When Euripedes coined the phrase to 'leave no stone unturned', he unwittingly penned the mantra of the 21st century property buyer. Buyers today are more cautious than ever, fighting to unearth even the slightest tarnish on a property, all with the goal of bargaining a lower price. Inevitably, pressures on time and budget sometimes force sellers to make tough decisions on what they address. Here, we take a look at the repairs to prioritise before putting your property on the market.
Without doubt the most important factor in determining the value of a property lies in its bare bones. Whether it's the shrewd eye of a buyer or the industry tools of a surveyor that spots it, structural weaknesses are sure to be found out. One of the most common structural worries in the property game is damp. While small patches of mould and mildew can easily be scrubbed down and painted, more pressing damp issues are best solved for good.
2. The frontage
Attracting buyers is as much about winning hearts as it is winning minds. When the functional boxes are ticked throughout your property, it's time to think about appearances. Easy fixes on the outside include carrying out maintenance work on windows and doors. On older properties, it can sometimes be worth fitting new windows. In such cases, homeowners should always be sympathetic to local architectural themes. The efficiency of uPVC may seem attractive, but it's important to determine whether it's in keeping with the area.
3. Kitchens and bathrooms
Kitchens and bathrooms are possibly the most important rooms for potential buyers. Already stamped with a certain style and quality, it's worth ensuring that these rooms match the tastes and needs of those prospective new owners. If in doubt, keep it neutral. Making small repairs and tweaks can be tempting, but it's rarely cost effective. In most markets, the cost of fitting an entirely new kitchen or bathroom will be repaid in the value added to the property.
Lighting can make a huge difference to the way a room looks and feels. Strategically placed lamps and carefully chosen lampshades and drapes can make rooms look larger, more spacious and welcoming to potential buyers. To ensure your perfectly placed lights don't highlight any unwelcome marks or smudges on the walls, give tired rooms a lick of paint too. Whites, creams and neutral shades are all effective at maximising your existing lighting.
5. The finer details
When you've done all you think you can, put yourself in the shoes of a potential buyer and take a look around the property as if viewing it for the first time. Test the door handles, make sure you haven't left any unsightly picture hooks or nails on show and keep an eye out for any general signs of wear and tear. Once you've addressed these final points, you're ready to show off your hard work.
Every home is different, as is every market around the world. Engel & Völkers has years of experience in international markets, knowing exactly what it takes to get houses sold and maximise value. Visit the Engel & Völkers website for more on how to prepare your property for purchase.