Seller advice: Top tips for showing off a small home

With more people working from home at least part of the time now, the demand for properties with a study or home-office space has increased – but if your property does not have this extra space you should not be too hasty to plan an addition or renovation before trying to sell.

That’s the advice of Berry Everitt, CEO of the Chas Everitt International property group, who says there is currently also excellent demand for well-priced smaller properties – especially among first-time buyers who are keen to move to established suburbs close to good schools and workplaces – and that adding on would, in many cases, just make your property too expensive for such buyers.

Writing in the Property Signposts newsletter, he says there is also a growing trend among busy young executives and professionals to deliberately seek out smaller homes in upmarket suburbs so that they can enjoy the advantages of living in such areas without maintenance or security becoming too much of a burden.

“In addition, there are many retirees who don’t want to leave a familiar area, but would be delighted to downsize from a large family home to a smaller property that is easier to manage.

“Consequently, we recommend that rather than make any expensive alterations, home sellers should focus on ensuring that the space they do have is well presented to potential buyers, both online and during viewings. This is what will really give their home the edge over others in the same price range.”

And while the number-one way to make a small home look bigger and more appealing is to get rid of all forms of clutter, Everitt says, there are many other cost-effective strategies that owners can also employ. These include:

* Painting walls and ceilings in light colours and hanging light curtains and blinds;

* Removing unnecessary items of furniture and adding mirrors to give rooms more depth;

* Using tall, narrow lamps and planters that take up less floor space and add an impression of height; and

* If possible, incorporating an outside entertainment area into the “living space” through the use of sliding doors.

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