First impressions are everything when selling your home.
It's likely a buyer will form an opinion on your property either from its listing photographs or as soon as they pull up outside for a viewing.
And if your home simply doesn't match their hopes or expectations, it could be costing you offers and potentially a quick sale.
The good news is there are host of ways you can add value to your home on a budget and give your property the wow factor when it matters most.
How to add value to your home
While there are many ways to give your property that wow factor, the truth is many of them cost a pretty penny.
But if you're not going to see that money again in terms of added value, it's certainly not money well spent.
Property values largely come down to square footage, so you could consider the following if you have a budget for more substantial work:
* A loft conversion
* An extension
* New kitchen
* New bathroom(s)
* Garden landscaping
But you also want to impress your prospective buyers as soon as they arrive.
After all, it's no good having a stunning new kitchen if the front of your property is overgrown, unkempt and unappealing.
Try these 10 tips for improving your property's kerb appeal, which should help you secure a quick sale and could also add value at the same time...
How to add value to your home on a budget
1. Make sure buyers can find it
'But how does that add value', we hear you cry.
Well, while it might not add value, there's no worse start to a viewing than a buyer who can't find your property.
They'll arrive frustrated and irritated and, frankly, probably won't care what your home looks like on the inside or out.
Make sure you have a clear name or number, on a nice plaque, somewhere visible from the road.
2. Crisp and clean wins the day
Research by Dulux found that home buyers in the UK can be prepared to pay up to 25% more for a property with a fresh coat of exterior paint.
That's a substantial amount of money in anyone's book.
But more than that, a freshly painted property has great appeal and shows that the owner has cared or and looked after the home.
All of this will help shape a good impression in a buyer's mind as soon as they see your home.
3. Tidy up that front door
A front door is one of the main things about your property that stands out from the street.
So, if it's seen better days, consider a paint job or even replacing it.
Buyers will also be looking for signs your home is energy efficient, so a new PVC door to replace the old, peeling wooden one you currently have could be money well spent.
4. Light up your pathway...
OK, so you might not have exterior sockets, but there are a host of solar-powered lights available on the market.
And if you have a pathway with bedding either side, creating an entrance of lights can be both welcoming and provide a feeling of security for buyers - particularly if you are selling in the darker months of the year.
5. ...but clear it first!
Even in the darkening light of autumn or winter, weeds sticking up on a pathway stand out like a sore thumb to buyers.
As do piles of leaves, heavy moss and general wintriness.
Give your pathways and driveway a good jet wash, kill off and remove any weeds and sweep up any leaves from the autumn fall.
6. Tuck bins and bikes out of site
We all have to put the bins out.
But buyers won't want to be reminded of that when they see your house for the first time.
So, put the bins out of sight, alongside any other outdoor clutter like bikes, those ancient trainers you use for gardening and the broom you used to sweep up the pathway leaves.
7. Don't forget the roof and guttering
Any experienced buyer will take a good look upwards at your roof - after all, it's one of the most costly repair jobs associated with owning a house.
A loose tile here and there could be sufficient to put them off, so call in the services of a roofing expert to make sure everything is in place.
And while you're considering your roof's appearance, take a look at your guttering to ensure it's all in place correctly alongside the downpipes.
And clear any downpipe drains of debris.
Damp, or the potential for it, is a big no-no for buyers.
8. Wonderful windows
Windows are one of the most important selling points of your home's exterior as much as its interior.
So, clean them.
A dirty window will not only stop light flooding into your house but it makes its exterior appearance appear uncared-for.
If you still have wooden or sash windows rather than modern UPVC, sand them smooth and give them a lick of fresh paint. You'll be amazed what a difference this makes.
9. Spruce up your garage door
If you have a garage, it's a big selling point.
So, show it off.
Jet wash it down if its suffering from the greenness of autumn and winter and consider painting or wood staining to really make it stand out.
10. Tidy up your neighbours' properties
No, we don't mean all of the above.
But if your neighbour's property looks unkempt and untidy, it can affect how your own home is perceived by buyers.
Try to merge some of your own work with offering to do the same for your neighbour 'while you're there'.
That could mean jet washing their path, trimming a hedge or mowing their lawn.
They'll be grateful and you'll benefit from their property looking as pristine as your own.
Once you have finished all these improvements, why not get an online valuation
of your home to see how much it's worth?