Prime property markets are expensive, but they are also expanding. Buyers who cannot afford the top tier areas naturally turn their attention to the most affordable neighbour. This shift towards up-and-coming postcodes drives prices in those areas up, creating more prime markets. Indeed, the total value of homes across the UK has risen £543 billion in the past year alone, according to Savills, climbing to £5.75 trillion.
This spread of wealth leaves some homeowners with a relatively modest home in an upmarket area, which can be highly favourable until the time comes to sell up and move on. How can you make the most of your postcode and sell at the best price possible?
Here are 12 steps to pimp your property:
1. Clean up the outside
The outside of the home is where your first impression is created. With posh palaces either side of you, or stunning mansions across the street, making your exterior as classy as possible should be top of your to-do list. Landscaping can help, if you have the funds to hire a professional.
2. Say it with flowers
After ensuring that the outside is attractive, bring that luxury inside with flowers. Freshly cut are preferable, although even artificial flowers can help to reinforce that impression you created in the front garden.
Accessories can be an effective way to add value to a room: large cushions or a colourful throw can give your property a luxurious feel.
4. Go for silver, not gold
Accessorising your property can involve mirrors or photo frames. If this is the case, avoid gold and opt for silver instead: this will maintain the glamorous atmosphere without over-stepping into garish or gaudy territory.
5. Light it up
Upscaling your lights can brighten your asking price considerably. Rather than chandeliers, though, consider colourful or stylish lampshades, as a subtler addition to your interior decor's texture.
6. Get a new paint job
A new lick of paint is good for any property, big or small. If you are worried about overloading the palette of your rooms, though, try a simple white: it will help to make your property look larger and more spacious from the inside, as well as highlighting the contrasting colour of the rest of your decor.
7. Replace the floorboards
Carpets can be thick and luxurious for your feet, but hardwood flooring can make your home look much more expensive than it is, combining with the white walls to create a wealthy, minimalist impression.
8. Hang your curtains high
High ceilings are a sign of prestige in the property world. You cannot change the height of your ceilings, but you can hang your curtains as high as possible, to help give the air of sophistication.
9. Handles and knobs
New handles and knobs for all your cupboards - kitchen or otherwise - can make any faded or battered door look like new.
10. Remove clutter
Clutter is always the enemy of any home seller, but is vital if trying to convince a buyer to pay more than you did for your home. Pristine and premium go hand in hand.
11. Hire a professional stager
If you are not confident in being able to present your room(s) in the most attractive, up-market manner, why not consider hiring someone to do it for you? A professional stager can effectively stage your property for both property listing photos and home viewings.
12. Price realistically
All of the above steps will help to boost your home's value - and ensure that you can benefit, rather than suffer, from being surrounded by more expensive properties. The most important thing, though, is to price your home realistically: observe the market trends, but also be honest about what your home is worth. If more buyers are attracted as a result, competition can still drive up your price tag; it is always in your favour to see a figure increase rather decrease. Slashing a house price to secure a buyer? That is the fastest way to make your home seem cheaper than it is.