Optimising your sale

Should I renovate or sell, should I sell now or sell later? I hear these questions regularly. The desire to create a nicer home can be tempered by doubts over value for money and whether you will recoup your outlay – especially if you are not in your ‘forever home’.

Judging the best time to sell usually comes down to luck. Many people spend a fortune improving their home, expecting at least the cost of the improvements to be returned to them via an increased sale price.

However, a side effect of the COVID19 pandemic has been increases in the costs of many building materials. Contractors are in strong demand and have adjusted their prices accordingly, so now is not necessarily the best time to be looking for a builder. Sales prices are also strong but you are unlikely to get your money back on any significant renovations in the short term.

My advice is to be frugal with your hard earned money. Certainly, improve your home to make it appeal to prospective buyers, but your primary objective should not necessarily be to add significant value, but to enhance saleability. This means making your property more desirable than the other properties currently on the market at about the same price.

You can make any property desirable simply by quoting a price which makes it look amazingly good value next to the others. However, without throwing your money into

subsidising someone’s purchase, there are simple things that can be done to make sure your property looks its best and clearly worth the price you are quoting.

Much of it relates to lifestyle as much as it does to bricks and mortar (especially post-virus, where space to work from home becomes important). For example, a thorough spring clean complete with the smell of pine bleach in the bathroom suggests you’re proud of your home and care for it. Cost? Negligible!

How about a lick of paint on the doors? Stripped floorboards generally look better than worn carpets, and a day’s work in the garden pays real dividends. Try new light fittings or re-grouting the bathroom tiles. Also, remove any superfluous items from the garden and inside the property, keeping your storage areas tidy as well. Also, try to squeeze out somewhere that could be used as a home office – the new post-virus normal.

Don’t rely on your prospective buyers’ intuition! Make it easy for them to imagine how pleasant it would be to live in your property, and you could well prompt a quick and successful early sale.

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