A home should be a very personal space, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with injecting your tastes and personality into it. However, when it is time to sell your property, you need to leave your preferences out of the process as property values may be reduced (i.e.. the value of your home could be adversely affected). What you may find tasteful and attractive might not be to the taste of your potential buyers. If your home is awash with very distinctive, vividly coloured features and designs, you risk alienating some buyers completely. Create a neutral look that is unlikely to offend anyone, and your house should appeal to the broadest possible range of potential buyers.
Keep home improvements to a minimum.
Buyers who can’t imagine themselves living in your property due to the niche improvements you have made are highly unlikely to put an offer in. Keeping things neutral and plain may seem a little counter-intuitive, but it can be the best way of keeping everyone interested. You are, in effect, creating a blank canvass for buyers, which can result in quicker house sales and a favourable house valuation. If you are in any doubt about what buyers want to see in the properties they are viewing, take a trip to a local property builder’s show house. Housebuilders use professional ‘stagers’ and interior decorators to make their homes appeal to a broad spectrum of the population, so you should be able to pick up a few tips.
Interior wall coverings
You might like to paint the walls of your daughter’s bedroom pink, but that could be off-putting to families with no young children or those that only have boys. Although this may not seem like a big deal to you, such a room could end up defining your entire house. If your buyers had the choice of your home – with its distinctively coloured bedrooms – and an identical house with rooms that appeal to anyone, there is a genuine chance that they will choose the place with neutral colours. Cash-strapped families and first-time buyers will often want to move into a property straight away, and anything that stops that from happening can potentially affect house sale prices. Check the value of your home by entering your postcode into our free online calculator.
Niche exterior finishes
During the 70s and 80s in particular, the popularity of stone-cladding soared in the UK. Because such niche fashions are cyclical, it is no surprise that many people now view such exterior features as tacky and distasteful. Unlike interior decorations, making exterior improvements is usually a complex issue to reverse, so give careful consideration to any niche changes to the exterior of your home. Plain, old brick doesn’t usually offend anyone, but painting your house bright blue will alienate a significant proportion of potential buyers who consider property values as an integral part of the house buying process.
Irregularly shaped rooms
Homes with well-proportioned rooms – rectangular or square – will usually be preferred over irregular rooms such as L-shaped kitchens and triangular guest rooms. If your home has unusually shaped rooms, performing a few renovations might prove cost-effective when it comes to a house valuation. If you are thinking about an extension, it is always best to stick to squares and rectangles – anything else might be considered niche, which can reduce demand.
You can reference historical house prices from Land Registry data, for your area here. Doing so may help determine a link between niche home improvements and reductions in property values. Of course, the best way to achieve the optimum price for your home is to make it as widely appealing as possible – something that is sticking to niche home improvements will make it almost impossible.