A painted fence will sell your house quicker than the smell of fresh coffee

Home owners looking for a quick sale will get more value from making small repairs around the house instead of putting fresh flowers in the lounge or making sure there are roasted coffee beans in the kitchen. Buyers are now more aware of problems which might cost them money, such as doors that need replacing or a fence in need of some paint.

The latest Home Improvement Survey from HSBC found that over half of homeowners plan to spend part of the summer on home improvements. The survey makes interesting reading as it contrasts the beliefs of homeowners with those of property specialists

The survey found that nearly two thirds of professional valuers believed that keeping the house clean and uncluttered produced the best results. Keeping the grass cut and completing minor repairs also had a noticeable effect on reselling. In contrast, over 60% of homeowners thought that cleaning the windows was effective, but only 20% felt that repainting a damaged door would make any difference.

A commonly held belief that fresh flowers inside had a positive effect on buyers was kicked to touch by the property experts; only 7% of valuers thought it a good idea, whereas nearly 40% of homeowners thought freshly cut flowers would have an impact. However 20% of both groups thought that new flowers outside or on terraces would have some effectiveness.

Another finding in the survey was that the estimated increase in value as a result of renovations was usually overestimated. With a better educated market, buyers are now figuring into their offers the actual cost of improvements rather than any inflated figure because of the renovations.