Phil Spencer's advice on making your house presentable to sell
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House prices in the UK remained flat in January despite dipping in the previous four months, according to the latest house price index from Halifax. The average house price in the UK remained at a stable £281,684 in January after falls of 1.3 percent and 2.4 percent in December and November respectively. Homes in London saw their value drop by a massive £11,000 in value this month alone.
So it’s understandable that homeowners looking to sell will be looking for inexpensive or easy ways to add value to their properties.
With an attractive and well-kept garden adding as much as 20 percent to a home’s value, garden improvements are a great way to attract buyers and maximise the value of your property.
Unfortunately, some homeowners don’t maintain their garden space or install the wrong features which can actually devalue a property.
With this in mind, Rowan Cripps, paving specialist and Founding Director of Infinite Paving, has shared the most common gardening mistakes that could be devaluing your home.
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Rowan said artificial grass is “cheap, low-maintenance, and easy-to-clean” and is often selected for its low-maintenance value.
However, it often lacks the same aesthetic appeal as natural grass and has to be replaced every eight to 10 years.
It can also be dangerous for small children or pets due to its tendency to heat up and maintain a higher temperature in the summer months.
Rowan said artificial grass can be “off-putting to potential buyers, especially with the pet-owning population increasing, with 74 percent of people owning one dog in February 2022.”
Rowan said: “A garden filled with weeds, crumbling garden walls, and dying plants is not attractive for a buyer.
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“Instead, buyers will recognise the need to hire a gardener and other specialists to restore the outdoor space to its former glory – all costly jobs when the cost of purchasing a home is already high.
“Garden care does not have to be difficult. You can boost the ‘kerb appeal’ of your home by conducting simple tasks, such as regularly sweeping away or blowing away leaves, pruning or trimming hedges, and removing any debris.
“A well-managed and inviting garden will attract prospective buyers, as they will see the potential of the space.”
Water features are attractive but often require lots of maintenance and treatment from specialists which can be costly.
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Buyers with young children are also likely to be put off by water features like ponds as they pose a risk. Furthermore, the cost of filling in a pond, pool or other site can be very expensive.
Swimming pools are seldom used in the UK due to the temperamental British weather so you need to think about whether they’re worth the running costs.
As a result, while you might see a swimming pool as an investment that adds value to your property, you should consider it from a buyer’s perspective.
Rowan added: “Instead, you should add a shed, with 82 percent of property professionals citing this as a desirable feature.”
Rowan said poor drainage can cause a “waterlogged garden” which can make a garden unusable.
The garden expert said: “Poor drainage can also lead to structural problems by shifting or cracking the concrete foundations of a home and is indicative of a home that is not well-looked after – an immediate red flag for any buyer.
“Standing water in a garden can also attract pests, which may be dangerous to families with children or pets, so ensuring your garden has adequate drainage is vital for a swift sale.”
Adding beautiful plants is a great way to add colour and intrigue to a garden.
However, adding too many plants can make an area feel cluttered and small. Also, lots of plants to water and maintain can be seen as a challenge.
Rowan added: “Instead, you should speak to a gardener about the right number of plants and their ideal placement, ensuring they get the right amount of sunlight in your space and that it appears well-balanced and attractive.”
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