Your total floor area – make every square foot count

Your total floor area – make every square foot count blogpost by AshdownJones estate agents in the Lakes and Dales

Let’s talk about the floor area of your house.

We’ve been to a couple of homes recently where they have at least one or two rooms that the homeowners are not using.  Although this may fit their lifestyle, and the way they use the house, when potential buyers come to see that home, they can often dismiss those ‘unused’ rooms. The average price per square foot in the South Lakes at the moment, is around £300. That means if we’re talking say, a 100 square foot box room, it could potentially be worth £30,000 to that homeowner.

Our advice is to think about how a potential buyer might use that room, and try to set it up in that way.

We have clear, colour-coded floorplans on all our brochures. These not only allow a buyer to see the accommodation and layout in advance of a viewing, they also help them to remember the house, after they have viewed. It’s easy to forget an unused room, so the floorplan acts as a reminder, so they can see every room and space it contains. We also include the total floor area on all of our floorplans, which means that a buyer can see how much house is on offer for the money being asked.

We were once asked to see a house that wasn’t selling, and one of the reasons for the lack of an offer in the two years it had been on the market, was because out of their five bedrooms, three were being used as studies and hobby rooms. This left buyers with the impression that the house only had two bedrooms, which made it look overpriced. And that was partly to blame for the fact this couple had not yet had any serious interest in the house. We kept one of the bedrooms as a study, and presented the other four as bedrooms. Along with a few minor changes we made in other parts of the house, the result was an offer within two months of going back on the market with us, and the owners are now enjoying their new two bedroomed home in Kendal! It’s important to give a buyer what they really want, which in this case was a four or five bedroomed home, because showing it as a two bedroomed house had the impact of making the house look overpriced.

If you’re getting feedback that your house is too big, it could be that buyers just can’t imagine themselves living there, because how you are presenting your rooms is not the way they would use them. You need to help them envision their lives in your home, by mirroring the way your most likely buyer will use each room. For example, if your current dining room is being used as a junk room, clear it out and add a dining table and chairs. If you use your conservatory to dry laundry, make sure it’s all away and out of sight for viewings, and that your conservatory looks like one you might see in a brochure, with wicker furniture and a relaxing feel. Conversely, you could also be getting feedback from your viewings that your house is too small for the asking price, or that your house is overpriced. Both these are red flags, telling you that you are not maximising the space you have so that buyers can appreciate just how much house is on offer.

Most buyers are not able to see past the way you use your home, and envisage instead the way that they might use it. And if they are viewing other homes which are presented in a way that fits their needs better, they don’t need to make the effort to imagine yours differently.  So to stand above the other properties on the market and show buyers that yours could be their dream home, you need to make every square foot count. That means keeping floor areas, and even large surfaces, clear and simple, so a viewer can easily see each room and how it might work for them. It’s worth spending some time now on making sure your home is presented as best it can be, because you’ll reap the rewards down the line when it sells.

If you’d like to know more about how we calculate the price per square foot of a house, and what that could mean for the value of your home, we’d love to talk you through our process. It will only take a few minutes, and we can probably do it over the phone. Just give us a call on 015394 88811 and let’s get you moving.

Click here to see a video of Sam and Phil explaining this challenge.

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