For those lucky enough to own a London home, the thought of selling and bridging a big financial gap to trade up can be, to say the least, daunting. London has already seen prices increasing fast this year so those trading up will see the gap between prices widening by the week.
But new research shows that for a small investment, the selling price of property can be boosted significantly – even small percentages can reap big rewards thanks to sky high London prices.
Jonathan Rolande, is a professional property buyer (yes, there is such a thing). His firm, House Buy Fast purchase and then re-sell hundreds of properties a year so he knows all about maximising price when it comes to selling.
We asked him about the research.
“Many improvements have a beneficial impact on prices” he explains, “but many are very disruptive, expensive and can even make a loss – if buyers don’t like your choice of new kitchen, they won’t pay any more for it. However, there are some really easy steps to take that have great results. More than a dated kitchen or worn carpets, issues like mould can deter buyers – in fact recent research shows 49% are put off by it and who can blame them? But fixing it can be a simple as using a weak bleach solution, repainting and ventilating properly. Hey presto, you’ve got 49% more buyers.”
But is it really so easy?
Jonathan says “Often yes. A lot of mould and dampness is self-inflicted, caused by cooking and showers and a lack of ventilation. However, if worried owners should get it checked out by a reputable surveyor or a firm like Cavitech-UK who’ll find out what the problem is and sort it. It could be anything from a blocked gutter to damp insulation in the cavity wall. Whatever the cause it can normally be rectified for anything from £20 to no more than £2000, quite a small outlay to attract potentially hundreds more buyers.”
And what else can sellers do to help boost their sale price?
“It’s been proved that buyers are increasingly checking EPC ratings and are turned off badly performing properties. This is especially the case if your home appeals to a buy to let purchaser who even won’t be allowed to rent it if falls below an ‘E’. Those properties in the top bands, A and B, get on average 8.6% more than homes in the D category – that’s a staggering £57,000! In London where the average house costs nearly £700,000.”
And according to the research, the energy saving price boost isn’t just confined to the sales market. Landlords could also see the value of their rental A or B category property increase by over 30% compared to lower grades.
So what Top Tips does Jonathan give to help close the price gap?
“Use common sense and a good estate agent. Different things work in different price brackets so your agent will be a great person to lean on for advice. But some things work come what may. Eliminate dampness, upgrade to eco fittings where you can before you have your EPC carried out and whatever you do, don’t be tempted to use your old report – yes they last ten years but chances are it will be out of date. Change bulbs to LEDs and insulate – you’ll even save some cash whilst you’re waiting to sell plus you’ll be doing your bit to cut carbon.”