You may have a bathroom colour scheme or a patterned carpet in your living room that is questionable to say the least. But rather than just being unattractive, these things may actually be having a negative influence on the value of your home.
We spoke to Scarlette Douglas, property developer and presenter of A Place in the Sun, to get the lowdown.
'My job as a developer is to make a property as valuable as possible, so I focus on prioritising the key things that can be improved quickly and cheaply before it goes up for sale,' she said. 'People do judge books by their covers, especially when it comes to purchasing a new home, so if your home's still stuck in a time warp here are some quick tips to increase its value, without breaking the bank.'
Teaming up with Bathrooms.com, Scarlette discloses the dos and don'ts of design trends that can affect your property's worth:
1. Old fashioned wood paneling
Wood paneling can make a property look dated and tired with 46 per cent of people saying it would actually put them off purchasing a property. It's surprisingly easy to remove, so swap it for some fresh and tasteful wallpaper. Or a quicker option is to paint the paneling in a neutral colour – white or light grey would be a great option. Paint the nearby walls the same colour and your room will instantly feel brighter. This should increase its value and make it more attractive to potential buyers.
2. Avocado bathroom suites
I have seen many hideous bathrooms in my time, and as much as avocado coloured ones were all the rage back in the day, they tend to look tired and outdated now. 44 per cent of potential buyers said a property with an avocado bathroom would put them off buying it.
Believe it or not, you can get a full suite for as little as £300, so to increase your home's saleability and value, opt for a sleek white one. Almost three quarters of the UK (71 per cent) said a stylish new bathroom would increase the likelihood of them putting in an offer to purchase a property.
3. A dated built-in bar
More than a third of us (41 per cent) say if they walked into a property and saw a dated built-in bar, they'd walk straight back out again. Although they're great for parties, they're definitely not everyone's cup of tea. It's likely many people would be put off by how much work they think it would cost to remove one.
So, to stop putting buyers off before they've even seen the outside space, focus on toning it down as much as possible. You might not be able to demolish the whole thing, but if you remove the bar stools and drinks, paint everything a neutral colour, and then add in some family pictures and a large bouquet of flowers in a lovely vase, you'll make it look far less scary.
4. Wood Chip Wallpaper
We've all come across wood chip - whether that's at your parent's or grandparent's, or pretty much in every student house out there. It's now incredibly out of fashion. So much so, that 41 per cent of potential buyers would decide not to make an offer on a place if it had this type of wallpaper. It is not difficult to remove so just invest in the right equipment, like a wallpaper scoring tool and wallpaper removing liquid. Within minutes the troublesome stuff will be gliding off your walls.
5. Artex Ceilings
In a nutshell, Artex ruled the 70s. This retro trend is probably just as uninspiring as wood chip, and 40 per cent of us say it would stop us making an offer on a property. Used to add texture and design to ceilings, Artex is actually a company trademark name, but it became synonymous with the spiral or textured effect. When having Artex removed, it's best to call in the professionals as any coatings added before the 80s and some since then, could contain white asbestos.
6. Heavily patterned carpet
Once the height of fashion, this is now more of a reminder of a time when style was very different. A third of the UK (35 per cent) would decide not to purchase a property with this type of carpet.
The easiest and quickest way to make this seem less daunting is to focus on first impressions. So, look to replace the carpet in the entrance hall and the living room before you put your home on the market. There are some good quality and very budget friendly options available that would be quick to install, and could completely change the feeling potential buyers get as soon as they walk in the door.
7. Textured wallpaper
How they loved textured wallpaper back in the 80s. My new flat has embossed wallpaper up the stairs – it makes the whole place look really old fashioned and it takes away the charm that the property would have when you first walk in. 34 per cent of buyers said it would put them off so it's time to rid your walls of the spongy stuff.
Wallpaper design is very personal so if you'd like to replace it with a more modern design, keep it simple. A feature wall always works in my opinion. Choose one, usually a central wall in the living room, or behind a bed in the bedroom, and keep the other walls plain, clean and neat. This will help impress any potential buyers.
8. Crazy paving
Crazy paving was hugely popular and can be seen all over the UK on driveways and in gardens. Now, it's not as trendy, and as it would be quite a big job to replace it, it can devalue your home. 33 per cent of UK homebuyers said it would be enough to make them walk away from a property.
There are two key things you can do with this before you put your place up for sale:
- The more valuable, but more costly option – cover it in wooden decking. There are tonnes of options out there and some are far easier to install and cheaper than you would have thought.
- The cheaper and less valuable option is to disguise the area with an abundance of pot plants. Choose large sprawling plants like palms and grasses and group pots together so the buyers see more plants than stones.
9. Old fashioned, built-in brick or stone fireplaces
These turn 33 per cent of us off from buying a property. Fireplaces can be beautiful, but clunky. Modern fireplaces are readily available and easy to find, but to save you from having to rip the whole thing out, focus just on updating the hearth. Perhaps with some beautiful slate, or some modern tiles and then tone down the stones by painting them a light colour.
Finish off by replacing all clutter and ornaments with one large vase of flowers in the middle of the hearth. This will make the fireplace look more modern, but will also stop it from being the first thing buyers see (and dislike) as soon as they walk in.
10. Built-in wardrobe cupboards around the bed
Built-in wardrobes are lovely – they keep everything hidden away and they save space. But the ones popular in the 80s that surrounded the entire bed are less popular now. So much so that 30 per cent of us would choose not to buy somewhere if it still had them.
An easy fix is to focus on removing the bridging cupboards that go over the top of the bed. Unscrew the doors, and then either dismantle the cupboards, or using a hammer bash the middle bits down. You might need to paint that back wall behind the bed, but those small changes will make the room seem bigger and more modern, which should help to attract more buyers.
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