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How planning permission could help you sell your home

Most people don’t think about planning permission until they’re looking to expand, but it can pay off big during the selling process. Whether you want to stand out in a crowded local housing market or add value to your home without breaking the bank.


Getting planning permission to help sell your home works on a number of levels. Firstly, there’s the imagination angle — planning permission opens buyers’ minds to long-term development possibilities. But there’s also the easiness factor. Buyers might be daunted by the idea of getting permission themselves or be wary to buy a property without the guarantee they can extend. Getting planning permission in advance takes care of that. 

You’ll need to consider how much it costs and how difficult it is to obtain (more on that in a minute), to decide if it’s right for you, but it can definitely be worth it.

Buyers like an easy road, so it’s worth seeing if getting planning permission will help make their lives easier — and get the property sold.  "

What can you improve?

Not sure where to start? Trends can help guide you if you’re not sure where you might be able to extend. Loft conversions are often the most popular and one of the easiest value-adding extensions, closely followed by an extra bathroom or kitchen. If you have enough outdoor space, conservatories normally add the biggest wow-factor and sometimes don’t even require planning consent.

If you’re looking for some guidance, we’re happy to help. One of our Strike agents can work out what project might benefit your property and start to talk you through the planning permission process.

Can you sell your house without planning permission?

If you're talking about having the potential to build — like the potential for a kitchen extension or transforming a garage — you don't have to have planning permission to sell (though as we saw above, it can help). If you have already had work or extensions done, it's important that you have documentation of proper planning permission when you sell or can show that it was a "permitted development", one that doesn't require permission.

Don't have proof of planning permission? You might want to consider indemnity insurance if you don't already have it, because it can protect you (and the potential buyer) from any fallout from not having the proper documents. It's also working checking if it falls under "permitted development" or if you can get retrospective permission granted. It's important to do your research and check with experts if you need to — planning permission is serious business.

How to 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’ — which is basically a technical term meaning you don’t have to apply for permission. 

The government's Planning Portal should be your first stop. You can work out whether you need permission, what applying involves, and learn 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.

Although there are some upfront costs, you’ll often earn this back (and then some) when you sell your property. Buyers like an easy road, so it’s worth seeing if getting planning permission will help make their lives easier — and get the property sold. 

Wondering what your property might be worth? Use our online valuation tool and get an estimate in seconds.