Some home improvements add more value prior to a property sale than others

19th January 2015 by

Many home-sellers are advised to make cosmetic improvements, such as painting the outside of their houses, when they want to market their properties for the highest-possible price prior to finding a buyer and beginning the residential conveyancing process.

This sounds like common sense when only a relatively-small amount of money is spent to attract a sale, but the equation of the property’s overall value increasing proportionately more depending on how much is invested in building or maintenance work may not be to a seller’s advantage.

For example, the owner of a flat which only has a market value of less than £200,000 will not see a realistic return on spending £30,000 on a new kitchen.

Before starting any major project with the deliberate intention of adding value to a property for subsequent sale, it is advisable to consult an experienced estate agent in the local area who will know what buyers are seeking.

That £30,000 kitchen could well be below the standards needed to impress a buyer in an exclusive part of London but could make all the difference between two similar family homes for sale in Brighton.

Any improvements should be in keeping with the style of the home, especially on the outside, and in urban areas creating an off-street parking area can add significant market value.

Modernising kitchens and bathrooms are always high on the list of desirable building works but, if budget permits, extending the building – sideways, backwards, up or down – to provide extra living space is almost always cost-effective.

Conversely, owners should look carefully at the implications of losing a room, especially a bedroom. Some buyers are attracted by open-plan living on the ground floor, especially if it is well-designed, but many homes are marketed on the basis of the number of bedrooms, rather than their size.

Many homes have central heating and double glazing but if these modern comforts have not been installed, adding them may make a difference to achieving a sale unless the property is being sold as a complete renovation project at a suitably-reduced price.

The same is true of energy-saving features such as solar panels, insulation and alternative heat sources. With the cost of fuel rising, a realistic appraisal of the potential to save money annually may appeal to a prospective buyer.

All work carried out needs to be of a sufficiently-high standard not only to attract a buyer willing to pay the asking price but that it is safe and suitable for the situation. The buyer’s residential conveyancing solicitor will carry out local authority searches to check that all planning and building regulations have been met.

Conveyancing with Healys solicitors of London and Brighton

Although a professional residential conveyancing solicitorwill not be involved in the property buying administration until a sale has been agreed between the two parties and both, presumably, are happy with the structure and maintenance of the home, legal advice will be offered if problems arise as a consequence of the pre-sale survey or searches before a contract is signed.

Healys has links to other skilled professionals across its general legal practice and can offer representation on all aspects of the law.

For more information about the comprehensive and helpful conveyancing service offered by Healys, including an estimate of the costs involved, you can request a call-back via this website, email partner Kiri Kkoshi telephone 020 7822 4148 or Darina Gowen telephone 01273 669133.