As the weather continues to heat up heading further into spring, so too does the property market, with activity accelerating throughout one of the busiest periods of the year for buyers and sellers alike. If you're selling, getting your home 'sale ready' will be one of your first tasks - here's how, according to eXp UK.
eXp UK has curated a homeowner’s guide to springtime maintenance, outlining the most important things home sellers need to proactively check in order to get their home market ready and how much they should expect to spend on these important tasks.
There is an oft-used rule of thumb that the annual maintenance bill for a home is around 1% of the property’s value. Based on the current average UK house price of £289,818, that’s £2,898.
However, different seasons of the year bring different maintenance issues for homeowners to consider and, as we enter spring, there are lots of proactive checks that owners can do to ensure their home is in top condition and to avoid any small issues growing into major, expensive concerns.
After a winter of freezing temperatures, snow, and pouring rain, the first priority on your springtime maintenance checklist should be the roof. Has it sustained any damage? If so, it’s always better to spot it early rather than letting it get worse until you find yourself with serious leaks and drafts next winter.
A roof inspection should cost you around £250, and a full roof survey costs around £400.
Gutters and drainage
Keeping gutters clean and clear of debris is essential to ensure that they effectively move water away from the home. Block gutters or downpipe drainage can result in serious damp issues.
Getting your gutters professionally cleaned will cost about £200 for an average-sized house. If the gutters or downpipes are damaged and sections need replacing, you can expect to pay between £25-£50 per square metre. This is a pittance compared to fixing any damp issues that blocked gutters can lead to.
Windows and frames
Winter weather, not least freezing temperatures, can cause serious issues for window frames and panes, from cracks to moisture ingress and condensation.
Window frames need to be checked for early signs of rot. If found, a quick patch repair is much cheaper than letting the rot set in and having to replace the entire frame.
Check that all of the seals around the window panes and frames are in good condition to avoid letting the outside weather in and avoid blown panes which are when moisture has slipped in between the gaps and caused the glass to go misty and opaque. If a pane needs to be replaced, it can cost up to £145, so spotting issues early is essential.
Damp and mould
If there is too much moisture in the home and not enough ventilation, damp and mould can quickly set in. After a long winter when the windows have rarely been open, it’s vital to do a thorough check of the home.
It’s highly recommended that, if you find any signs of damp or mould, you call an expert. They will be able to assess the true extent of the damage and suggest the most efficient way of rectifying the issues. To remove mould from the home, you can expect to pay around £440.
Having pests in the home is largely out of your control. It’s nothing to do with hygiene or cleanliness. And aside from the issue of mice, common spring pests include root maggots, wireworms, flea beetles, and aphids.
If you have even the slightest suspicion that your home might be infested with bug pests, call an expert straight away before the issue worsens. You should expect to pay around £230 a day for a pest control professional, but if they help you nip an infestation in the bud, it’s money well spent.
After a cold winter, you need to check over the external brickwork of your home to make sure there aren’t any cracks appearing between the bricks that need repointing.
Get this check done in spring so that you don’t find yourself in another winter with cracked brickwork. To repoint brickwork, you can expect to pay £50-£60 per square metre.
It’s likely that your garden has been somewhat neglected over winter. Now that the weather is warming up, get out there and pay it some love and attention. There’s probably weeding to be done, bushes to be trimmed, and debris to be tidied.
This is all particularly important if you’re planning to sell your home. If you can, it’s best to get out there yourself and do this work, but should you want to hire a gardener, you can expect to pay about £27 per hour.
While you’re in the mood, why not deep clean those areas of the home that rarely get much attention? Examples include behind the fridge, under the dishwasher, carpets, curtains, and blinds.
You’ll be amazed at what a difference it can make, and the diligent process of cleaning the home will help you stumble across any problems that need fixing and would otherwise have been missed.
Adam Day, Head of eXp UK, commented: “There is no better time to give your home a good inspection than the start of spring. If you’re thinking of putting your home on the market, which lots of people do at this time of year, or simply want to make sure it remains in tip-top shape, giving it a once over now means any damage caused during the winter can be caught early and remedied before getting any worse.
"Plus, we’re all too busy to worry about such issues during summer - school’s out and there are holidays to go on - which means, before you know it, it’s winter again. The last thing you want to be doing is fixing a broken roof tile after bitter rain has already started pouring down.”