When a potential buyer arrives to view your home it's likely they will already know the asking price, so they will start questioning whether it is worth the price as soon as they see it.
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 do things like:
Weed the garden
Fix the fence
Add a lick of paint to your outside windows
However, doing these things can make a big difference to the value of your home.
If you want to make big home improvements, compare loans that could help here
Structural problems can easily reduce the value of your home; but a damaged roof is on display for everyone to see.
It's important to remember your roof forms part of the image of your home, unlike the foundations or pipe work.
This means any visible damage will be evident to potential buyers and could have an impact on the amount they're willing to offer - or put them off completely.
You should 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.
Light creates the illusion of space. A dark 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.
A few things that could make your home lighter include:
Clean your windows to allow more light in to the house and make both the inside and outside look more appealing.
Install bright energy efficient lights. This can help if you are looking to sell your home in the winter months when it can be dark outside.
Install a skylight, or sliding patio doors to increase the illusion of space your home. These are more expensive options, but more natural light and a view of the garden can be appealing to buyers.
Doing odd jobs like fixing door handles and painting drab looking walls can make a significant difference to the price.
If you do decide to paint your home, avoid using bright colours. Painting a room lime green will probably be unappealing to most buyers, and it will highlight the fact that they will need to redecorate when they move.
Every job you do is one less task that the new owners will need to worry about. Inexpensive updates can make all the difference.
If the carpets in your home are quite old it may be worth cleaning or replacing them.
You can hire home cleaning kits, and they can make a significant difference to the appearance of your carpet.
If you have wooden floors in your home then you can freshen them up by sanding them down and adding a varnish finish, or 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.
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 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 could 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, visit the Energy Saving Trust website.
Installing extra security measures, from a chain on the front door to an automatic light sensor, can add to the value of your home.
If the person viewing your home doesn't feel that it is secure then it may put them off making an offer.
Some buyers may be put off if your home does not have many electrical outlets, because most people now have several appliances they need to plug in.
It could therefore be worth installing a couple of extra electrical sockets in convenient locations, especially in the living room and bedrooms.
It's unlikely to add thousands on to your purchase price it could equally be that little extra positive that seals the deal.
The tips listed are focused on what you can do to increase the value of your home on a budget, but there may be the temptation to spend more in the hope that you will re-coup your money and more when you sell.
However, no matter how many extensions and extra features you add to your home there is likely to be a ceiling price for your street.
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, 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.