UK property: top tips to improve value of your home

Clear kitchen counters can make your house look more appealing to buyers. Photo: Naomi Hébert/Unsplash

With house prices appearing to stall, homeowners need to be creative to get the best price for their home.

While small decor upgrades are unlikely to significantly increase the selling price, research shows these changes can often yield an additional 5% to 10%.

On top of this, properties that are staged before viewings often spend up to 90% less time on the market.

With that in mind, interior designer LuxDeco shared five tips for staging your home before a viewing.

READ MORE: A quarter of Brits are unhappy with their homes

First impressions count

From the exterior to the entrance hall, you want to make the best first impression with prospective buyers.

People will judge a book by its cover, so spruce up any tired looking front doors and any untidy or disarrayed gardens to add curb appeal.

For a welcoming entrance hall, clear away any shoes or bulky coats to maximise space and add a pop of colour by adding fresh flowers to any sideboards or console tables.

Does this spark joy?

When it comes to kitchens, take Marie Kondo’s advice: “Put nothing on the counters or around the sink and stove top.”

This might seem extreme, but having empty counter tops will make your kitchen look much cleaner and more appealing to buyers.

Don’t air your dirty laundry

While homes are meant to be functional, potential buyers don’t always follow their heads when it comes to putting an offer on a house.

Pack away the laundry basket, clothes horse, and the ironing you’ve been putting off for weeks.

Make sure to tidy up the rooms. Photo: Getty

Showcase the space

Keep in mind prospective buyers might not use the rooms in the same way as you, so it’s important to showcase the space rather than the functionality.

If you have children, tidy up any toys or mess in their rooms in order to maximise the area. Your buyers might use these rooms as walk-in-wardrobes or dressing-rooms instead.

Similarly, if you’ve converted a bedroom into an office space keep it clear of papers as this can detract from the quality of the room.

A treat for the senses

When you’re preparing your home for a viewing make sure you consider all five senses:

Sight — Make sure the house is tidy, clear of any clutter, and dust free.

Hearing — If you know there is building work or an event happening nearby, try and arrange viewings on a different day or time to ensure potential buyers experience the house on a “typical” day.

Taste — Adding homely smells like freshly baked bread or roasted coffee to the kitchen could increase a buyer’s appetite for your property.

Smell — Avoid being heavy-handed on the cleaning products, as it could give it a clinical feel. Instead, rely on diffusers or light a scented candle just before a viewing to give a more subtle aroma.

Touch — Make sure the counter surfaces and doors are clean; a dirty door handle may put off prospective buyers from exploring the house further.

READ MORE: Wetherspoons effect – houses near British pubs sell for less

“There's no doubt it's always worth making your house as presentable as possible, and first impressions shouldn't be underestimated,” according to real estate agent Purple Bricks.

“They can even help swing a decision if someone is choosing between two similar properties.”

But, the company warned, while price can vary depending on condition, “softer” changes to decor are “unlikely to significantly increase the price people pay for a property.”