There are some steps which can be taken to avoid your property being difficult to sell and avoid delays once you have found a buyer.
Alterations without approvals
Many homeowners realise that they may need Local Authority approvals for major works such as extensions, structural alterations, etc, but some works are controlled under Building Regulations which can easily be overlooked, including:
- Installation of a wood burner.
- Replacement of windows (FENSA certificate required).
- Works to drainage installations (above and below ground).
If you plan to extend your property or carry out any works which require Building Control approval make sure that the relevant aspects of the work are undertaken to meet the requirements of Building Regulations. Ensure that you keep all documentation for any works you have carried out to reduce the risk of your home being difficult to sell. Pass a copy of all documents to your solicitor so that copies can be forwarded to your buyer’s solicitor when requested.
If works are carried out without the relevant approvals, this may cause a delay or a problem if your buyer is taking out a mortgage to buy the property. Also, a lack of approval may lead to your buyer questioning the quality of work and in some cases may put them off proceeding with the purchase, and may result in your house being more difficult to sell.
Alterations which are out of character
When carrying out any works it is a good idea to do work which is in keeping with the age and style of the building.
- Replacement windows should match the style of the original windows as closely as possible.
- An older house which originally had slates or clay tiles is likely to be ruined if modern concrete tiles are used as a replacement.
For older properties, it is worth spending time sourcing suitable materials, eg, good quality used slates or roofing tiles from a reputable stockist or a reclamation yard.
Perhaps the most obvious is poor presentation. A property which has been well maintained is generally more attractive to most buyers. While your property does not have to be professionally “staged” before putting it on the market, there are a number of things you can easily do yourself to make your home more attractive to a prospective buyer.
- Clear out any unwanted items.
- Tidy up. Make sure everything has a home. A tidier home is more attractive and can make rooms look larger.
- Spring clean thoroughly. Don’t forget windows, mirrors, taps, etc.
- Tidy the garden. Make sure it doesn’t look as though hours of work are needed as soon as someone moves in.
- Attend to any small DIY matters such as dripping taps. Make your home look as though it has been looked after rather than neglected.