Getting planning permission: how it can help you sell your home

by Housesimple on 17th April 2016

Getting planning permission: how it can help you sell your home

Whether you want to stand out in a crowded local housing market or add value to your home without breaking the bank, obtaining planning permission for specific improvements could be your route to a successful sale.

Add value

Just as studies show that tidying and decorating your home in a clean, neutral fashion helps buyers to see its short-term potential, planning permission opens their minds to long-term development possibilities, helping them to visualise how they can add value and grow the property.

Many sellers report an increase in sale price after obtaining planning permission. While it doesn't always involve big money – even a 10% increase in value, though achievable, might be optimistic – that doesn’t mean it’s not worthwhile.


Weighing up the time and cost will help you decide if it’s financially viable, but don’t neglect the biggest benefit of obtaining planning permission: it encourages a quick sale.

Identify improvements

There are several UK-wide trends to guide the start of your planning permission journey. Loft conversions usually top the list of value-adding extensions, closely followed by an extra bathroom or kitchen. But in terms of return on investment, once the work is done, conservatories are number one.

However, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Choosing the right improvement involves understanding what buyers want, which isn’t as hard as it at sounds: you were once in their shoes too. With some local research and a few conversations with estate agents and buyers, in person or online, you can quickly put together some ideas for your property.

Get planning permission

Once you’ve got the plans in mind, it’s time to check whether you need planning permission. Smaller extensions, including conservatories, could already have ‘Permitted Development Rights’, and it pays to check.

The government's Planning Portal has an easy-to-use interactive guide to help you work out whether you need permission, what applying involves and how to apply. If you’re unsure of anything in your application, you can always consult your local planning authority in advance.

On average, planning permission will involve submission costs of up to £385 (use the fee calculator for exact figures), as well as any additional architect fees you may incur. Once you’ve submitted plans, you’ll probably be waiting around 12 weeks for a decision.

Start researching your property’s potential today and you might find it turns your sale from painful to profitable.

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