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Add A Touch Of Class This Spring

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Spring is the traditional start of the peak season for buying and selling homes, and this year appears to be bang on trend.

Spring 2024 Property Sales Data

According to data from Rightmove, demand is starting to shoot up, with March looking positive on all fronts.

The average asking price of properties coming to market rose by 1.5% in March, demonstrating a positive mood amongst sellers.

Their positivity is well placed, as demand from buyers is 8% ahead of this time last year, although that is predominantly coming from the top end of the market, where buyers are affected by mortgage rates to a lesser extent than those starting out.

Even in the first time buyer sector, asking prices are 0.9% ahead of where they were in March 2023. Sellers are tending to be on the cautious side as mortgage rates are still high, with the Bank of England maintaining interest rates at 5.25% at its 20 March meeting.

On the plus side, inflation is coming down, which will increase disposable income and consumer confidence, all adding to the optimism that’s returning to the market.

What Are Buyers Looking For?

When potential buyers view a house for sale, they normally have a mental checklist of what they need, in terms of number of bedrooms and bathrooms and the size of living space and outdoor space and must-haves and nice-to-haves. For example, perhaps they are thinking that they must have a garden and it would be nice if it was south facing. Or it must have space for a dining table in the kitchen and a breakfast bar would be nice but not essential.

As we know, location is one of the most important factors, with local schools, shops, leisure activities and transport links all affecting buyers’ decisions. The reputation of an area also plays its part, whether they are looking for a safe place to bring up a family, a prestigious postcode or an up-and-coming area where their property will increase in value.

It almost goes without saying that maintenance and safety are prime considerations. The upkeep of the exterior and the roof, the electrics and plumbing can all make or break a sale, particularly if the buyer commissions a full building survey and realises there are structural issues that will cost them significant amounts of money in the foreseeable future.

If all the other criteria are met, the next consideration is the aesthetic appeal of the property. Curb appeal – the first impression that your house gives from the outside – and light, bright interiors are vital. We always recommend paying particular attention to the hallway as the decision whether to buy or not is usually made within the first few minutes of a viewing.

How To Add A Touch Of Class

When preparing to sell your house, adding class and sophistication can significantly enhance its appeal to potential buyers. Start with the curb appeal; make sure the exterior looks enticing by painting the front door, tidying the garden, planting flowers and maybe even investing in outdoor lighting for a welcoming entrance if viewings are likely to take place in the evening.

On the inside, don’t forget about the hall. As we mentioned, decisions are made in the first few minutes, so put some effort into the first area buyers will see when they step in through the front door. A lick of light-coloured paint is worthwhile if the walls are looking a bit shabby, and make sure to move all the shoes, coats and other clutter out of the way.

A house entrance hall which is tidy and free from clutter

Talking of clutter, decluttering is absolutely essential if you want to create a sense of space and elegance. Remove as many personal belongings are you can to allow buyers to visualise themselves and their own items in the space. If you have a lot of furniture, it can be worth putting some of it in self-storage for a short while and just keeping your highest quality, most neutral-coloured furnishings to add to the sophisticated atmosphere you want to create.

If you are thinking ahead to selling in the future, you may want to add architectural features like coving and cornices, wood panelling, dado rails and feature walls to increase the character and classy feel of your home. However, even simple changes like fresh paint, new lampshades, or upgraded door handles can make a big difference to how viewers perceive your house.

We know, from conducting many viewings over the years, that kitchens and bathrooms are also important to potential buyers, and tatty, out-of-date fixtures and appliances can put them off. Anything you can do to update these rooms will usually be recouped in the selling price of your property, whether it’s replacing appliances or sanitaryware or refreshing your worktops and cupboard doors.

Finally, make sure that your estate agent uses a professional photographer who knows how best to stage a room to reflect the type of image you want to present. Good lighting and a focus on the room’s best features can attract more buyers and increase your home’s desirability.

Why Style Matters

Adding a touch of class to your property can make a considerable difference to the selling price as well as the number of offers you receive.

Elegance and sophistication create a positive first impression, bring in more viewings and increase competition among potential buyers, driving up the level of offers.

A stylish sitting room with some architectural and design features

Upgrading key features in your home improves the functionality and comfort and gives an air of quality, attracting the sort of buyers who are happy to pay a premium for high standards. It also suggests that the house has been well-maintained and cared for over the years which reassures buyers and makes them feel more comfortable about committing.

It can even be the case that adding class and sophistication to a property can increase the perceived value of the entire neighbourhood, positively influencing the reputation of a street or area, making it more desirable and edging prices up.

How Your Estate Agent Can Help

Estate agents are the best people to advise you. We’ve seen hundreds of houses on the market and we know what buyers like and dislike. If you ask us, we can show you how small changes can make a big difference when it comes to selling your house.

If you want to make the most of the improving property market this spring, consider making some of these small changes to add a touch of class to your home and achieve the best possible selling price.

We are here to help you get the best results, so please ask us about any aspect of putting your house on the market.

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