20 February, 2015
When looking to sell your home, we all know that presentation and what is known as 'staging' are essential. But what exactly should you look at doing, how much is worth spending and is it all really worth the effort? In this series of blog posts we'll be covering these important questions room by room, starting with the kitchen.
Widely accepted to be the most important room in the house, the kitchen is a key tool, particularly when looking at making improvements with a view to sell. Property expert and TV presenter Phil Spencer advises on telegraph.co.uk: "If you are only going to improve one room, make it the kitchen. This has now become the showpiece area of the home. We don't just cook in it, we do homework in it, we watch television in it and hold dinner parties there."
So it seems there is something to be said to improving your kitchen to attract buyers and help with a house's overall selling potential, but the fact still remains that it is essential to keep the overall picture in mind when making improvements and ensure that the cost will be recouped from the house price.
Painting your kitchen
A lick of paint can go a long way. Refreshing your kitchen with a coat of neutral paint will make your home seem lighter and bigger, whilst at the same time covering any greasy patches. Keeping things neutral can help buyers visualise themselves much more easily in your property. Whilst paint and simple decoration changes such as these are unlikely to add any serious value to your property it can certainly do wonders for helping it sell. For the sake of perhaps £35 worth of paint, you could be saving yourself a lot of time and hassle by encouraging a quick sale.
A full refit, is it worth it?
Due to the importance of the kitchen, people often labour under the view that fitting a whole new kitchen is the key to increasing their profit and selling a house faster. In fact, according to a survey by HSBC, installing a new kitchen adds only an average of £4,577 to a property's value; typically a new kitchen will give your house a boost of 4.6 per cent in price.
With the average modern kitchen costing between £5,000 and £16,000, depending on the scale and fittings included, it's essential to do the maths on this one. Phil Spencer also warns about keeping the kitchen in-fitting with the house's price bracket: "There is no point putting a £25,000 kitchen in a £250,000 house; you won't see your money back. Equally, put a £10,000 kitchen in a £1 million house, and you will drag down the value."
What else should you do?
Clean! The power of elbow grease is not to be underestimated. Show your house off in its best light to make it appealing to potential buyers. A clean and spotless kitchen will give the impression of being easy to maintain, whilst at the same time enable viewers to imagine themselves living there. This means going beyond the usual weekly routine, so pay attention to places like the range hood, oven, under the fridge and light fittings. Be sure to also get rid of limescale and repair tile grout.
Follow these simple tips and remember to pay attention to budgets; don't get carried away with home improvements when looking to sell your house, unless you are certain that they will add value to your property. If you're unsure then consider speaking to a local estate agent or valuation provider for advice before making any expensive changes.