The number of times we’ve been asked these types of questions is essentially uncountable – what should we do to the house before we sell? What will improve the value? How much should we spend? Can we sell it without doing this improvement?
While often the answer is that you don’t need to do anything to sell your home. There are a few things that, if you have a little spare money up your sleeve, you can do that will make selling your home easier, faster or potentially score a better sale price. So, we’ve compiled a list of things that might make a visitor to your current home fall in love with their new home.
And even if you don’t have money available – talk to your Betterway Sales Partner, our post-pay partner may be able to help you defer any upfront costs (including renovations) associated with selling your home. You might just be able to make some critical improvements and not have to pay a cent until you’ve sold!
1. Simple, inexpensive upgrades to the kitchen
Upgrading the heart of the home doesn’t have to be a huge task. A doorknob replaced here, a fixture there. People in many areas have come to expect gas appliances, they’re considered more trustworthy and more environmentally friendly when compared to electric appliances. Maybe it’s time to give the old electric oven and stove top the boot… This is a surprisingly cost-effective upgrade (if the new appliance is bought to match the measurements of the old).
Give the kitchen a fresh coat of paint, a new tap set, cupboard door handles and laminate paint can give your benchtop a fresh look. Remember, cheap and cheerful. You don’t want to be splashing thousands on a marble countertop, only to move out and never see it again.
2. Upgrade bathroom
A similar rule for the bathroom. Clean the existing tiles, clean the grout or a quick re-grout, new taps, new showerhead. You want your bathroom to look as if Marie Kondo has just spent a week locked in there without a key. Keep it shiny. Prospective buyers are like magpies.
3. Exterior paint job
An exterior paint job is always a great way to make your property look fresh and cared for. Keep the palette neutral. It’s all about first impressions and neutral colours will allow potential new owners to see themselves living in the home and adding their own tastes to the property.
4. Street appeal
Following along from an exterior paint job. An updated front door, letterbox and house number can give your home that extra little oomph. Have you ever walked past a house with a fresh lick of paint on the fence, been blown away by the beauty and thought ‘I wonder what it’s like inside?’. That is what your prospective buyers will be thinking as they walk up to your driveway. There can only be greater things to come.
5. Internal lighting fixtures
Replace old dim lightbulbs and brighten up the joint. Take a trip down to Ikea and give your house the blessing, it’s always deserved. Freshen up with some pendant lights in the kitchen, or a nice new feature shade by the front door.
6. Landscaping and yard lighting
There are a couple of key things to improve the backyard and they’re all simple and not expensive. Chuck down some new soil. Create a border to your patch with some nice rocks (it looks effortlessly chic). Plant shrubs, trees, anything green. Water your lawn (if the water restrictions allow – and talk to your agent about photoshopping the lawn for online appeal). Mow your lawn. Add some back-yard lighting. The garden is an important place to set the scene for your prospective buyer’s future lives. Everyone wants to be able to imagine themselves in their new home. Who wants to imagine themselves sitting in a dusty, old, mud hub whilst having a mojito in the summer? Not us.
We all hate the look and feel of an ancient, worn carpet underfoot. A carpet that has seen too many horrors and has too many memories, it’s time to say goodbye. If you’re thinking of selling up, then consider a hard floor downstairs and a high-quality carpet upstairs. Hard flooring is attractive, durable and clean. A potential buyer will always remember Great Nanny Sue’s carpet after viewing your beloved property, no matter how lovely the kitchen and bedrooms were. Remember, first impressions last.
8. Interior paint job
Want to make your house look BIGGER? A neutral colour like grey or white will add value to your home and make your house look bigger. An interior paint job is a good way of wiping the slate clean of those gymnastic hand and footprints or the spag bol oil stains across the kitchen walls. Be cautious with colour, although a new paint job is inexpensive, big bold colours can polarise visitors – they might hate it and be put off by the extra effort required to get rid of it! Your agent will be happy to give you some advice here – and there’s never anything wrong with asking for advice.
9. Solar panels
Adding solar panels will increase the value of your property. It is said in the solar world, more panels, more value. There are many companies (e.g. Smart Energy) that will help you get everything up and running and for next to nothing. The offer seems too good to pass up and you would be a fool to let that one go. Saving money and the planet? Whilst also adding value to your home? It’s a no brainer.
10. Granny flat it
If you have the land and the resources, build a granny flat. Recent studies show that families are no longer trying to get as far away from each other as they can and are settling down in the same area. Weird, right? Share the cost of living and have a steady income to help you pay off that mortgage. Smart spending that will value your property. Think AirBNB, think eldest kid’s first place out of the home. Think potential buyer who has elderly parents.
A few things that will almost certainly leave you out of pocket:
1. Building a swimming pool
2. Doing hidden renovations such as insulation and double glazing
3. Extravagant kitchen and bathroom upgrades
4. Complex gardens
The amount of return you receive in comparison to the cash and time spent is not worth it. Don’t stress yourself. Keep it simple.