An interesting article in the Daily Telegraph (UK) chronicles the opinions of a group of British estate agents about which improvements can help sell your property - and those that don't.
Among their black-list of improvements to avoid are extravagant fixtures and fittings inside an otherwise ordinary property - they cite gold bath taps in a standard two-bedroom semi; home gyms, hot tubs, and installing a new kitchen or bathroom. These latter are seen as personal spaces that many incoming owners prefer to design and install themselves. Any extremes of personal taste in decorating style are also regarded as well known turn-offs.
The number of bedrooms can also be an important factor, and owners who have perhaps knocked two bedrooms into one may find the property looking expensive compared to its neighbours. 'For example, you can end up trying to sell a three-bedroom house for the price of an equivalent property with four bedrooms' says one agent.
When it comes to the outdoors, mistakes to avoid include over-cared-for gardens, seen as a maintenance nightmare by many would-be buyers; and over-large swimming pools that are costly to run and take up too much garden space.
The agents interviewed also warn buyers against turning parts of the property into letting accommodation. 'One guest unit is fine, more than that and the property starts to look like a business' is one agent's view.
Source: Graham Norwoord, Daily Telegraph, 13 January 2010. www.telegraph.co.uk