When you step into a house there is naturally one room which buyers gravitate towards. The important question is, which room convinces you to buy? If you’re looking to sell your home it is useful to know which room to prioritise for open houses, images of the property or facts about your home.
Read what some of our Guild agents had to say about their experiences of which rooms convinces people to buy.
Simon Davies, Branch Manager of Norman F Brown said: “I believe the kitchen is the heart of a home. The current trend is a space where everyone can be together. Historically this was the sitting room, but recently there is a shift to living kitchens, especially if there is an open-plan design with the sitting room. The best kitchen I have seen interlinks the garden with French Doors or Modern Bi Folds to bring the outside in and make the garden more inclusive.”
Simon Bradbury, Managing Director of Thomas Morris said: “The room which I believe most convinces a buyer to purchase a home is the hallway, although it’s not technically a “room”. Normally, it’s the very first internal part of a property that a buyer will see. Therefore, the hallways establishes the tone for their experience with the rest of the property by setting a positive or negative level of expectancy. The hall should be bright and feel warm (or cool depending on the time of year) and inviting. Clutter should be put away to make the area appear more spacious. Air fresheners, diffusers, scented candles or flowers are simple, but effective methods to enhance a buyer’s first impression of a property.”
Simon Miller, Partner of Holroyd Miller said: “Open-plan kitchens create the lifestyle of family and friends coming together in a space that can accommodate eating, drinking and socialising. The kitchen is normally the most expensive and time-consuming room in a home to decorate or renovate. A kitchen already supplied with good quality appliances and high-end worktops are favourable. Buyers are usually looking for minimum effort, focusing on moving in and opening a celebratory chilled bottle of fizz.”
Steve Wayne, Director of Benjamin Stevens Estate Agents said: “The centre of any home is often thought of as the kitchen. Depending on the size of your kitchen, it can often be the social hub of any home. It is where loved ones come together and a space in which you can get creative, both in design and culinary delights. The advantage of an eat-in kitchen allows for communal meals and socialising. Good food and communication makes for a happy household.”
Jenny Owen, Head of Marketing for Sawyer & Co. said: “A room with a view is always a great selling point for buyers. A well-fitted, spacious bathroom is really popular and at the moment.”
Pav Lotay, Account Manager for the Guild of Property Professionals Head office said: “For me, the living room is the most social space in a property and the area which I spend the most time in. This is the room that stands out the most and would convince me to buy. I look for a homely property: a spacious living room where I can see myself having guests to visit and putting up a Christmas tree.”
Are you looking to sell your property? Contact one of our Guild agents today. Find your nearest office here.
It is difficult for a garden to look beautiful in Winter however it can look tidy and have a little colour.
Ideas of jobs you could be doing –
Generally tidy your garden – Get rid of the dead Christmas tree. Rake/sweep up any leaves left from Autumn. Cut back anything that you can, at this time of year. Tie back any loose branches or climbers. Make sure your bins look tidy. Kill any moss. Plant some winter colour – winter pansies, early flowering Spring bulbs etc
Now is the time to plan the changes you would like to make to your outside space in 2019 …
Before selling your home, most people try to spruce up their property by decluttering and doing a thorough clean. But many people forget the area that gives a first impression is the garden. We all like to get outside and enjoy a sunny summer afternoon, so make sure your garden looks appealing for a potential buyer. Here are some easy tips to follow to make your garden add value to your property.
1.Spruce up the space
Just like inside your home, some decluttering and garden maintenance can add value to your property. Always start with tidying and key maintenance.
“Depending on their situation, buyers could see the garden as entertaining space, a hobby, the place where their children will play, space for their pets, a source of food or a combination of any or all of these, so it is crucial that sellers place as much importance on the presentation of the garden as they would on the presentation of the house,” says Steve Thompson from Thomas Morris in Cambridgeshire. “Good gardens can add value to a home and poorly kept gardens can detract from it.”
Susie Davies from Debbie Fortune Estate Agents in Somerset recommends maintaining the lawns. “A manicured lawn always enhances the appearance of a garden and makes it look bigger,” she says.
Lee Hussell from Webbers in Devon has some practical advice. “The first place to start is to give your garden a good tidy up. Winters are never kind to our gardens and damage may have been caused to fences and trellis or maybe the larger shrubs and trees. Any dead growth can be cut back and fallen leaves and other debris can be removed and cleared away.”
