We’re already halfway through 2021, and as winter begins to thaw, we’ll enter peak property listing season – Spring. Whether selling and moving on is non-negotiable for you this year, or you’ve just been toying with the idea of cashing in while property markets around the country are red-hot, there’s no shame in looking for ways to increase property value and get the highest sale price possible.
When it comes to adding value to property, there are certain trends that come and go, but for this generation of home-buyers there also seem to be a certain set of standards that buyers are looking for.
We’ve broken down our top 10 tips on how to prep a house for sale, and we’ve divided these up into two main categories, to help you spruce up your place ahead of open-day regardless of your budget.
Top 5 ways to increase property value if money is tight.
A fresh coat of paint can really lift the mood and value of a home, and can be relatively inexpensive if you’re willing to put the work in yourself. Firstly, examine your place with a critical eye, and make a list of what needs to be re-painted, and what can just do with a good clean with sugar soap. You may find that your walls need re-painting but your skirting boards and door-frames are good to go.
Next, for any work that you feel should be left to professionals (we’re thinking ceilings, here – hard on the neck) be sure to get a couple of quotes from licensed tradespeople and see whether you can squeeze it into your budget.
For any DIY work you’re willing to tackle, do your homework first. There are plenty of free online tutorials in how to paint, which can be really helpful. Try to choose warm, dry days to paint, move your furniture out of the room or to the middle of the room, and cover it well. If you try to tackle one room at a time, you’ll limit the amount of disruption to the home.
So, in case you hadn’t noticed, the pandemic has forced many of us to resort to working from home over the past 12 months. This shift to the home office has meant many city-dwellers are now considering regional moves, as they’ve proven working from home is a viable option.
Setting up a home office or sprucing up an existing one is a great, relatively cheap way for sellers to position themselves to take advantage of this regional push. If you have a spare bedroom, or even a corner of a room where a desk can fit, dress this area in clean, modern décor with plenty of light to make it obvious to buyers that working from home is possible straight away if they were to buy your place.
We’re not saying that you have to Marie Kondo your place into a minimalist’s fantasy, but removing excess belongings from plain sight can have a powerful effect on a buyer’s ability to see themselves in your home.
It can be really easy for clutter to take over our homes, especially with pets and children around, so de-cluttering is a super important part of dressing your home. A lack of clutter gives the impression of maximising space, and if there’s too much ‘you’ on display, it will be harder for a buyer to picture their family being able to move straight in.
Take advantage of any excess storage space you have to store clutter – sheds and garages work well. If you feel like a cleanse, make sure you’re not throwing anything out that can be sold or recycled, and if you are swimming in stuff, consider renting a storage unit while you try to sell the home.
If you have the space to do so, planting some trees outside your home has been proven to increase property value. Not only does it increase curb appeal in that your home gives the appearance that it has been cared properly cared for and invested in, there are environmental benefits to be gained as well.
Planting trees can help with noise reduction, privacy, drainage, and if placed correctly, trees can influence the heating and cooling costs of your home, for very little initial investment.
By planting deciduous trees on the north side of your home, the leaves will provide cooling shade in summer, while the lack of leaves in winter will allow warming sunlight to stream through. When planting, be sure to consider the future height of the tree in relation to nearby power lines, and any effect they may have on your neighbour’s homes.
Seems too easy, right? Doing a proper deep clean, or getting professionals to do it for you is pretty easy on the wallet, but can do wonders for your home’s value. Even if you consider your home pretty spotless, family homes can get fairly grubby in the blink of an eye.
Keep in mind that you’re used to living in your home, but a prospective buyer will be looking things over with a fine-toothed comb, getting into nooks and crannies you may not have cleaned in years.
As an added bonus, the process of cleaning may give you the chance to do a bit of an inventory of other household upgrades that are required that you may not have noticed during day-to-day life.
Top 5 ways to increase property value if money is no object.
Kitchen or bathroom
Like it or lump it, these are the main rooms prospective buyers look at when walking through a home for sale, so if either of yours is sadly in need of repair, it might be time to spend money to make money.
We spend the majority of our time in the kitchen as the central hub of the home (especially families), and we want our bathrooms to be clean, calm spaces where we can conduct self-care and find refuge.
To give you an idea of what these sort of upgrades may cost, a realistic price range for a full kitchen renovation could run you between $7,500 - $20,000 and a full bathroom reno could range between $7,500 - $15,000, depending on the size of your room and the quality of upgrades.
If you were looking to buy a property and had the choice between two identical homes – one dark and gloomy and one bathed in light, which would you choose? No brainer.
When we’re talking lighting, if your home already has ample natural light from well placed windows, then simply looking at some internal lighting and upgrading/modernising fittings could be an option. This could easily be done for a couple of thousand dollars.
However, if you have serious issues with natural light, you might need to think about some structural work to open up new windows or install skylights, which, while expensive, will definitely be noticed by buyers.
Positioning your home to be energy efficient can make it more attractive for sale, especially to younger buyers. The tricky thing is that unless upgrades have been done gradually, they can become expensive when all done in one fell swoop in an effort to sell your home.
Energy efficient options for homes are usually slightly more costly – things like light bulbs, shower heads, appliances, toilets, water tanks and solar panels & battery storage.
For big ticket items, be sure to ask installers if there is any sort of grant of rebate that can be applied to help bring down your costs.
Whilst new floors might be one of the most costly options for prepping your home for sale, it has to be one of the most rewarding.
For main living areas, be sure to consider something that is both practical and modern, like hardwood boards or floating floor-boards.
This will ensure that your home not only looks great, but the flooring will have the durability to last for decades and handle anything your buyer’s family can throw at it.
Carpets still remain the safest option for bedrooms, as they give the feeling of warmth, comfort and quiet, but be sure to consider colours that won’t easily date or become jarring for potential buyers, and look for hypo-allergenic options where available.
Finally, and forever on the hitlist for Australian buyers is some sort of out-door entertaining area. We have one of the best year-round climates on earth, and we love to get outside and enjoy it. Plus, with so many of us spending that much more time at home during the pandemic, having a space that allows us to relax and breathe is really attractive to buyers.
There are a plethora of options for types of entertaining areas, and the price will vary wildly based on what you go with, but here are a few key things to consider:
- Dress the area well so buyers could simply just sit down and start relaxing
- Install an outdoor setting that is modern and easy to clean
- Think about outdoor cooking facilities like BBQs and water supply, AND
- Don’t forget shade. Whether a solid roof, shade-cloth or an outdoor umbrella, this is the sunburnt country, after all.