Property: DIY tips

As well as major home improvements likely to add value and make your home more sellable, there’s a lot you can do to make it more appealing to buyers without spending too much.

It’s said that neutral decor sells homes and, of course, it does because neutral colours aren’t offensive to the eye and if buyers want to inject colour and pattern, it’s easy to imagine doing so.

Neutral doesn’t, by any means, have to be bland and boring - it’s all about how you put the look together with accessories, flooring and furniture. Even if neutral isn’t your taste, it’s the safest bet for sale, as anything else is more subjective.

It’s not just neutral walls and ceilings that have wide appeal - flooring is also important. Forget patterned carpets and lino (unless it’s fashionable stripes) and replace any dated or tatty floor coverings with plain and neutral ones - they needn’t be expensive. It’s easy to live with unfinished DIY jobs, but once you’ve decided to put your home on the market, dodgy DIY is a no-no. It can put off buyers and make them think they’ll need to spend more time and money than they necessarily will. If you can’t do the jobs yourself, get a pro in - it will be money well spent. Even if you’ve finished the DIY, you need to keep on top of it because things deteriorate. Common problems include marks on walls that won’t scrub off, hairline cracks that keep opening and chipped painted woodwork. Things like this can make your home look shabbier than it needs to, so going from room to room with a fresh eye and putting right the problems is time well spent.

It’s also worth scrutinising the outside of your home. Exterior maintenance is easy to overlook, but it’s something a buyer’s survey will pick up on, so it’s worth pre-empting any remedial work. . Not maintaining the exterior of your home can also lead to problems inside, such as damp caused by missing or slipped roof tiles, or blocked guttering.