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Boost your asking price with a home office

01 September 2020

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The impact of lockdown has highlighted the benefits of a south-facing garden, significant outdoor space and fast broadband speeds when selling a home.
And, with more people working from home to adhere to government guidelines, the provision of a home office has become equally important.
Below, we take a look at the latest findings to explore how providing a home office could boost the asking price of your home considerably.

What does the research suggest?

A home office set up in a dedicated room could add £17,500 to your property’s value, according to research carried out by Direct Line Insurance.
When looking at property listings, the insurance firm found the average price of a home with a dedicated workspace is £456,500, 4% higher than equivalent properties in the area.
What’s more, a survey of estate agents by the same company showed that 73% now say an allocated home office can enhance the desirability of a home substantially.
Some 35% of listings include studies and dedicated office rooms, while sellers are also recognising external studios (29%), converted lofts (9%) and even landings or mezzanines (6%) as alternative ‘home office space’.
The research also found that, with new working patterns and styles triggered by the pandemic, outbuildings and sheds have the greatest potential to be converted into offices, boosting prices ‘considerably’.
In fact, many agents will now recommend their sellers to describe garages and large landings as being ‘ripe for office conversion’ when listing their home on the market.

Why is workspace important in the home?

Despite the rapid rise in remote working caused by the pandemic, Direct Line says that just one in 10 of those working from home have a pre-existing workspace at home.
For most, this has meant setting up a desk, table or even ironing board in their living room (19%) a spare bedroom (19%), their own bedroom (16%) dining room (10%) or the kitchen (9%).
The importance of home office space will become even more heightened in the months and years to come, with employer surveys suggesting that one in seven current remote workers expect never to return to the office.
This is likely to encourage some people to start searching for a property with a comfortable and relaxing workspace.
As a seller, if your home provides such a space, or a room that could easily be converted into an office, then it could be a winner for buyers, and you may be able to charge a higher asking price.

Creating an ideal office space

If you have a spare room that is currently unused, then now could be the perfect time to convert this space into a home office and improve the appeal of your property.
This won’t take much time, effort, money or expertise. A fresh lick of paint, a desk (either bought or upcycled), an office chair, a few shelves and cupboards can instantly transform the space from scratch.
Ensure that the office space is light, airy and decorated with neutral colours. You may want to include a few lamps if the room struggles for natural light and incorporate some candles or air fresheners for an added sense of calm and serenity.
Equally, a garage could be converted in a few simple, inexpensive steps, which will reap rewards long-term. Of course, you will need to make sure that you pick the right glazing and that the area stays cool at all times.
Consider some garden-friendly décor – such as using a timber interior finish and medium-density fireboard (MDF) panelling – as well as some potted plants and flowers to create a harmonious feel.
Lastly, speak with your agent and make sure that a dedicated workspace is a prominent feature in any property descriptions and then the virtual and physical viewings themselves. It is likely to be a major selling point in this new normal, so don’t be afraid to boast about it.
If you require any further advice on selling a property over the coming months in Essex, East London and Kent, please get in touch with us today and we will assist you in the safest possible manner.
You can also request a free and instant online valuation to get an idea of how much your property could be worth on the current market.

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