We’ve been convinced by TV shows over the last two decades that all you need is a lump hammer, some MDF and a bit of creativity to transform your home and make a small killing when it comes to selling up.
While some improvements really will attract buyers and bump up your selling price, others will have exactly the opposite effect. They might improve things for you while you live there, but do they actually count as improvements? These are the DIY or renovation projects you need to be very careful about or swerve altogether.
Knocking down walls
Open-plan is over for many, especially now, with the rise of home-working and people needing a bit more privacy. Reducing the number of rooms in a house, unless it’s already huge, isn’t going to help you at all, especially if you knock two smaller bedrooms into one.
If you have a particularly large room, then you could think about sectioning it off or turning it into two rooms, or putting an ensuite into a big bedroom. The key is to ask yourself if reducing the number of rooms reduces the functions your home can offer you. If it does, then put that lump hammer down and step away…
Extending beyond your price band
When you’re extending or renovating your property, think about the ceiling value of your postcode. There’s no point in spending tens of thousands on remodelling and extending to bring the value of your property up to £500,000 if the neighbourhood average is £350,000. If someone has a budget of £500,000, they’ll want to move to an area more in keeping with their funds.
In addition to space, you should think about functionality. If your neighbourhood is mainly young professionals, then are they going to want a huge landscaped garden to maintain? Probably not.
Making things too personal
Of course, you have the most exquisite taste in interior décor, but maybe your buyers won’t be able to recognise this and be put off by your paisley bathroom tiles and zebra print ceilings…
If you have something unusual or highly personalised in your home then ask yourself if it’s something your Average Joe can live with for a while before getting around to changing it. Something like a Japanese standing bathtub might dissuade someone who likes to recline for their soak and they might not have the funds to remodel the bathroom for some time after moving in.
Aim to play it safe with décor and fixtures, even if it means replacing your bathtub yourself ahead of going to market, and you’ll find it easier to convert those viewings into offers.