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How to sell your home during Brexit uncertainty

Updated: Nov 7, 2020

With attention to detail that creates impressive finishes

If you believe the recent press reports about our brand new Prime Minister Boris Johnson, some people get the job despite their apparent lack of attention to detail. But on this project, my precision and accuracy was exactly why the client hired me. Why? Because like many people at the moment, this particular client wants to sell his home at a time when the UK housing market is at it’s weakest point since the global financial crisis a decade ago, as Brexit uncertainty puts off buyers according to leading estate agent Savills. His strategy? Give the house the Xfactor by adding beautifully restored and high quality features all delivered with precision, attention to detail and accuracy in order to successfully navigate the current housing market.

The project is a 16th century timber-oaked cottage and here’s a few ways that I’ve created impressive finishes...

16th century timber-framed cottage in Didcote

Like all old properties, this cottage not only boasts several exquisite original features, but over time previous owners have also included modern additions. The client asked me to do a number of relatively small things like refit the treads on the oak staircase, install panelling on the inside of a wardrobe to make it more attractive and add oak shelves in various parts of the property, all of which are very straight forward to do. But my favourite part of this project has to be the designing and fitting of oak flooring in the bathroom and master bedroom as well as installing tongue and groove panelling around the bathtub with awkward and tight corners because this is where patience, flexibility and commitment to the property come in extremely useful.

In both rooms, it goes without saying that in a 16th century cottage no walls are straight, nothing is level and I’m often working in small, confined spaces. I love the challenge of translating a client’s vision, often ambitious and complex, into a result that people will look at and wonder how someone else could have achieved it. And in this instance, those people could be potential buyers of the property.

In both the bathroom and the master bedroom the floors needed a major overhaul. Old, tired tiles lay on the floor of the bathroom and in the master bedroom, a pre-existing oak floor put down years ago that had by now dried out and shrunk, had left at least a 2cm gap between the boards which is way too wide and certainly not the neat, tight and tidy look that is needed. So the big job on this project was to install an engineered, oak floor over the top of the previously laid flooring in both rooms where the new flooring must go underneath the existing skirting without removing it.. A new oak floor throughout much of the first floor will look absolutely sensational when people step into the rooms to view them, especially when they are laid with real attention to the detail of the colours, grains and patterns that you get with any timber that naturally comes in different shades. On this job as with all jobs, I was super careful to choose the boards to make sure they match perfectly throughout the entire rooms. Both solid wood and engineered wooden flooring do look beautiful in bedrooms and bathrooms, and give the rooms that popular authentic and traditional feel that many people desire, but need to be laid with absolute precision.

I was also asked to design, make and install tongue and groove paneling around the bathtub with a bullnose trim that I made in my workshop which covers the lip between the paneling and the bath. I made this from moisture-resistant MDF once I’d already fitted the paneling to give the whole bathroom a really polished finish.

With all the various aspects of this project, the cottage is now looking refined with its enhanced look and features and the client is over the moon with the final finishing touches we’ve given it. The house is going on the market in the next few weeks, and I’ll keep you posted how the sale goes!

If you’re looking to sell your home and think that a few enhancements here and there might help, here are my 3 top favourite ways to make your house even more appealing to prospective buyers:

1. Redecorate and complete easy enhancements: It’s best to fix all superficial defects before people come round to view your property. While unlikely to be the clinching factor in a house sale, small problems and defects can create an impression of a house being run down or not well cared for. Things to look out for include peeling paint, squeaky floors, doors or stairs and badly fitted laminate flooring. All of which are easy to solve and not costly.

2. Replace or restore doors and windows: First impressions count. Make sure the outside of the house is welcoming. The front door of your home can say a lot about the rest of the house to viewers seeing it for the first time. If you cannot afford to replace the door or window, make sure it looks new by giving it a power wash or a fresh lick of paint. Even a new doorknob, house number or name sign can help. Try to make your front door and windows look smarter than your neighbours’! And hang attractive looking interior doors too that are in keeping with the rest of the house.

3. Do bigger projects: These could include a loft conversion, adding a conservatory, converting a garage or installing a whole new kitchen or bathroom. In fact, 22% of homes sold in 2019 had an extension added increasing a property's value and making them more appealing to buyers.

If your house needs a little attention to detail to create impressive finishes and beautiful interiors, get in touch with me, Stef Socki The Charming Restorer at for advice and help on all the possibilities.


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