Most of us love our homes, and will have made plenty of improvements to it over the years to make it our own. The problem is, our renovations may not be what buyers are looking for when it comes time to sell up.
While the ‘fixer-upper’ culture is stronger than ever in this country, it’s actually quite rare to find a buyer who’ll be willing to take the plunge on a house they’ll have to strip right back and start from scratch.
Most fixer-uppers are happy to take on a certain amount of work – mostly cosmetic. However, if buying your place means they’ll have to be continually reaching into their pocket just to bring your house up to modern living standards, you might be waiting a while for a nibble on the line.
While very few of us will be willing, or financially able to undertake a full renovation-refresh before placing our home on the market, here are a few simple things you can do to improve your chances of a sale:
- Repair any leaks: Whether it’s a rusty old tap or a pipe in the plumbing, this will be a huge red flag for buyers.
- More on the floor: Repair any worn, dirty or stained carpeting, and if you have floorboards, get them professionally cleaned and polished.
- Window dressing: Get any broken or cracked windows fixed, and look for some simple, clean modern window furnishings. Nothing says “bad area” like unloved windows – they look bad outside and inside.
- Lick of paint: If you’re not able to paint the whole house, focus on rooms with dark or marred paint, and refresh them with neutral, modern paint colours.
- Subtract, don't add: When it comes to dressing your home for sale, try to leave as little of your furniture and clutter on display. The idea is to let buyers imagine the home as a clean slate, not a hoarder’s den!
- Hot & Cold: Make sure any heating or air-conditioning units are working as you’d expect if you were moving in.
- Get Plastered: Any cracks in the walls or ceiling should be addressed and repaired. This one will scare away many fixer-uppers if not taken care of.
- Up to code: If there are issues within your home that you know will not pass a building inspection, better to bite the bullet now and get them repaired. Don’t leave it to be found out later and have your potential buyer pull out.
It’s important that you try to strike the fine balance between leaving yourself vulnerable to bargain hunters and over-capitalising on what you’ve got.
When it comes time to perform some renovations on your place in pursuit of a sale, spend only what you’re sure you’ll make back when you find the right buyer.
For all the help you’ll need with planning and completing your renovations, check out The Greater’s Guide to Renovating here.
And when it comes time to buy your next place, take the time to ensure you’re speaking with an expert. At The Greater, our lending specialists have been making property dreams come true for over 70 years.
- Start a conversation with a Greater lender today.
- Compare our range of great-value Home Loans.
- Take advantage of our handy free Property Calculators.
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