Writing in the UK Daily Telegraph, property expert Phil Spencer of the TV progamme 'Location, Location, Location' offers some useful tips on how not to try and improve your home before selling. Among his suggestions are:
- Avoid 'outgrowing your street'. 'If houses in your street cost £250,000 don't build an enormous extension and ask £400,000. People looking for a £400,000 house won't want to live in a £250,000 street'. Harsh but true.
- DIY bodging. The greatest turn-off especially for French buyers used to work undertaken by registered artisans, with the accompanying invoices and guarantees.
- Replacing all the furniture. This, he says, will not add value to the house. This does not mean neglecting to present the property well, including home staging.
- Too big a television. 'I have seen far too many living rooms that have been overpowered by the size of the plasma screen' he says. This is a common fault among French owners, whose living areas have been turned into virtual home cinemas.
- Too many bedrooms. 'There is a substantial difference in price btween two, three and four bedroom houses' says Spencer, 'after five there's hardly any'.
Although writing about English property, many of Spencer's ideas can be equally well applied to your French house or apartment. In the same article he offers a list of improvements that can add value, from re-painting to opening-up internal spaces.
Spencer also suggests that sellers should be aware of their target market. 'Work out who is your most likely type of buyer' he suggests, 'and aim accordingly. This will determine whether you present a spare room as, say, an office, a play room, a gym or a study'. Related to French property, I would add being able to offer a ground floor bedroom, as many older buyers appear concerned about not being able eventually to climb the stairs, while younger ones are becoming increasingly responsible for looking after an ageing parent.
Source: Daily Telegraph, Property Section 23 July 2010.