Sprucing up your home in the months before you go on the market can be a wise investment of your time. Here are some worthwhile changes you could consider to increase your chances of selling your property quickly, and those unlikely to bring you a return.

Think in terms of light and space.


Think bookcases, cupboards and shelves. The good news is thinning out and getting rid of things you no longer need saves you a job when you move. Think about the gaze points in the room. Is too much catching the eye? What could you remove? Occasional chairs and standard lamps are regular offenders. While useful, nests of tables are simply floor blockers when it comes to viewings. Pop them into temporary storage; it’s an inexpensive way to make a room look less crowded. “If in doubt, move it out.”

Go neutral

Redecorate dark rooms in pale, fashionable, neutral colours. Consider replacing any dated heavily patterned carpet with moderately priced muted tones. Re-carpeting is less hassle than you think and can make a staggering difference. Banish brightly coloured rugs to storage too, they draw the eye and take the focus away from the room. Similarly, plain, light bedding is the best option for a non-cluttered look.

Replace basic plastic fittings

If you have basic plastic light switches and plug sockets change them for fresh, modern ones or fittings sympathetic with the age and character of your building. There are a number of good architectural ironmongers in Edinburgh.

Create bike storage

Nearly half the tenement flats we see have a bike in them.  Consider adding a clever bike storage pulley or rack, so that any bike can be lifted up and out of the way. A space saver and plus point in one.

Direct access to the garden

A big selling feature for any tenement is direct access to the garden. If you live on the ground floor could you turn a kitchen window into a patio door?  Patio doors can cost as little as £3.5K and direct access could add significantly more to the value of your property. Just remember, you will need building consent and if you look out onto a common green the patio doors will have to open inwards, not outwards.

Tidy up the entrance

The entryphone system is the first thing a viewer sees. Re-labelling all the names so they are neat and in the same typeface gives an ordered first impression. The same goes for the communal stairs, make sure they are clean and tidy, and any bikes that are locked to the railings gathering dust for over a year are removed. For kerbside appeal, consider giving the front door a lick of paint, and adding a splash of colour with bright flowers in pots.

Knocking through

A number of tenement properties we have seen recently have successfully created an open plan living space by knocking through from the internal kitchen or box room to the sitting room. To do this you will need a building warrant, and don’t forget that while the cost of knocking through may be low, relocating radiators, plug points and kitchen units can add up. Do your sums, and don’t be afraid to ask your solicitor for their advice before you start. 

Repurposing garage space

Most people no longer use their garage to store a car. Turning part of the garage into a utility room can work well and free up valuable space in the kitchen. However, converting the whole space into a bedroom doesn’t always work to your advantage as the space created can end up cold and poorly lit, with narrow door access.

Create a desk area

Although laptops and tablets have freed us up to work anywhere, the reality is, we’re not yet free from the tyranny of wires. Printers, broadband points and all the other messy stuff needs a home. Could you create a useful desk space in an unused alcove, understair cupboard or spot on the landing?

Call your roofer 

Have your roof checked before the Home Report is done. Ask the roofer to tidy up any loose slates, clear the gutters and fix any flashings. All relatively straightforward jobs that can help your Home Report.

Think about energy efficiency

Ask your electrician to replace your old fuse box with a modern consumer unit. It’s a relatively simple job, one less thing for prospective buyers to worry about and will boost the energy rating in your Home Report. Replacing halogen light bulbs with LEDs is another good idea.

If you’re thinking of selling, why not sign-up for our regular property alerts to see what other people have done with properties similar to your own? 

Posted by
Richard Loudon


0131 525 8616

All our properties are featured on ESPC rightmove On The Market

Simpson & Marwick is the trading name of the Residential Property Division of Clyde & Co (Scotland) LLP, a limited liability partnership registered in Scotland under number SO305618 and with its registered office at Albany House, 58 Albany Street, Edinburgh, EH1 3QR, United Kingdom. Clyde & Co (Scotland) LLP is authorised and regulated by the Law Society of Scotland and uses the word "partner" to refer to a member of the LLP, or an employee or consultant with equivalent standing and qualifications. A list of members is available at:clydeco.com.