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Adding value to your property

May 2nd, 2024 9:00 AM

By Emma Connolly

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If you’re about to list your house for sale, or you’re just keen to future-proof it, EMMA CONNOLLY has some top tips on how to add value to your property.

Curb appeal

POTENTIAL buyers will very often drive by a property before they ever arrange a viewing, so ensure you make a great first impression by working on your ‘curb appeal.’

Take a moment to view your house from across the road, or from a slight distance, and you might notice a few things that would otherwise pass you by, such as damaged gutters, moss on the roof etc. Get that power washer out and get stuck in!

Regardless of how vast or basic your garden is, keep it well maintained. However, don’t be tempted to invest in elaborate landscaping purely for the purpose of selling – lots of people are time-poor, so a simple garden is often best, with more emphasis often placed on parking spaces.

Try to keep essential but ugly items like wheelie bins out of sight – if you don’t have a garage, consider attractive storage for them.

Drone footage is a norm now when selling a property and in some instances estate agents also suggest getting gravel for the driveway to give it a clean crisp look from the sky.

And don’t forget to give your front door some TLC if it needs a lick of paint. If you’re short on time, or inclination, it’s definitely worth getting in some outside help to do these chores for you.

Even if you’re not currently thinking of selling, the top advice is to keep ahead of all essential repairs and maintenance so little issues don’t become expensive problems over time.

Make sure your rooms have a purpose

Estate agents advise that it’s often less about having lots and lots of rooms in a house, and more about each one having a clear purpose.

Potential buyers need to be able to easily envisage how they’ll live in a property, and sellers can help that with clever staging.

For example, a spare bedroom can be set up as a home office; or an additional lounge could be staged as a playroom.

Premium spaces to have in a house include a home office with reliable broadband, a utility room, a pantry, a ground-floor ensuite (suitable for when elderly relatives come to stay), while separate guest accommodation is always a huge draw.

If you have an outhouse at the very least, have it empty and clean to promote this idea.

If you are tight on space, consider installing a garden room which is a way of giving additional room to accommodate an office, or a teen hang-out den – whatever a home owner requires.

Bring the outside in

We’ve heard Dermot Bannon say it a million times but he’s right – try to create a connection between the inside and out regardless of whether the house is in a rural or urban area.

It’s easily done with sliding doors, or even French doors. Having the interior flooring (think durable tiles) continue on outside is a wonderful way of seamlessly creating an ‘extra’ outside room.


Prioritise energy efficiency

Energy efficient homes, not surprisingly, command top prices, given rising energy costs.

The average cost of installing solar panels on a house is approximately €6,000 and they are a draw for buyers.

So too is the BER rating. With that in mind it is worth availing of an expert consultation to see what can be done to your property to enhance its attractiveness in this respect, with your available budget.

Even simple measures such as draught proofing is a step in the right direction.


Bland is best

Everyone has their own ‘ick’ factor – it could be seeing someone’s shoes lined up inside the front door or someone’s razor in the bathroom.

As much as you can, try to adopt a ‘leave no trace’ approach when you’re selling your home.

If you’re a family this can be exhausting, but it’s worth it. Embark on a major decluttering process before you list your property.

Then, invest in some plastic containers to do a quick sweep through of the home before viewings, removing photos, laundry (especially the clothes horse!) etc.

Depersonalising rooms helps give the best sense of space and allows the purchaser to imagine where they will put their own possessions.

If a property is vacant this will be a lot easier. Make sure the interior is fresh and clean.

Grubby carpets are a big turn-off and may often need replacing.

While colour schemes are personal, generally speaking neutral tones are advised.

At the very least, touch up what’s there – paw prints are never a good look.

Bang for your buck

It might be easy to get carried away and want to replace everything to get the best price, but most investments won’t be seen by potential buyers.

Rather than install a new bathroom, consider a new power shower instead. Along with fluffy white towels, a strategically positioned plant and a scented diffuser will make a surprisingly big impact.

Same for your kitchen: don’t underestimate the impact of painting tired-looking cabinets.

And dress beds with good quality linen, pillows and duvets – not forgetting valance sheets.

Outside of that, ask yourself what would make most sense in relation to where the house is.

If it’s a coastal property would an outdoor shower be a nice addition? Or a space to store boating equipment? If it’s in a town, would electric gates be a nice touch? Perhaps some nice shutters to dress windows?

In summary

Keep on top of essential repairs and maintenance. Small jobs can quickly become big ones if they’re ignored!

Be smart where you spend, but prioritise improving your home’s energy rating.

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