2. Add some seasonal colour
Once your garden is tidy, it is time to make it into a key selling point that potential buyers will love.
“When showing your home, you want the buyers to visualise living there, so have pot plants filled with flowers to give it some colour and the lawn mowed to make it look tidy,” suggests Celeste Hannah from Hamilton Parkers in Hampshire. “First impressions count, and in the spring and summer months, you want to show your garden off to its full potential. This will definitely add perceived value and gives you a better chance to maximise the selling price.”
3. Focus on what is seen first
Struggling for time or budget? Start where your potential buyer will start and focus on this area.
“Never forget kerb appeal, and, more relevant in the online age, photo appeal. The first impression really does count, so always start with the front garden,” says Martin Moore from Morris Marshall & Poole in Wales.
4. Add a key selling point
A well-maintained garden will make sure a buyer is not put off your property, but something more can make them want to buy your property above any others they have seen.
“A nice summer house is a garden goal for many people,” says Phil Pritchard from Williams & Goodwin in North Wales. “It often feels like an extra room away from the main property and can be utilised as anything from a place to relax, an office, a man cave or a playroom for the children.”
There are ways to maximise the impact of an existing summer house, too. “If you have a summer house, it is worth making sure the wood has been treated so that it is weather proof and you can easily give it a face lift by adding a touch of colour,” suggests Andrew Lodge from Andrew Lodge Estate Agents in Surrey. “There are so many good quality garden paints available in neutral tones.”
Don’t forget the impact that a child’s opinion may have on the decision makers, advises John Newhouse from Roseberry Newhouse in North Yorkshire. “Buyers may love the idea of a summerhouse or man cave, and of course children will be drawn to tree houses or play areas.”
Simon Miller at Holroyd Miller suggests caution, though. “The truth is that some people like hot tubs or summer houses and some don’t. Additions of this kind shouldn’t be thought of in terms of re-sale, however, well looked-after and presented in the right way, they will certainly present something unique and a lifestyle image that potential buyers can see the value in.”
5. Add some shed-quarters
Sheds are not only practical, but they are coming back into fashion. They can be used from anything as a useful place to store bikes and lawnmowers to a garden retreat.
“By putting up a good-sized shed, you are adding a useful storage space for gardeners and families with outdoor furniture and even toys,” says Andrew Lodge.
Many people choose to work from home, and an insulated shed could provide the perfect home office. John Newhouse says: “Additional space in the shape of pods, studios or cabins provide potential work space options for house hunters.”
6. A little paint goes a long way
If you’re looking to spend less to add value to your property, don’t underestimate the impact of a good coat of paint on fences, sheds and other wood in the garden.
“Adding value to your home through the garden doesn’t have to break the bank. If you have decking or a perimeter fence, you could freshen it up with a coat of paint. If the garden is presentable it will be more attractive to viewers and could increase the price a potential buyer is willing to pay for your home,” suggests Jared Thomas from Emsleys Estate Agents in West Yorkshire.
7. Think about the patio
“We recommend investing in good quality patio, paving or decking,” says Andrew Lodge. “Having a professional job done will enhance the overall appearance of your outside space. Decent sized patio and decking areas add value as they are great for entertaining and alfresco dining. Adding some good lighting outside will also enable people to make the most of the garden on those long summer nights.”
8. Style your garden with furniture
You wouldn’t show a room to a potential buyer without any furniture in it, so why show a garden without a table and chairs?
“Depending on the size of the garden and who it will appeal to, ensure that the lawns are cut or the terrace is swept and ideally have the garden furniture set up so buyers can imagine themselves sitting out enjoying an al fresco evening,” said John Newhouse.
9. Secure the garden
If the people viewing the house have pets, they will want to see a garden that is fully secured to avoid an escaped dog.
“It is important that you invest in secure fencing, walls or gates,” advises Andrew Lodge. “People like to feel secure in their gardens so that they can relax. It also makes the garden more appealing to those with young children and pets.”
10. Make it private
If your home is overlooked by other homes or gardens, it’s a good idea to give the idea of privacy to the garden. If it isn’t too expensive, add hedges or trees in key spots. It will make the potential buyers be able to imagine themselves enjoying a peaceful afternoon outside in the summer.
Susie Davies advises that ornamental trees have a pleasing, aesthetic effect in a garden.
Are you looking for a new home with a beautiful garden? Contact a Guild Member today to start your property search.
