Is it worth renovating your house before selling?

January 9th, 2024

Should you renovate your house before selling it? While there’s no doubt renovations can add value, are they really worth the hassle and cost involved? We weigh in on this debate to help you decide what you should do. Truthfully, the answer will depend largely on your individual circumstances. Let’s find out more.

Should I renovate my house before selling it? 

We’ll take a look at both sides of the debate to help you make your decision. 

Homeowners may not be able to realise the true potential value of a bigger renovation in the immediate term, so weighing up what you spend, in line with when you plan to move, is a key consideration.

Benefits of Selling After Renovations 

So, what are the benefits of renovating your home? 

#1 – Adds value 

Possibly the most important reason for renovating before selling is that it usually adds value to your home and makes it saleable and more appealing.  This means you could potentially sell your house for more money (depending on what you spend and when you sell). 

For example, adding an extension (e.g. a loft conversion) could boost property value by 20%.

#2 – More space

One of the most popular home improvement trends post-pandemic is adding more space. This is actually something that buyers are looking for. In fact, many people are unsure whether to extend or move, as space is so desirable. 

So, if you can create more space, such as a bigger kitchen or another bedroom, you might be able to attract more buyers. 

#3 – Modernises 

Particularly if you have an older property, taking the time to renovate it could be worth doing. Buyers are becoming more eco-conscious and looking for properties that meet the demands of climate change.

So much so, that a high energy efficiency rating can actually boost property value. Raising your EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) from a G rating to a higher A rating, can raise property value by as much as 14%. But, consider what it would cost you to do this.

Difficulties of Renovations Before Selling

Of course, there are two sides to this argument. What are the downsides to renovating before you sell?

#1 – Costs money

While it might boost property value, this isn’t guaranteed. But, renovations will definitely cost money. 

For example, depending on the size and location of your property, an extension could cost up to £120,000. Planning might be essential for any major renovation project.

You need to weigh up costs vs. expected outcome: is it worth renovating?

#2 – Costs time 

If you’re looking to move quickly, for example for a new job, investing time into renovating your property might not be an option. 

Also, it’s important to note that renovating will delay you from beginning the sales process. These projects can often run wildly over time and budget. So, if you’re looking to strike while the iron’s hot (for example when buyer demand is high), renovating could slow things down. 

Best home improvements before selling

Not all renovations were made equal. If you’ve decided you’re going down the renovation route, where should you focus your attention?

Some of the best include:

  • Energy saving home improvements (to boost your EPC rating)
    • New boiler
    • Insulation 
    • Double glazing 
  • Fixing leaking taps
  • Structural issues
    • Subsidence 
    • Rising damp
    • Leaking roof
    • Structural cracks
  • Fixing loose tiles or floorboards
  • Improving the garden

Even if you think you’re handy with a toolbox, it might be a good idea to call the professionals in. Shoddy DIY can knock value off your property, or cost more money to fix. 

Can you sell a house that needs renovating?

You can definitely still sell a house that needs renovating! Some buyers are looking for a fixer-upper, or simply to make the property their own. But, depending on the size and scope of the renovation project, it might put some buyers off.

If you’re looking for a faster, more secure way to sell your home, an online property auction might be the answer. You can discuss this with your agent. They’re not just for run-down properties, but for all of them, and they can open the market to a higher number of buyers. 

Considerations for period properties 

While updating period properties can be a good idea, for example making them more energy efficient, you need to make sure you don’t do anything to devalue the property. Certain materials or frames might be inappropriate, as you don’t want to lose your home’s original features.

It might be a good idea to invest the time into restoring and showcasing these features, e.g:

  1. Fireplaces
  2. Parquet flooring
  3. Sconces 
  4. Decorative mouldings

What if you live in a listed building?

If you live in a listed building or have any restrictive covenants, you might be limited in terms of what changes you can make to your home. The conditions of what you can and can’t do should be written into the property deeds. 

Do you need planning permission?

You might not need planning permission for certain renovations, but you must always check, never assume! Don’t run the risk of having to remove any work that you’ve paid for, and wasting the money. 

Look at your individual situation

The answer to whether you should renovate your house before selling ultimately depends on your current circumstances. You need to consider:

  • Can you afford to renovate?
    • Do you have savings, or will you need to take out a home improvement loan?
  • How much is your home worth?
  • How is the property market behaving: is it ‘hot’ or ‘cold’?
  • Are you happy to wait until renovations are complete?

Is redecorating enough?

In some cases, you may not need to renovate, but giving your property a facelift is often a good idea. No buyer wants to see peeling paint or cracks in the wall! 

Help your property make the best impression possible by refreshing it: even if it’s just a fresh lick of paint. 

I hope this post is useful to you. Please do let me know if you have anything to add, and I will gladly consider it and add to the article if it helps my readers and don’t forget, if you need further advice/assistance or would like to reach out you can find my contact details below. 

Josephine – Your Trusted London Property Partner

Tel    : +44 (0) 7491 430055