THE MAJOR TURN-OFFS FOR HOMEBUYERS – AND TOP TIPS TO SELL YOUR PROPERTY

With the UK experiencing a home buying boom, and property sales rising 15.6% in August following a temporary suspension of stamp duty, Worcester Bosch has teamed up with property expert Emily Evans to share some budget-friendly tips to help you sell your home. The heating company also conducted a survey of 1,000 aspiring home buyers from across the UK to establish the major turn-offs and key factors people look out for when it comes to buying a property. From neutral decorating to maximising your existing space and having decent appliances in your home, see below for our tips and advice:

Decorate neutrally

Decorating neutrally could prove crucial to the sale of your home. As Emily Evans explains “Some buyers have limited imagination and can’t always see past the existing décor, so neutrally decorating could help massively in improving your home’s saleability.”  With 66% of Brits looking to move stating that home décor affects how they feel about the house they are viewing, adopting a neutral theme could undoubtedly help you shift your home. “Don’t forget a white coat on the ceiling and woodwork” she adds. “Sellers often paint the walls but forget about the rest of the room which can leave the ceiling looking an off-putting yellow colour!”

Invest in a quality boiler

Investing in a high quality and reliable home heating system can also add significant value to your home. Our survey found that 87% of people consider a good quality boiler an important factor when purchasing a home, with 39% of respondents who had a preferred boiler brand (209 out of 535) favouring Worcester Bosch, followed by Vaillant (24%) and Ideal (13%). Worcester Bosch has also recently received a Which? Best Buy for the eleventh time on their gas boiler range, ranking highest of all brands for reliability. The Which? report also revealed that members remarked that “‘seeing a Worcester Bosch boiler while viewing a property has elicited sighs of relief, as ‘at least I won’t need to replace the boiler anytime soon.’”

A huge 94% of people stated that a faulty or unkept boiler would impact their decision to make an offer on a house, with 60% likely to reduce their offer and 34% unwilling to make an offer at all.  “The boiler is an essential part of a modern home” says Evans. “You’ll spend £1,000-£3,000 but will add £5,000 to the value, meaning buyers will be less likely to try and knock you down in price.”

Don’t forget to service

Regularly servicing your boiler is also vitally important and can inevitably improve the saleability of your home.  As Evans notes: “You wouldn’t leave your car without a service, would you? Showing buyers that you have a well-maintained boiler is a great selling point.” 57% noted that they feel less attracted to a house when viewing if it’s too hot or cold, so ensuring your boiler is in great condition is a must ahead of any property visits.

It’s also a legal requirement for a home to have a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), which gives information about a property’s energy usage and typical energy costs, before it can be sold.  An assessor will check your boiler whilst completing the EPC survey, so regular servicing will ensure your heating system is running effectively and improve your EPC rating. Given that 85% of people are aware of the EPC and 48% of homebuyers actively look for it when buying a property, opting for a new, energy efficient boiler rather than an outdated, non-condensing model to raise your rating might also prove a shrewd investment.

Tidy the clutter

Although it may seem obvious, mess and clutter can drastically impact the way in which a potential buyer views your home. Over 72% of those surveyed said that clutter around a house they are viewing makes it less attractive to them.  As Evans explains ‘Leaving clutter, like children’s toys, out for all to see makes buyers think that there isn’t a lot of storage space. If you have too much stuff, renting a storage unit is a good alternative.”

Deal with damp and mould

Addressing damp and mould is another simple, yet effective, way to make your home more appealing.  Of those surveyed, 64% of aspiring homes buyers said that damp was their biggest turn off, followed by unpleasant neighbours (47%). 45% of respondents also noted that a bad or unpleasant smell was a turn off. As well as dealing with any damp issues, Evans also recommends that homeowner’s re-grout and silicone their bathrooms.  She adds: “This freshens it all up without the need for re-tiling and demonstrates to prospective buyers the home has been well maintained and cared for. No one wants to see mould growing round the shower in the silicone!”

Replace old carpets

Although this may seem a bit costly in the short term, replacing your old carpets is another good way of adding value to your home.  Evans notes: “Replacing your old carpets will help you maintain your marketing price as people tend to think flooring is a lot more expensive than it actually is. If a buyer needs to replace carpets upon moving in, this can also delay the whole selling process, so investing in replacing your flooring could really help speed up the sale of your home.”

Maintain your garden

Not only does a well-kept garden leave the right impression with prospective buyers during house viewings, it can also help you maximise your outdoor space. “Cluttered and overgrown gardens can really put people off and also make gardens look a lot smaller than they actually are”, Evans says. Given that the size of the garden is important to 75% of buyers, keeping your garden in good condition and clearing any clutter could really improve your home’s saleability.

Refurb your kitchen

“A modern kitchen is the central selling piece of a home and can be the deal clincher,” according to Evans. Rather than designing a brand-new kitchen, however, she suggests a budget-friendly option of replacing kitchen doors and worktops if your kitchen is outdated to keep costs down. With 17% of people also stating unkept appliances are a major turn off when buying a home, it might be worth replacing some of your old household appliances with some budget-friendly options if possible.

Go open plan

If you have a small kitchen and dining room, knocking through to create an open plan kitchen and dining area can also substantially increase saleability.  Our survey results support this, with 75% of aspiring buyers commenting that the layout of a kitchen was an important aspect they looked for in a potential home. Although knocking through your kitchen and dining area is a bit more costly than some of the other tips on this list, Evans notes: “You generally don’t need planning permission, just building regulation sign off, which is cheap and easy. Typically, a new kitchen will add 4.6% onto the value so it could definitely be a worthwhile investment!”

Keep a tidy exterior

Over 86% of people agreed that if the exterior of a property they are about to view is well-kept, it makes them feel warmer towards it before entering. But it might not be enough to just simply tidy before a viewing. As Evans points out, “most people will drive past the property before they book to have a look at it, so it’s important to try and keep the front gardens and driveway well maintained and as inviting as possible at all times. Paint the front door if it looks shabby, replace the door handle, de-weed the driveway and hide the bins.”

Victoria Billings, Director of Marketing at Worcester Bosch, added: “Selling a property is a challenging time in your life, but with the housing market accelerating massively thanks to the stamp duty holiday, now is the time to make those small but effective changes to your home to help get a quick sale.

“We’ve teamed up with Emily, and heard from the general public, to share some of the best tips to help sellers in this time of huge influx in the market – and to make buyers fall in love with their future home from the moment they step foot through the door. We were really interested in the survey results, particularly how important having a quality boiler is to aspiring buyers, and will continue to ensure the nation can rely on Worcester Bosch for its home heating needs.”

To find out more about Worcester Bosch’s award-winning home heating and hot water products, visit https://www.worcester-bosch.co.uk/