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Want to sell your house? Then it’s time to renovate – January 2013

Home owners are breathing a sigh of relief. The darkest days of the recession may be over. As the Bank of England upgraded its economic forecast and Sir Mervyn King announced that “a recovery is in sight”, the property world began to chirrup and the nesting instinct kicked in. Now could be the best time for years to spend, mend and extend.
This is particularly true for owners who want to sell. “These days, buyers want properties that are oven-ready. For sellers, this means it’s worth spending money,” says Luke Brady of Savills in Bath. “Selling is not only about price but it’s also about saleability, and the competition between sellers rather than buyers.
“As there are fewer buyers in the market, it has never been more important to be the best house. If you take two properties priced at £650,000, the one that is finished to the higher standard is the one that will sell.”
The Government is doing its best to encourage us all to get building and smartening. It has introduced plans that would allow home owners to build conservatories or extensions stretching 26ft from the home without having to get planning permission (though it has since agreed that they should get approval from their immediate neighbours first). From total renovations to converted garages, new kitchens or just a coat of paint, many of us are finally going ahead with home improvements we have sat on for too long.

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