Opinion

The top 5 things people look for when buying houses

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If you’re thinking of putting your house on the market, you’ll want to do everything you can to maximise its saleability. Here are the top 5 factors house hunters look at, along with some tips on how to boost your chances of selling.

 

Kerb appeal

The exterior of your house is the first thing potential buyers see when they arrive and whether it’s a period property or a new build, it’s important to make sure the outside looks nice. Overgrown front gardens or flaking windowsills can lessen the overall desirability of your home. The good news is you don’t have to spend a lot to make a difference. Simple jobs like weeding the front garden or jet washing your driveway can give the exterior a new lease of life. Or why not repaint the front door in a fresh new colour and add shiny new house numbers and a door knocker? You could also add some attractive flowerpots or bay trees either side of your front door to make it look even more inviting.

 

Floor space

An extra room is a plus for every house hunter, whether it’s going to be a much-needed bedroom, guest room or home office. There may be some obvious conversions to make, such as the garage or loft, which you could consider doing before you put it on the market. However, it’s important to do your research first. Have a look at the current house prices and get a local estate agent to advise you on how much value you could add if you made any improvements. You may also need to look at various funding options to work out how you’re going to pay for it. If a conversion is beyond your means, there are cheaper ways to add value, such as such as knocking down a wall to create an open plan living area or adding a downstairs toilet. Even if you decide not to do it, it’s always worth getting planning permission for any renovations before you put your house on the market as it will help house hunters to see your home’s potential.

 

The view from the windows

A survey by Vileda revealed that a whopping 95% of home viewers head straight for the windows to check out the view. While you may not be able to do anything about what’s beyond the borders of your property, you can however, make sure that your garden and outside spaces look inviting and well-tended to. It’s also important that your windows and frames are sparkling clean and give the sills a fresh lick of paint if needed.

 

The amount of storage

For most of us, storage is a key feature in a house and can even be a deal breaker. A clutter-free house gives the illusion of extra space, so before you put your home on the market, not only should you get rid of all your clutter, but you could add some temporary extra storage too. Adding extra shelves is a cheap quick fix to remove clutter from surfaces. Buy an extra shoe rack to fit in your porch or under the stairs or invest in some stylish rattan drawers to place in an unused alcove – you can take them with you when you move.

 

Period features

If you’re lucky enough to have period features such as an original fireplace or sash windows, make sure you’re showing them off to their best advantage with a good clean or fresh coat of paint. If you live in a more modern building, you can create the effect of period features with things like antique baths, wood burning stoves, feature flooring such as parquet or even something as simple as a large ornate gilt mirror hung over the fireplace.

 

The property market is competitive, so armed with these tips, you should be able to make your house stand out from the crowd.

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