December 2, 2020
Revealed – why a home office can help you to sell your property
One of the biggest changed priorities for buyers has been the desire for office space. With so much of the population now working from home, comfortable workspace has become a must. Along with a garden, it has become the must-have feature since Covid first broke out.
Here, we analyse the importance of home office space if you’re selling. And how you can present it in the right way.
Work from home boom
During the height of the first lockdown, nearly half (46.6%) of the adult working population of the UK did some work from home. Meanwhile, more than half of people living in London (57.2%) did some work at home.
These figures were up hugely on the numbers seen in the year before. It was driven up by the instruction to stay at home.
Since the government reintroduced its work from home if you can mantra, the number of people working exclusively from home increased again from 21% to 24%. So nearly a quarter of the population. There is also 16% of people who are neither working from home nor at their workplace. This includes those who have been furloughed.
According to the ONS data, the number of people exclusively working remotely hit a high of 38% in mid-June. Although the statistics were only collected from the middle of May so miss out nearly two months of lockdown.
With the second national lockdown, the number of people working remotely rose again. Although it did not hit the heights of the first shutdown. Places of work – including estate agent offices – remained open this time. On the opposite, many completely closed first time round.
Still, the trend is highly likely to be a permanent shift in our working patterns. The days of 9-5, Monday to Friday, in an office, are long gone. Many businesses have said they are not rushing to return people to the office. Many are doing away with their office space completely. Others are embracing more flexible and mixed ways of doing things.
All of which means, as a seller, you need to have high-quality office space. This if you want to increase your home’s attractiveness. Or, alternatively, a room or space which could easily be converted into workspace.
Recent research by Savills confirmed buyers’ evolving priorities. Space to work at home is a top must-have while social distancing remains in place. Buyers are placing greater priority on home offices and faster internet connections. 57% and 48% of buyers considering a separate space to work at home and good internet as more important than before the pandemic.
Even when social distancing is no longer required, Savills still believes space to work at home will be required. Either as a designated room or something more flexible. That’s because the desire for people to work at home for some of the week will remain high in the long-term.
Flaunting or creating office space
If you already have dedicated workspace, make sure this is front and centre of your sales pitch and marketing material. When it comes to virtual viewings, in the first instance, and in-person viewings when a buyer is serious, make sure you flaunt your office space/workspace in its best light.
If you don’t already have workspace or a home office, consider creating one, which is fast, easy, cheap and hassle-free. A desk, office chair, lamp and some house plants can dramatically transform a spare room, for example.
Equally, you may be able to turn your garage or shed into a workspace, if it currently has no real function. Make sure this space is well-insulated, though, otherwise working here in the winter months may be less appealing for buyers.
If you don’t have the time or inclination to create office space from scratch, you can still point buyers to any spare areas in your home. Areas that could easily be converted into a home office. Make sure these areas are a blank canvas so buyers can imagine putting their own blueprint on them.
With the work from home revolution only likely to grow, a home office is no longer a nice to have but a necessity. People are fed up of working from their kitchen table, at the foot of their bed or hunched over on their sofa. Now is the time to give them the office space they crave.
If you can, your chances of selling will he high. And, remember, now is still a good time to sell. You just need to make sure, as before, that it’s done in a Covid-compliant, sensible and pragmatic manner.
If you’re looking to sell your London home – where a big chunk of the population is homeworking – provision of office space will be even more crucial.
If you have any questions about selling, buying, letting or renting a home in the London area, Atkinson McLeod are here to help.
To find out more about our services and current operations, please get in touch with our expert team today. You can find out how much your home could be worth on the current market by requesting a free and instant online valuation here.