I am the General Manager of Joplings, overseeing and responsible for the running of the business. Working closely with the management team, I support staff and develop the business.
I am a Chartered Surveyor and registered valuer with the RICS. Part of my time is spent providing professional advice, relating to a wide range of property related matters. I also carry out building surveys and valuations for residential and commercial property, along with providing architectural design and construction advice relating to building projects.
If you would like to send a photo of Ripon, Thirsk or the surrounding areas to be a front cover image for our property or lifestyle magazines, please email email@example.com.
The image must be larger than 2mb to be of good print quality and preferably portrait please.
It was lovely to meet Mike Smith today and thank him for the use of his photograph of an extremely picturesque image of West Tanfield from under the bridge and facing across the River Ure. The Autumnal changes can be seen in the foreground with St Nicholas Church of England and Marmion Tower peaking through the trees. The cover of our lifestyle magazine looks great. Please pop in to pick up a copy.
If you would like to see more of Mike Smith’s work, please visit his website.
Are you looking for help and advice with drawing of plans, obtaining planning permission and project management?
An increasing amount of homeowners are considering making changes to their homes rather than moving to a new property. Below is one of the many projects which Joplings has taken from the very beginning, by drawing up plans to and successfully getting planning permission approved to inviting tenders from reputable builders and managing the build for our clients …
Joplings has had a successful planning application approved by Harrogate Borough Council for the erection of a single dwelling in Minskip. Full design, layout, planning consultation and Building Regulation submission all undertaken before, on our clients’ behalf, inviting and obtaining competitive tenders from our list of approved contractors.
Check the roof. Have any broken or missing tiles or slates replaced and other damage repaired. Keeping the rain out is one of the most important things you can do.
Clear out the gutters. Clear out leaves, moss and debris from rainwater gutters, downpipes and gullies. Reset any displaced joints.
Check the roof insulation. Birds, squirrels, rats and mice can displace the insulation in the roof, and so can we when rummaging about. Check the insulation and consider increasing it, as this could help keep down your heating bill. It needs to be at least 10-11 inches (270mm) thick of insulation.
Boiler Serviced. Have the boiler and heating serviced and check that all thermostats and programmers are working and set at a sensible temperature. And when the house is unoccupied, turn the temperature down. Again this will save on heating bills.
Don’t get too cold. If you have a large old brick or stone house with thick walls, don’t let the structure get too cold as it will take a lot of energy to rebuild a comfortable temperature. Doing so may cause condensation on the walls, which sometimes results in mould and spores. These can prove a hazard particularly for those with breathing difficulties and should be avoided.
Draught proofing. As to keeping the heat in your home, ensure outside doors and the windows fit well and consider fitting draught proofing strips where there are gaps between the frames. Keep doors inside the house closed to reduce heat loss from unnecessary air circulation.
Don’t forget the curtains. Draw them after dark and use thicker ones if windows are single-glazed.
South facing windows. Keep south-facing curtains open during the day to take advantage of the sunshine, which will help heat the house.
Check the woodwork. Check the woodwork on windows and repair now if necessary. Otherwise, there will be a risk of penetrating damp affecting the interior of the house.
Check the paintwork. Check the paintwork on the window frames and redecorate before the weather deteriorates. Thorough preparation of the surfaces and use of good quality paint is key to providing a durable finish.
Bleed your radiators. A great way to warm up your home is to bleed your radiators. This releases any trapped air, allowing hot water to fill every part of your radiator and warm your home more efficiently.
Find your stopcock. Make sure you know where your water stopcock is located. If you suffer a burst pipe you’ll be happy you found it in advance!
Create a power-cut kit. Be prepared for the possible winter power cuts by putting together a power-cut kit i.e. torches / blankets etc.
Sweep your chimneys. If your chimneys are in use, make sure that they get swept every year. This will remove the build up of dirt and grime from your chimney walls.
Smoke Alarm Check. Make sure your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are in full working order.
Emergency Numbers. Keep a list of useful numbers handy in case of emergency. Include your plumber, gas installer, electrician and doctor
AND IF YOU ARE AWAY FROM YOUR HOME….
Leave your heating on for at least an hour a day while you are away from home
In severe weather, or if severe weather is forecast, you should leave your heating on day and night at your usual temperature setting
Check that loft insulation is laid over, and under pipes in the loft
Consider asking a friend or relative to visit your home every day while you are away. This will mean that, if you do suffer a burst pipe, it will be detected as soon as possible. Make sure that they know where the stop tap is located.
