The methods below are just a few simple low cost ways to enhance your property to make your house more appealing to home buyers interested in your property. It is sometimes the simple things that make a difference. They are many more non expensive tips so look out for more coming soon,
1. Sort out the exterior
When a potential buyer arrives to view your home it's likely they will already know the asking price, so they will start questioning whether it is worth the price as soon as they see it.
Making sure that the outside of your home is neat and tidy can make a powerful positive first impression and have a knock on effect for the rest of the visit.
It's not very expensive to do things like:
2. Fix your roof
Structural problems can easily reduce the value of your home; but a damaged roof is on display for everyone to see.
It's important to remember your roof forms part of the image of your home, unlike the foundations or pipe work.
This means any visible damage will be evident to potential buyers and could have an impact on the amount they're willing to offer - or put them off completely.
You should repair any damage before anyone comes to see your property even if it is just a few loose tiles. Clearing gutters and drains is also a cheap way of improving the appearance of your roof.
3. Make your home lighter
Light creates the illusion of space. A dark property is of less value than a lighter one, even if it's slightly smaller. So making your home lighter is a cheap and easy way to increase the value.
A few things that could make your home lighter include:
4. Paint & decorate
Doing odd jobs like fixing door handles and painting drab looking walls can make a significant difference to the price.
If you do decide to paint your home, avoid using bright colours. Painting a room lime green will probably be unappealing to most buyers, and it will highlight the fact that they will need to redecorate when they move.
Every job you do is one less task that the new owners will need to worry about. Inexpensive updates can make all the difference.
5. Carpets & flooring
If the carpets in your home are quite old it may be worth cleaning or replacing them.
You can hire home cleaning kits, and they can make a significant difference to the appearance of your carpet.
If you have wooden floors in your home then you can freshen them up by sanding them down and adding a varnish finish, or just give them a thorough wash before viewings.
Remember, if a buyer thinks that they will have to replace the carpets or varnish the wooden floor they will expect this to be reflected in the price.
6. Loft insulation
Going green is an important factor for most modern homeowners and there are some simple steps you can take that will add value to your home.
Most DIY stores now sell loft insulation rolls which you can install yourself. Making your home more energy efficient can be a big selling point, and if you don't end up selling then you could benefit from cheaper heating bills.
There may also be grants available for insulation work to help make your home more energy efficient. to see if you are eligible, visit the Energy Saving Trust website.
7. Security & locks
Installing extra security measures, from a chain on the front door to an automatic light sensor, can add to the value of your home.
If the person viewing your home doesn't feel that it is secure then it may put them off making an offer.
8. Extra sockets
Some buyers may be put off if your home does not have many electrical outlets, because most people now have several appliances they need to plug in.
It could therefore be worth installing a couple of extra electrical sockets in convenient locations, especially in the living room and bedrooms.
It's unlikely to add thousands on to your purchase price it could equally be that little extra positive that seals the deal.
9. Don't overspend
The tips listed are focused on what you can do to increase the value of your home on a budget, but there may be the temptation to spend more in the hope that you will re-coup your money and more when you sell.
However, no matter how many extensions and extra features you add to your home there is likely to be a ceiling price for your street.
This is where your home becomes too expensive in comparison to the other properties in your neighbourhood.
If you are unsure what this might be for your area, contact your local estate agent or simply look online to see what prices homes in your area are being sold for.
It may also be a good idea to see what properties currently on offer in your area offer potential buyers and their asking price so you can match or better what's available.
Whenever there is a slump in house prices, it can leave people with a mortgage greater than the value of their home.
This is not too much of an issue if you can afford to keep up with your mortgage repayments and are able to sit out the slump.
However, if you do need to move house being in negative equity makes things a lot more complicated.
Choices and options available:
Use savings to reduce your mortgage
Before you use your savings to reduce the amount you owe, look at whether this makes financial sense for you:
Stick it out
Wait for house prices to recover?If house prices recover in the future, this would increase the equity you hold in the property.
However, whether house prices will go up enough to solve your problem in 1 or 5 years is difficult to judge, so you will not know how long you have to wait before you are able to sell.
Staying put and waiting it out is often the cheapest option if you find yourself in negative equity. This will only be an option if you do not need to move, of course.
As long as you continue to pay your mortgage each month, you will not need to worry about repossession and will begin to climb out of negative equity as you reduce the size of your mortgage.
To speed things up and enable you to move sooner, you could start making overpayments on your mortgage - although you should only consider this option if you will not be charged penalties for doing so and can afford the extra outlay.
As a rough guide most mortgages will allow you to overpay by up to approximately 10% without any penalty, but check with your lender, as this is not universal.
You could free up extra money to put towards your mortgage by reducing your outgoings and sticking carefully to a budget.
Boost the value of your property
If the amount you are likely to raise through the sale of your property falls just short of what you would need to break even on your mortgage, there are several ways you can increase the value of your home without spending yoo much.
Look at similar properties on the market in your area to see what they offer potential buyers and at what price. You could even arrange a few viewings to see how they compare to your home on the inside and out.
You may find that there are some enhancements that you can incorporate into your own home to add value at an acceptable cost.
Rent out your house
If you cannot sell but need to move, renting out your home may be an option worth considering.You would continue to own the property and repay your mortgage using rental income while you rent somewhere else until your home comes out of negative equity and you are able to sell.
Whether the rental income will be sufficient to cover your mortgage payments depends on the local market.
You would also need to factor in any work you would need to do to prepare it for rent and how you would manage the property and your new tenants. Taking on the responsibility yourself will take time, but using an agent will cost more
Speak to your lender
Speaking to your mortgage provider will give you a clear idea how much you owe and if you can move your mortgage to another property.
Your options will largely be restricted by how flexible your mortgage provider is when it comes to:
These let you you transfer the outstanding debt to the mortgage on the new property. This means you would be increasing the size of your existing mortgage in order to make up the shortfall.
Although this would allow you to move you will either have to start paying more each month or extend your mortgage term, meaning you will pay more in the long run.
Borrow the Difference
Depending on the difference in value between your home and outstanding mortgage, you could look into borrowing the money you need to clear the shortfall on your mortgage and buy yourself out.
Unless you have family or friends who could help you out, you could consider taking out an unsecured loan.
Sell Up Anyway
If you are struggling to meet your mortgage repayments but are stuck in negative equity, selling your home may be your final option.
Your mortgage lender may be willing to accept the amount you would be able to raise through the sale of your property as settlement on your mortgage, as long as it is more than they would get if they repossessed your home.
Selling your home knowing that you will not get enough cash to clear your mortgage will break the terms of your mortgage, will be costly and is only an option if you are in severe financial difficulty.
If you would like to discuss your situation, we are more than happy to spend time to offer the best possible solution. Its free to chat.
June has been involved in the financial sector for most of her working life before studying for her BA Hons in accounting. . June has also run her own computer business for the last 15 years . She enjoys all aspects of property and has been involved in advising and sourcing property for private and investor clients.