With the economic downturn still gripping Scotland tightly, there has never been a more competitive time for renting out or selling properties.
Edinburgh’s leading letting agent Braemore Property Management, believes that owners need to make sure their properties are in the best, eye-catching condition possible in order to ensure they can be sold or rented out.
Here Andrew Markham, head of the Edinburgh firm’s maintenance and refurbishment service, gives his top tips on how landlords and sellers can ensure their properties are as marketable as possible.
Would-be buyers and renters will look for modern, clean fixtures in a new home. Upgrading your kitchen and bathroom is a must, with dishwashers, good quality ovens and a modern bathroom suite among the most popular additions.
2) Improve your lighting
Old fashioned dimly-lit properties can be a real turn off, as they feel stuffy and unwelcoming. Invest in modern down-lights and strategically-placed spot lights to brighten up your property and make it feel more welcoming.
3) Upgrade your heating
With fuel costs continuing to rise, a modern, efficient heating system is one of the things that buyers will look for in a new home. Consider upgrading and modernising your heating if the boiler is old and outdated or if the property does not have modern convector radiators. Also consider improving your insulation and install double glazed windows. Remember: any upgrading work will also improve the rating on your Energy Performance Certificate.
4) Neutralise your decoration
Buyers will always be more attracted to a property which uses plain, modern colours throughout. Neutral décor makes it easier for people to envisage their own furniture or belongings in the property, while also making it look more spacious.
5) Improve the floors
Try to install carpets or restore the wooden floorboards throughout the property. Get rid of any laminate floor coverings, as these are more unpopular and can be a turn off for buyers.
6) Spend wisely
Whether you’re selling or renting, you have to spend wisely on improving your property to avoid losing out. Don’t overspend if your property is small – as you won’t make back the cost of a £30,000 makeover on a £100,000 flat – but also don’t scrimp if you have a larger home. Spending a thousand pounds on a cheap-looking kitchen unit isn’t going to impress anyone if, for example, you’re marketing a home in the New Town.
7) Add an en-suite
En-suite bathrooms are always desirable in any property, as they add a sense of privacy to a master bedroom. If you have the space available, try to add an en-suite bath and shower room, as this will immediately improve the value of your home.
8) Look to convert extra space
If you’ve got an attic, try to convert it into extra living space in order to improve the value – and desirability – of your property. Don’t just go for maximum number of bedrooms either, as this won’t necessarily mean you’ll get more money for it. An extra bedroom and en-suite is more valuable than two, small bedrooms, so analyse the space thoroughly for the best results.
9) Don’t forget the outside
Don’t just tidy the inside of your property – the exterior is just as important. Tidy the garden, paint your front door and weed the patio if you have a large family home. But there are other things to do if you’ve got a tenement flat. Clean the communal staircase and garden and make the outside more desirable. Remember: it’s the first thing that anyone will notice about your property.
10) Remember the finishing touches.
There’s no point letting your hard work come undone at the last moment, so ensure your property is clean and tidy when people come to view it. Make sure that your furniture is well presented and doesn’t look cheap and tattered, and always make sure your windows are spotless. These finishing touches help to create a good impression that will last long after the viewing.
Braemore Property Management by the Holyrood Partnership. For more information, contact Adrian Mather on 0131 561 2244 or firstname.lastname@example.org