It is widely accepted that to make money you have to spend money however this may not be the case for homeowners sprucing up their property for sale.

Figures released by TrustMark show that on average bodged repairs to a property can reduce its value by around 11%. The government endorsed trade scheme found that over 50% of potential buyers would discard a property all together and 90% of those surveyed would reduce their offer as a result of DIY home improvements.

When selling your house a lick of paint can go a long way in sprucing the place up and can even add a small percentage to the asking price. But all too often homeowners take on tasks above and beyond their capabilities when preparing their house for sale.

Rolling up your sleeves and getting stuck in can be a rewarding experience and the money saved on tradesman can seem like it’s all worthwhile. However with the average three bedroom UK house priced at £218,779 you could lose out on around £24,000, not to mention the cost of materials and time taken to carry out the work.

The internet has provided homeowners with a variety of ways to save money during the house selling process. The rise of online estate agents being one of these providing a quicker, more cost effective way to sell your home, whilst avoiding the hefty fees of a traditional estate agent. But not all of these technological advancements are positive.

With ‘have a go’ homeowners taking to Google as an aid to rewiring their house or tampering with their boiler with the guidance of a Youtube video, this DIY approach can not only result in a loss in house value but often leave the property in a dangerous condition for future owners.

Understandably even a sniff of these amateur improvements are enough to deter potential buyers and the most cost effective route when selling a property could be to avoid maintenance altogether.

Property Expert Russell Quirk, CEO of eMoov commented “Preparing your house for sale with a spot of DIY can help you achieve a better price of sale. However, it is important to point out that fixing up your property will not guarantee you a better sale price. For example, some buyers will prefer to buy a project house. Likewise, a number of buyers would always replace the kitchen and bathroom in a property and wouldn’t pay a premium for one newly installed. The majority of buyers will use any negatives about a property to try and negotiate a lower price. It’s for the seller to weigh up the cost of DIY, their time and the price they want to sell their property for. “

With this in mind here are some property dos and don’ts:-

DIY Dos

– As already mentioned a fresh coat of paint can be a cost effective method in making your property more presentable and increasing value.

– Mow the lawn. A tidy well-kept garden can also go a long way when selling your property and potentially add value.

– Clean and de-clutter. As a buyer will often have their own vision of a property, providing them with a clean, neutral canvas can be better and encourage a sale.

– Make the most of any unique features. If you are going to spend money on improvements make them worthwhile. Accentuating desirable features such as a fire place or traditional beams will appeal far more to buyers than a new kitchen.

DIY Don’ts

– Unless you are qualified to do so leave all gas and electrical work well alone. Not only can it be tricky but also potentially very dangerous for both you and any potential buyers. Although it seems like a good way to save money, faulty wiring can be one of the biggest factors in the loss of value on a property.

– Don’t shell out for expensive appliances. Buyers will often have their own vision, particularly where the kitchen and bathroom are concerned. A buyer is unlikely to pay over the average for a property so that the seller can recoup their investment in a new bath or cooker.

– Don’t get caught in no man’s land. If you are going to renovate, do it properly. If your property needs work it doesn’t mean you won’t find a buyer, with many preferring to add some personality of their own to a new property sometimes less can be more when securing that sale. What you don’t want is to be stuck with a property that is too far gone for a project house but short of the mark for a buyer to move straight in.

– Price realistically. If a property does need work it could be more beneficial to reflect this in the price and find a buyer rather than invest and not.

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