Property Wisdom – Keep the TLC Low-Key

Prepping your home for sale? Then shelve the grand design schemes and make good with some TLC instead, advises property expert Laura Henderson.



“If you do the little jobs well, the big ones tend to take care of themselves.” Dale Carnegie


Showing your home to its best advantage is an essential part of any successful sales strategy, but frittering away time and money on last minute renovations can end up doing more harm than good. Today’s volatile housing market is making valuers reconsider previously held assumptions of what home improvements actually add in terms of value. Instead of advocating a top-to-toe overhaul, most experts agree you can improve a property’s saleability by simply tending to the DIY basics such as chipped paintwork and leaking taps, de-cluttering and applying some good old-fashioned elbow grease.


So if your home is more down-and-out than show home chic – just leave it. Renovation ‘projects’ will always appeal to a certain type of buyer. By shelling out a fortune to make your home look immaculate, people will sense that they’re paying a premium and retreat to something more ‘on their level’.


By the same token, a dowdy house in reasonable condition will benefit from a lick of paint, but shelve the major makeover plans. Most buyers prioritise space above improvement potential. But that doesn’t have to mean “extra square footage” in the form of an extension. Being creative with the space you already have, is the quickest, cheapest route to adding value – think dual-purpose study/spare bedroom or extra storage space in the loft. If your apartment is in competition with an identical flat that boasts wall-to-floor storage, that’s the one likely to get snapped up first. As tempting as it may be to spend your way to home perfection, think first about how you can spruce up what you have.


Laura Henderson is a property columnist, author and investment expert. Her latest book Tricks and Mortar: The Little Book of Property Wisdom (Book Guild Publishing) is out now on Amazon.

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