8 May, 2015
As the room you probably spend most of your awake time in - and a hub for family life - it's likely potential buyers will place great interest on your living room when viewing your property.
Following on from our previous blogs covering other areas of the home, the living room is less worthy of investment when compared with the kitchen or bathroom. Unlike the others, there aren't many changes you can make to the living room that will significantly increase the overall value of your property. However, improvements are also likely to cost significantly less, so it's all relative. Therefore, the living room it is still a key area to pay attention to, to make sure you present it to its maximum effect.
How can fireplaces and flooring help a sale?
Installations such as feature fireplaces can add as much as 5 per cent to a property's value. This includes the very much in-vogue wood burning stoves, which have been growing in popularity over recent years. As well as looking fabulous and adding character, they can also help reduce your heating bills as they may be cheaper to run than traditional fireplaces and central heating. Therefore it's easy to see why finding one of these already installed in a property would be considered a positive for buyers.
When it comes to flooring, if your carpet or laminate is starting to look tired, worn or features an outdated pattern best left in the 70s, installing a new carpet could act as a selling point in the buyers' eyes. New flooring can be expensive, but it may be worth doing your sums as a new carpet could offer as much as a 50 per cent return on investment.
Aside from a fireplace, generally any other changes you make to your living room will be more about helping present your house in the best light, to encourage a positive feedback from buyers when taken in perspective with the rest of your property as a whole.
Time for a clear out?
De-clutter! We've covered this a little before but it's worth mentioning again because clarity really is key. You want your buyer be able to see themselves in your home - help them to do this by reducing how much of your 'stamp' has been put on the property.
Hide away ornaments, the collection of sad looking spider plants on the windowsill and the stacks of books and DVDs over-spilling the bookcase. Now is a great time for a car boot or charity shop run, to avoid taking all those un-needed items to fill up your new house.
If you have lots of family photos, artwork and pictures on the wall then take them down, leaving just a few on display. This helps depersonalise the space, making it easier for buyers to picture themselves living there. Leaving the walls slightly bare will help the room feel larger and airier.
Take stock of your furniture, make sure it is the right size for the room and assess whether you really need all of it on display. Too big or too much furniture will leave the room feeling small and unsuitable. Arrange it carefully so it feels spacious and 'homey' - with plenty of room to move around.
A good option can be to rent temporary storage; this way you can remove clutter, excess furniture and other loved items, to keep the house looking show-worthy whilst the viewing process is going on.
What else should you do?
Make sure you living room - and indeed your whole house - is spotless. Dust off light fittings, polish mirrors and clean windows. Not only will this make your house look better in the eyes of potential buys, showing it off in the best light - it will actually show it off in the best light! The more light that enters the room the bigger it'll feel, giving an impression of having plenty of bright, airy space.
Finally a fresh coat of paint to cover any scuffs and spruce the space up will not go amiss. If your living room is painted heavy colours then now is a good time to go for a lighter scheme, as bolder colours are not to everyone's taste. What's more, darker coloured walls can make a room feel imposing and small, whilst lighter colours can lift a room and maximise light.
Remember; you don't have to spend a fortune to get your living room ready for sale, just pay attention to the details and make it easy for your buyer to picture themselves in your property.