Moving house? It’s all in the details

by | Thursday 30th Jul 2020 | Mortgage Insights

Given everything that’s been going on in the housing market over the last four months, it may be that you’re looking at the various factors at play and thinking that perhaps now is a good time to take the next step on the housing ladder.

With the recent announcement of what is effectively a Stamp Duty holiday for thousands of potential movers, interest and mortgage rates the lowest they’ve been in a generation or more, greater certainty over repayments thanks to the availability of mortgage products fixed for up to 5 or 10 years and pent up demand, moving suddenly seems very attractive to those who can make it work.

The £15,000 saving on Stamp Duty is available on any purchase completed before March 31st 2021 and that will likely be one of the primary triggers for anyone who might have been wavering over taking the plunge into a move.

But there’s a potential downside to the saving on Stamp Duty in that sellers will now be more likely to hold out for a better offer than they might otherwise have accepted before Rishi Sunak’s announcement in early July.

Regardless of how much it will now cost to move, it still makes sense to get your house into shape for potential viewings as this could deliver two benefits: making your house more attractive to would-be buyers and potentially increasing the value of any offer you might receive for it.

Here are simple and relatively inexpensive things you can do that won’t break the bank but may make your house more attractive to would-be buyers.


It’s amazing the transformation that can be achieved simply by putting a fresh coat of paint on the walls and primary woodwork.

Choose neutral colours – you may be proud of the style you’ve created in your home, but buyers need to be able to see the house as a canvas, with all the potential that brings for them to put their own stamp on the property.

If you’ve got tired wallpaper, consider stripping it and painting the walls. Wallpaper goes in and out of fashion, but right now it’s very definitely not on-trend, so if your walls are papered, the finish needs to be excellent.

Similarly, give exterior woodwork a fresh lick of paint where needed.

Tidy the garden

Kerb appeal is important, so if you have a front garden, cut the lawn, get rid of weeds in borders, beds, paths, gravel or paving and cut back anything that is overgrown or untidy.

Add plants in pots for a splash of colour (you can take them with you when you go) and hanging baskets of you’ve got the room, and paint or treat jaded fencing.

And if your front door is painted, give that a fresh coat, too – preferably in a colour that’s warm and welcoming, rather than bold and brassy (unless your property is imposing enough to carry that off).

Ditto the back garden. This is where you need to be able to show the space with all the potential it has so your buyers can see themselves out there once they move in.


Your personal belongings add a sense of personality to your home, but if your knick-knacks are in danger of making the place feel squashed and squeezed then the impression you’re giving is one of a lack of space.

Again, your buyers will be viewing your home with one eye on whether their big four-seater sofa will fit in the lounge. Is there enough shelving space for their books or DVDs? Is there space in the kitchen to prepare food, or is the whole room filled with pots, pans, utensils and gadgets?

Try to view your home as if you were considering moving in again. If it looks crowded or cluttered, remove it temporarily – either to the loft or to a friend or family member’s garage, or to a storage company.

Let the light in

Light is a great aid in selling a home. If it’s warm enough, have the doors and windows open during the viewing (unless you live on a busy street where traffic noise is intrusive).

Even during the day, having a standard or table lamp on can add warmth and depth to natural light, so make the most of it.

Get it clean and tidy!

It sounds obvious but making sure the house is tidy and clean is crucial. If need be, and depending on how committed you are to selling, get a professional cleaning company in to give the property a really good deep clean.

Similarly, if you have the budget to do it, it’s worth getting upholstery and carpets professionally cleaned before you start arranging viewings.

A clean and tidy house that benefits from spruced-up décor and a welcoming garden will always make it easier for someone else to imaging living in that property.

This list is designed to offer you inexpensive and easy ways to make your house more saleable and encourage a higher offer.

Of course, there are other ways to leverage extra value – but they come at a price and are more intrusive. Nevertheless, it’s worth bearing in mind that in some cases it’s possible to add up to 30% to the value of your home through a loft conversion, extension, garage conversion or getting planning permission for a desirable feature, such as off-street parking.

If you’re interested in exploring your options when it comes to moving, get in touch and talk to our friendly expert team.

Oportfolio Limited is an appointed representative of Primis Mortgage Network, a trading name of First Complete Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority

Your property may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

Oportfolio Ltd fees are payable on application. We charge a broker fee for property purchases of £495 and a remortgage/further advance fee of £395. Our product transfer fee is £295.

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