Make the most of the post-lockdown housing boom

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The economy may be in tatters thanks to coronavirus, but the property market is experiencing an unprecedented post-lockdown boom with UK house prices hitting a record high.

The average home is now worth £245,747 and, according to a report by Halifax property prices are now 5.2 per cent higher than the same month a year earlier and property values up by 1.6 per cent month on month.

In turn the government’s stamp duty cut, that could potentially save buyers up to £15,000 in tax if they move before April 2021, is encouraging more people to make that move.

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However, with experts predicting the mini housing boom is unlikely to continue for any length of time, due to increasing job losses and other economic downturns, now may be the time to bite the bullet and stick up the ‘for sale’ sign for home owners who have been sitting on the fence.

Plot89,Burghfield, Reading, Miller Homes SouthernPlot89,Burghfield, Reading, Miller Homes Southern
Plot89,Burghfield, Reading, Miller Homes Southern

Debbie Whittingham, Miller Homes Yorkshire sales director, said: “According to reports, it is estimated 450,000 renters and buyers are looking to move in the UK this year and, with the stamp duty holiday plus a range of incentives to help people buy a new home, including Miller Homes’s mortgage-free for six months and low reservation fee on selected properties along with the Government's help-to-buy scheme for those who meet the qualifying criteria, now really is a good time to make that move.

“With that in mind, and for people with a home to sell, it is a good idea to ensure that their current property is ‘sale ready’.

"That’s why we’ve put together a few tips on how to spruce up a home making it attractive to potential buyers.”

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The team at Miller recommends nine top tips to get your house ready for the market and it starts with painting over statement walls.

Debbie Whittingham, Miller Homes Yorkshire Sales Director Debbie Whittingham, Miller Homes Yorkshire Sales Director
Debbie Whittingham, Miller Homes Yorkshire Sales Director

Loved by homeowners, but not potential buyers, big splashes of paint on statement walls are a big no-no when it comes to selling up.

The Miller team says: “If you have any of these in your house, be sure to paint over so you neutralise the room.

“Recent research reported that 52 per cent of people thought dark blue walls reduced a house’s value, while 49 per cent thought the same for dark grey.

“Our advice – make it light to keep it bright.”

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Decluttering is another simple step to help prepare your property for the market.

The team said: “If you’re not using something during the time you’re selling, it needs to go. Find a new home for it by selling online, or even donating to a charity shop.

“Potential buyers need to visualise their belongings in your house and if you have too many obstructions it will hinder their imagination.

Decluttering the garden and jet washing patios and drives is just as important as the house and can enhance that all important kerb-appeal.

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“Cut back borders and hedges to reveal more of your garden and maximise space. Wow your buyers with the outdoor space they could have if they sign on the dotted line.”

Attention to detail is key when showing your home to potential buyers, so cleaning your bathroom grout is a must.

“By steaming and cleaning your grout, your bathroom will sparkle and immediately feel like it has a new lease of life.”

Lockdown restrictions may make you reluctant to book face-to-face meetings with estate agents, but by utilising technology you can embrace virtual tours.

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Miller says: “There is plenty of technology on hand to help you value your house.

“Through Facetime or Skype, you can show local estate agents around the house virtually while they are at home too, helping them see what they will be selling for you in the future.

“Follow up with pictures if they need to see anything else before giving you an estimate on its value.

“When the time is right, you can ask them around for a visit in person to finalise the details.”

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During this time, when it is not possible for an estate agent to visit to value the property and take the necessary pictures, then you can help them out.

During moments of sunny weather, take as many different photos of the sunniest rooms and places in the house.

Having amazing sunny pictures on websites like Rightmove or Zoopla might be the difference between someone just browsing, to actually arranging a viewing.

Meanwhile unsightly wall cracks will draw more attention than flowers or the smell of fresh coffee.

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Miller says: “You can quickly and easily fill in any cracks around the house with Polyfilla. Once dry, paint over.”

Savvy potential buyers will explore every nook and cranny, including your oven.

Miller says: “This is no time to use it as hidden storage, but it is the time to give it a good clean.”