If high winds are forecast, make sure objects such as garden furniture or ladders are fully secured
In his third Budget as chancellor, Phillip Hammond announced that he will extend the cancellation of stamp duty for first-time homebuyers on properties up to £300,000 to first-time buyers of shared ownership properties valued up to £500,000. He also stated that the measure would be retrospective so that any first-buyer who has bought a home since the last Budget will benefit.
The government has done much to enable first-time buyers the opportunity to get into the market and removing stamp duty on all shared equity purchases up to £500,000 is another great initiative for those purchasing their first home. Since the abolishment of the stamp duty for first-time buyers, many more people have been able to get their foot on the property ladder despite the soaring average deposit amount required. In fact, during the first half of 2018, the number of first-time buyers hit a 12-year high at 175,500.
How will stamp duty changes affect the market in 2019?
“Our view is that the first-time buyer market will be one of the larger buyer groups in 2019,” says Michael Delaney, Director at Lane & Bennetts, “and provided they are well funded for deposits through savings or the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’, the changes will end up being a kick starter for the sub £300,000 sales market currently being vacated by the buy to let landlords who have been inhibited by the tougher tax regimes.”
Other than focusing on stamp duty, could more be done?
While some believe the changes will continue to boost the numbers of first-time buyers in the market, others believe that more could be done, and certain factors could nullify the impact. Patrick Stappleton, Managing Director of Redwell Estates Ltd, says that anything to help first-time buyers get into the market is a good thing, but like all schemes, they aren’t going far enough. “They should be focussing on getting single occupancy of larger properties moving to release more housing into the mainstream and allow more people to move up the housing chain,” he adds.
Jack Reid, Managing Director of Orlando Reid, says: “There will be an increasing number of motivated buyers out there looking for their first home. It will have a bigger effect on the market outside of London as the stamp duty exception is up to £300,000. It won’t benefit London if a buyer were to purchase a whole property as opposed to shared ownership because of the higher prices compared to the rest of the UK. However, it will increase the number of shared ownership purchases for first-time buyers in the capital. I personally don’t feel it will have a huge positive impact on the market as right now the bigger problem is the uncertainty caused by Brexit and the lack of a deal with the EU.”
Director of Hunter French, Jacob Heatley-Adams, says: “Although the change could have a positive boost on the housing market which would, in turn, feed up through the market to create fluidity, the effect that Brexit is having has nullified any positivity that this decision would have created. It seems that first time buyers are sitting on their hands waiting to see what the outcome of Brexit is. Let’s face it, if you were a first-time buyer and had heard Mike Carney spouting that house prices could drop by a third if a no deal Brexit happened then you would no doubt be waiting to see what happened.”
What about stamp duty charges in the second-hand market?
While the much focus has been placed on first-time buyers, not much has been done to boost other sectors of the market. According to Heatley-Adams, there has been a rapid slowdown in the market over the last couple of months despite having plenty of sellers wanting to move, it seems that they cannot move as the market is not flowing.
Sue Dyer, Partner at Atwell Martin, says that the main problem many agents are coming across is the 3% stamp duty on second homes. “The current stamp duty on second homes has prevented a lot of potential purchasers from buying holiday homes or a pad for Monday to Friday working or parents looking to invest in property for children entering University. Should this be lifted then the marketplace would become a lot freer flowing again.”
Jared Thomas, Director of Emsleys Estate Agents Ltd, agrees. “I don’t believe the change in stamp duty for first-time buyers will have much of a positive impact on the market. In all honesty, they need to remove the second property stamp duty charge to have any positive impact whatsoever,” says Thomas.
Jobs and deposit requirements still a factor
According to David Corben ofCorbens in Swanage, the south coast market has seen no effect whatsoever with the changes in stamp duty. “We are primarily a holiday and retirement town which, because of the lack of jobs in the area means that most young first-time buyers have to move out to Poole or Bournemouth to secure a job. For those who stay, unless they are fortunate to be blessed with the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ most will be unable to afford to save for the initial deposit to buy their first home so will end up renting, and it is the rental market which has been hit more by the changes with the two-tier stamp duty levy. What we have seen over the last two years is buy-to-let investors have been put off purchasing because of the increase in the second home duty,” he adds.
While the full impact of the stamp duty changes remains to be seen, it seems the general sentiment among agents is that more still needs to be done to encourage transactional volumes and price growth in all sectors.