look overwhelming. With clutter, homes tend to look small. Instead of storing personal items in cupboards, which may make your house look like it has a lack of storage, hire a storage unit to temporarily house your belongings.”
2. Changing a bedroom to a home office or snug
“Losing a bedroom by changing it into a home office can devalue your home. If you need an office for your own use, avoid using built-in shelving and bulky desks so that the room can easily revert to a bedroom when you are selling,” advises Kirsty Fisher from Lemon and Lime Interiors, part of Fine & Country Interior Design.
3. Bright and loud redecorating
Did you spot a pot of bright paint in the season’s must-have colour? For a design-forward buyer, an on-trend room could be a great reason to buy, but unusual colours and busy patterns will put off others.
“My suggestion is that choosing a wacky wallpaper is great when you’re living there, but don’t let the overbearing colours be the reason for viewers to be turned off,” advises Charles Eddlestone from Fine & Country Fulham.
Kirsty Fisher from Lemon and Lime Interiors agrees. “Not only can strong colours make rooms appear smaller, they can also put off potential buyers who believe that there is a lot of redecorating to be done once they move in. Choose neutral colours to present buyers with a blank canvas.”
4. Spending a lot to replace the kitchen or bathroom
While an outdated bathroom suite or old-fashioned kitchen appliances may put off a buyer, think twice before replacing them. “It’s really not worth replacing kitchens or bathrooms, as what you choose may not be to others taste,” says Claire Badham from Fine & Country Pembrokeshire. After all, it’s impossible to suit everyone.
Instead, if you need a sweetener to the deal, you could offer a small drop in price for the new owners to re-do the kitchen or bathroom. This could be much less than you would have paid to have the work done yourself and it won’t be inconvenient.
5. Replacing the family bath
Before you make a bathroom update, Kirsty Fisher from Lemon and Lime Interiors has a suggestion.
“Replacing a bath with a shower is often favoured as it can save a lot of space and many of us only ever use a shower in our daily routine. However, this move can be a negative for some potential buyers. Think about who might be interested in your house; many parents with young children prefer the ease of bathing their children and look for at least one family bathroom in a property.
6. Changing the carpets
Instead of looking to replace fairly permanent features like carpets, why not repair? Good repair work can add value to a home and avoid any danger to poor-quality fixes that can decrease the offer you receive.
“Avoid replacing carpets unless absolutely necessary; try getting them professionally cleaned instead,” suggests Claire Badham from Fine & Country Pembrokeshire. “Present your home to the best of its ability without spending too much money. Replace light bulbs, fix little jobs you’ve been meaning to do for a while, and cut back overgrown shrubs.”
7. Not consulting a professional
Before making any renovation before you want to sell, you may want to consider consulting a homestaging specialist. Fine & Country Interior Design member EHG Home offer a ‘market readiness appraisal’ to suggest what needs to be done before a home goes onto the market. It can include everything from suggestions to new furnishings to lighting and repairs.
For more information, contact Fine & Country Interior Design.
Are you thinking of selling your home soon? Get in touch with your local Fine & Country agent to find out how much your property is worth.
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