As a seller it's easy to look at your property and believe it’s fully prepped and ready to achieve your asking price.
But the fact is this: Every buyer is different and each will have different needs and aspirations when searching for a new home.
And as much as sprucing up and removing clutter from your home may help when presenting it to potential buyers, there are a number of other factors that could affect the value of your property and will be taken into account by an estate agent during a valuation.
What adds value to a house?
Adding square footage to your property can be one of the best ways to add significant value to your home. You could consider:
• A kitchen / diner extension
• A conservatory
• A loft conversion
• A garage conversion
How to get a house valued
The best way to find out how much your home is worth is to invite your local estate agent to carry out a valuation.
Your agent will take a good look at your property and compare it with other similar homes in your area, as well as recent sold price data where you live.
They should also be able to recommend things you can do to increase your home’s value.
What else can determine how much my house is worth?
There are a number of things you can do to ensure your property is both appealing to buyers and nets you the valuation you need to take the next step on your property journey.
This could include:
• Neutral decoration
• Exterior clean-up / decoration
• Garden renovation
• Energy efficiency improvements
Five major things that can add value to your house
1. Being in catchment for good schools
The value of a superb school catchment can’t be underestimated when it comes to property values.
The most recent research into the effect Ofsted school ratings have on valuations revealed buyers were paying between £40,000 and £100,000 more for a property in ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Good’ school catchments. So, if your property sits in a catchment area for a highly sought-after school, you could be looking at some substantial value being added to your home simply because of where it is.
2. Good transport links
Here in the South West where we are based at CJ Hole, we’re extremely lucky to have excellent transport links to many big cities.
Buyers are often willing to accept a commute in order to either secure themselves a better value property or, as we outlined above, make sure they are in catchment for a good school. So, if your property is close to a motorway or railway station with direct links for workers, there’s a strong chance it will command a premium with buyers needing those transport options.
3. Proximity to open space
The impact of the pandemic on house-buying habits has unquestionably seen buyers place more emphasis on outdoor space.
So, while great transport links are important, your property’s proximity to rolling hills, parks or an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty could have a big impact on its value. Here in the South West, for example, properties close to the stunning Cotswolds often command a higher price.
Properties with waterside views, meanwhile, such as those close to the sea or alongside a river or canal, can also add a hefty percentage on to a home's value.
4. Renovations and increased square footage
Covid-19 sparked what was dubbed the ‘Race for Space’ from eager home buyers desperate for more room – both inside and out.
So, if you’re able to increase the square footage of your property compared with others in the area, more often than not doing so will increase its value.
When carrying out work to add value, though, you should always consider the needs of a potential buyer.
Would a large, family kitchen and diner work, or would your ideal buyer prefer more bedroom space?
Loft conversions, extensions and garage conversions can all add value if they make a difference to how your property functions and if the work is finished to a high standard.
5. Kerb appeal
It’s suggested that buyers form an opinion on a property within 10 seconds of arriving – so first impressions really do count.
Kerb appeal can not only boost your chances of a sale, though – it can also add value.
A well-kept, functional space to the front of your property will appeal to buyers, while a property in need of kerbside work is more likely to spark a lower offer.
There are a whole host of steps you can take to boost your home’s kerb appeal, including:
• Revamping your front door
• Painting your property’s exterior
• Re-painting or replacing window frames
• Laying a new path or driveway
• Landscaping your front garden
• Fixing or refreshing guttering and fencing
Five big things that can reduce the value of your house
While there are many things that can drive the value of your property in an upwards direction, there are also factors that can reduce its value…
1. Lots of quality competition
Location matters when it comes to property valuations – but if your home doesn’t match up to others in your area, it could impact how much it’s worth.
Even if your property has the potential to reach the standards of similar homes in your street, buyers will factor in the costs involved to bring it up to scratch – and that could mean a lower valuation.
2. Economic uncertainty
Economic uncertainty is something we’ve become used in the UK over the past few years.
First it was the EU referendum and Brexit and then the Covid-19 pandemic.
Both of those events failed to have a large, lasting negative effect on the property market, with UK property prices rising by 7.5% in 2020 despite the pandemic.
But a large drop in property prices during the 2008-09 financial crisis, which saw some homes lose 16% of their value, should act as a reminder that economic turmoil can have a big impact on the housing market.
3. Crime issues
If your property is located in an area with high crime rates, there’s a strong chance that will impact its value.
In 2019, it was estimated that around 30,000 property sales fell through every year because buyers were put off by crime rates in the local area.
4. Poor or niche renovations
While most renovations that add space and practicality to properties will add value, poorly thought-out, niche or bad-quality work can have the opposite effect.
Work carried out with the necessary permissions can also have an impact on prices, as any action or fall-out would become the responsibility of a new owner.
And while extravagant work, such as installing a swimming pool, can really make your property stand out from the crowd, can also be a turn-off for some buyers due to the ongoing maintenance costs involved.
5. Japanese Knotweed
Japanese Knotweed is a highly invasive plant that can cause damage to property.
Not only that, but it’s also hugely expensive and time consuming to remove, so can have a very telling impact on your home’s valuation.
5 more surprising things that could affect your home's value...
1. Road, Street or Warren?
Zoopla research found that houses on a 'Warren' fetched more than double the UK's average property price. Homes on a 'Street' were worth far less.
2. Odd or even?
Properties with odd numbers were worth £538 more than those with even numbers, according to Zoopla research.
3. The cost of a pet
It's claimed that owning a smelly or intimidating cat or dog, or numerous pets, can knock thousands off the value of your home.
4. The pub effect
Being close to a quiet, quaint, traditional country pub can add value to your home, it's claimed. But it works both ways... Being on the same road as a rowdier venue could cost you dearly if there are noisy drinkers spilling on to the street every night of the week.
5. Get the kids to tidy up
According to ING Direct, a messy children's bedroom can knock around £8,000 off the value of the average property. So, if you're listing your home, make sure the children have tidied up first...
Can I get a free valuation of my house?
CJ Hole branches across the South West offer a free, no-obligation valuation.
And while Covid-19 restrictions remain in place, we’re also undertaking video valuations in the first instance to limit our social contact and keep you safe.