We spoke to property expert Phil Spencer about how to maximise your property’s potential. Here are the most common questions he gets from homeowners who are not sure whether they should de-personalise or personalise their properties and his tips for selling your house.
Should homeowners put their own stamp on a property?
If you’re not passionate about your home, how can you expect potential buyers to be? Everyone talks about adding value, but emotions are a big influence too. They play a major role in how you enjoy living in a property and they also affect potential buyers when you come to sell it.
With the housing market as it is, many of us are staying in our homes for longer, so I think injecting your own style is worth while – as long as it isn’t too off putting to buyers when you do come to sell. The secret is to add your own personal style without being gimmicky, I think we’re all a bit feed up with everything in off-white, the so called ‘landlord beige’.
Should I remove all of my personal items when I come to sell?
No. I disagree with some of the experts who tell sellers to remove all of their photographs and personal items. Personally I think it’s nice to see paintings and photographs of weddings and family events around a house, espescially if they relate to the house. People buy into lifestyles, if they can see that you and your family have shared a lot of happy memories in there, they will be able to imagine their family doing the same. Just don’t over do it, less is more.
How important is a well maintained home to buyers (do they really look that closely)?
Badly maintained properties may have sold in the boom years, but few cash-strapped buyers are willing to take on large projects now. Regular home maintenance is more important than ever, not only for those looking to sell in the near future. Prevention is better than cure so £100 now is better than £1000 in a year’s time.
I trained as a surveyor so I am always on the look out for potential problems, I know that neglecting a small job can quickly escalate and cost a lot more to fix down the line. I usually undertake the majority of my maintenance work in the autumn, before the weather gets too bad. The annual jobs on my list for this time of year are: cleaning out the gutters, making sure drainage holes aren’t blocked, cleaning air-bricks and giving the chimneys a good sweep. Autumn is also a good time to check there are no leaks in your roof and remove any vegetation that has taken hold on masonry over the summer months.
Need some help with some simple redecorating before selling? Post a job on Rated People in our Painter / Decorator category to receive quotes from our qualified and trusted tradespeople.