Is It Worth Renovating a House before Selling in the UK Property Market?

30th January 2024

If you’re gearing up for a house sale on the UK property market, you’re probably wondering if it’s worth fixing up your property before selling. In this guide, JonSimon’s property experts will answer the big questions like: is it worth renovating a house before selling in the UK? And, which renovations can add the most value and which should you avoid? 

So, if you’re selling your house and want to get the inside scoop on which renovations to invest in, the North West’s go-to estate agents are here to give you our advice. After all, we’ve helped facilitate thousands of successful house sales for buyers in the region.

Whether you’re buying a new property or selling your current one, we can help. With our trusted track record in the North West, we have become the region’s go-to estate agents. It’s easy to get in touch — just email or call our Burnley, Radcliffe or Ramsbottom team.

Should I Renovate My House before Selling Up?

Yes, it really is true that certain renovations will often add value to a property’s sale price. However, if you’re mulling over whether to do some work on your property before selling it, you need to consider exactly what’s likely to add value and what isn’t. That way, you won’t waste time on costly improvements that don’t deliver much new value to the house.

Another factor to consider is the rising cost of building work.

In recent years, as demand has outstripped supply, many factors have caused building work and materials to become far more expensive. Make sure you take this into account when considering renovations for the purpose of adding value when selling your house.

What Home Improvements Are the Best Investment before Selling?

Here are some of the top investments you can make when renovating a house for sale, backed up not just by our own extensive experience in the industry but also by statistics from studies, such as Halifax’s 2020 study of the most profitable house improvements and Barbour API’s home improvement reports.

Create More Space with a Loft Conversion

If you’re looking for home improvements that have real value for money, a loft conversion is one of your best bets. Adding a bedroom or two to your property gives it an enormous advantage.

The obvious downside is that the outlay on substantial building work will not be small. You’ll also have to source an architect and gain planning permission before you can contract the construction. Work on a loft conversion takes on average 8-12 weeks. However, if you can deal with all of that the reward could be an increase in your potential sale price by up to 15%.

Update the Kitchen

As the saying goes, ‘the kitchen is the heart of the home’. This certainly seems to ring true with prospective buyers, as kitchen renovations are also at the top of the list of home improvements that add value to a property.

If you’re still wondering if it’s worth renovating a house before selling it in the UK, you could see an increase in value from 5-10% with a full kitchen renovation. That could make the investment seriously worthwhile.

Increase the Curb Appeal

If you gain your potential buyer’s interest right from the first look, psychology tells us that they’re more likely to like the rest of the property. Equally, if they encounter a scruffy, dirty property it will be harder to change their minds about it.

There are several ways you can maximise how appealing your property looks from the pavement:

  • Update the front door – If a prospective buyer is greeted by a dirty door with flaking paint, it sets the tone badly. Replace it with something fresh to increase the wow factor when you look at the house front-on.
  • Tidy up the garden – In the same vein, an unruly garden gives off a bad first impression of your property. Hire a professional gardener if needed to ensure any hedges are trimmed and lawns are maintained.
  • Take care of the paths – Sweep and scrub or jet wash any paths or driveways to get rid of leaves, dirt and debris.
  • Touch up any paintwork – If your house is painted, give it a fresh coat or at the least, a power wash.

Add Extra Living Space With a Conservatory

JonSimon’s property experts see this particular renovation in action frequently. Conservatories can be a great way to add crucial square footage to your property with a simpler installation process than a full house extension.

This is because conservatories do not need the same level of planning permission and are often provided by niche construction companies that can provide them relatively quickly. You could add a significant return on your investment to your property value with a well-constructed conservatory.

Can You Sell a House That Needs Renovation?

Ultimately, the decision to purchase your property rests with the buyer. They can choose to buy it in whatever condition you offer it as long as it is mortgageable.

Things that might cause it not to be mortgageable are:

  • Rising damp
  • Flooding
  • Being structurally unsound
  • The property is unsafe e.g. asbestos is detected

In these particular cases you might be left wondering, should I fix up my house before selling? The answer is that you’ll need to remedy these issues yourself to make it mortgageable to a buyer. Otherwise, you’ll only be able to sell to a cash buyer.

In the majority of cases though, the house will be perfectly mortgageable, even if issues are detected. Once a buyer makes an offer they will commission building surveys from a technical professional. This is to help them get a more accurate picture of the property’s less visible features such as plumbing, wiring and structural integrity.

If a survey reveals an issue – like a broken boiler for example – the buyer may decide to make the purchase of the property dependent on you fixing it. That’s why it’s best to deal with any obvious issues before you put it on the market, to avoid causing delays in your property chain.

JonSimon Makes Selling Up Simple – Book a Free Valuation Today

We’re ready and waiting to get you the best price possible for your property, whether you opt for renovations or not. We’ve helped countless happy clients sell properties in the North West, with the 5-star reviews to prove it. Get in touch with us today to kick off your house sale – just email or call our Burnley, Radcliffe or Ramsbottom team.

If you’re looking for a new property to call home in Manchester or Lancashire, check out our latest property listings.

FAQs about Home Improvements That Add Value

What adds the most value to a bathroom renovation?

It’s not always clear exactly what aspect of a bathroom renovation is what gives it extra value. If you have a limited budget, try to tackle whatever is making the biggest visual impact on the room. For instance, replacing an old, chipped avocado bathroom suite or stained lino flooring. Opt for classic tiling and clean, modern suites to bring a bathroom up to date and add value.

Does a garage add value to a house?

Yes, if you’re renovating a house for sale, even a single garage can add up to 7% to property value.

Does a driveway add value?

This one depends on your property and location. If you live on a road where parking is in short supply, a driveway could be a real boon and add some clear value. However, if you already have a garage or road parking is abundant, it might not be worthwhile.

Does adding a second bathroom add value to a home?

Yes, adding an additional bathroom can make a property worth more to sell. Ensuites in particular are a desirable extra feature in a house that can equate to extra value.

How do I update my house on a budget?

There’s a lot you can do without breaking the bank. As we’ve touched on before, working on the property’s curb appeal alone can really help with buyer perception. A lot of that work might take some elbow grease but isn’t especially expensive and can help if you’re trying to sell a property quickly.

Do I need an EPC to sell my property?

In most cases, yes. Learn more about whether you need an EPC to sell your property in our guide on the subject.

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