If you are looking to sell your home then chances are that you'll want to squeeze out every penny possible from the sale. So what can you do to get the best price?
1. Sort out the exterior
When a perspective buyer arrives to view your home it's likely they will already know the asking price. As a result they will immediately start -judging whether it's worth the cost?
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 weed the garden, fix the fence or add a lick of paint to your external windows, however doing these things can make a big difference to the value of your home.
2. Sort out the roof
Problems with structural essentials can easily reduce the value of your home; but a damaged roof is on display for everyone to see.
It's important to remember that your roof forms part of the image of your home, unlike the foundations or pipe work; because of this any visible damage will immediately be evident to potential buyers and no doubt have a significant impact on the amount they're willing to offer - if it doesn't put them off completely.
The best thing to do is 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 and dingy 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.
One of the first steps you can take is to clean your windows, this will allow more light in to the house and make both the inside and outside look more appealing.
Secondly consider installing brighter and more energy efficient lights. This can be especially important if you are looking to sell your home in the winter months when it can be dark and miserable outside.
You could also take an extra step and install a skylight, or sliding patio doors to increase the illusion of space your home. While these are more expensive options, more natural light and an unobstructed view of the garden can be very appealing to buyers.
4. Paint & Decorate
This piece of advice comes as standard for homeowners looking to sell, and the simple reason is because it works.
If you home falls under the category 'needs work' then you can bet that it will have a bearing on the price. Doing odd jobs such as fixing door handles and painting drab looking walls can make a significant difference to the price.
While a home covered in Magnolia can be somewhat uninspiring, if you do decide to wield your paintbrush avoid using bright colours. Painting a room in lime green or a deep violet will likely be unappealing to most buyers, and it will simply draw attention to the fact that they will need to redecorate themselves when they move.
It's worth thinking, every job you do and room that you decorate 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 then you may want to consider cleaning or replacing them.
Home carpet cleaning kits are available to hire or buy for significantly less than a couple of years ago and it can be quite surprising what a difference they can make.
If you have wooden floors in your home then consider freshening them up by sanding them down and adding a nice varnish finish, or again 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 for as little as £1 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 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 you can visit the Energy Saving Trust website.
If you want to take this further then you could also consider cavity wall insulation as well, this can be slightly more expensive but could again add value to your home.
7. Security & Locks
Making your home secure is a must when it comes to selling your property. Installing extra security measures from a chain on the front door to an automatic light sensor can add to the value of your home.
Remember, if the person viewing your home doesn't feel that it is secure then it may put them off making an offer.
Of course be careful not to try too hard with this improvement, if you install motion detectors and CCTV surveillance, they may wonder just how safe your neighbourhood is!
8. Extra Sockets
In a world where we rely on electrical appliances a house with cables trailing everywhere is unlikely to be very appealing. In a sense it may show a prospective buyer moves that they too would end up with cables everywhere if they moved in.
So consider getting an electrician to install a couple of extra electrical sockets in more convenient locations, especially in the living room and bedrooms and remove this irritation.
While 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
Although the tips listed are focused on what you can do to increase the value of your home on a budget, there is sometimes the temptation to keep spending in the hope that you will re-coup your money and more when you sell.
However be-warned, no matter how many extensions and extra features you add to your home there is likely to be a ceiling price for your street. Essentially 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 then you may want to 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.