If you’ve been thinking about selling your house at some point in the near future, you’ll want to start getting ready as soon as possible. For many homeowners, this includes grabbing a set of tools from the shed and getting your hands dirty. For others, it just means calling a tradesperson. Selling a home in Australia’s competitive real estate market can be facilitated by having a fully functional, aesthetically attractive home. Simply offering the lowest price on the block is not enough to make a lasting impression. When potential buyers are viewing several homes in your neighborhood, you’ll want yours to be the one that stands out for the right reasons. With the solid advice of a local real estate agent, you can make your house as close to turnkey standards as possible. A turnkey home is a house where a buyer can move right in without the need for any initial repairs. Many buyers don’t want to put more money and effort into a project after having already gone through the lengthy process of purchasing a home. By improving property value, you’ll not only get a greater return on investment but you’ll attract a larger pool of buyers. So, wondering how to increase the value of your house? Here are some simple ways that you can approach turnkey status and improve your property’s value before putting it on the market. The following are some ideas how to increase the value of your house.
External Wall Repair and Painting
The first thing that a potential buyer will see is the exterior of your home, so it’s worth making sure that your home looks its best outside and in. Properties that appear dilapidated, old, or ugly just won’t make the cut. There’s nothing like a fresh coat of paint to make your home look fresh, modern and more universally appealing, but you may wish to shy away from overly bold shades such as lime green, or you’ll make your house stand out for all the wrong reasons. It’s a good idea to consult with your real estate agent or a designer before you get started. There are also virtual painting programs online that can give you a preview. In addition to giving your home a paint job, you should also examine the exterior for visible signs of damage. Walls made of weatherboard may have panels that need replacing. Brick homes may need to have small gaps filled in with fresh mortar and rendered walls can do with fresh concrete to fill in gaps. These small improvements will make a property look like new without the need for major renovation.
Upgrade Doors and Windows
Aside from looking stylish, new doors or windows make your home more energy efficient and can lead to more affordable household running costs and a more environmentally-conscious property, which many buyers are attracted to.
Landscaping and Yard Lighting
Buyers love an attractively landscaped yard and it doesn’t take too much money to fix yours up if you have the space for it. A household’s yard is considered to be a good indicator of the total amount of effort given to the property: dead plants, messy gardens, or boring yards can be a fast turn-off. Investing in new soil, rocks, shrubs, ground cover, trees, and mulch can help transform your yard; making it appear fresh and inviting. An appealing yard will help sell the property because it invites buyers to picture themselves spending time outside during the pleasant seasons of the year. This can be done on your own if you have a green thumb, or you could enlist the services of a professional landscaper. Be sure to focus on yard lighting as well, because some buyers will only have the time to drive around after dark. Night lighting can create a modern, chic look for your garden.
It may seem strange, but the floor is one of the first things that buyers look at upon entering a property. People expect their homes’ floors to be contemporary, clean, and stylish. Old, musty carpeting will definitely not do your home any favors. Although hardwood floors are perennially popular and easy to care for, a high quality carpet can also be quite attractive and create a warm atmosphere. Be sure to fix any flaws in your flooring and be prepared to replace carpets if they are ancient.
The kitchen is one of the most important communal areas of any home. Buyers want a functional workspace that includes good taps, cupboards, and bench-tops. It’s a common mistake for sellers to overdo kitchen upgrades with fancy granite or marble bench-tops and all-new stainless steel appliances. Although this looks sleek and modern, some buyers will be turned off by these types of upgrades because they will automatically assume that the house is more expensive as a result of them. In any case, be sure that all appliances are in working condition and that the kitchen looks tidy and attractive.
Bathroom and Toilet Repairs
As with kitchen upgrades, it’s possible to go crazy renovating a bathroom space with all-new showers, toilets, tubs, and cabinetry. This may not be necessary to add value to your home, provided that your bathroom is in proper working order and fresh in appearance. A good bathroom space will be both functional and aesthetically appealing. Small repairs like painting the walls and replacing tile grout can work wonders. Clean out your exhaust fan and repair chips in the bathtub or sink to make fixtures look like new. It’s also worthwhile in some cases to replace old light fixtures with more user-friendly or energy efficient models.
Internal Lighting Fixtures
The cost of lighting fixtures can vary greatly, but if you have old-fashioned hanging lights with paper lampshades, it’s probably time for an upgrade. Lighting is really important when selling your home, as no buyer is going to want to live in a dark space. Down-lights look good in most environments and lighting can be used to play up other pieces of decor in the home. Energy efficient lighting can also boost a property’s appeal.
Painting Interior Walls
There are certain trends that come and go in interior design. You may have noticed that many new model homes come with coloured, ‘feature’ walls rather than blank, white ones. Buyers can interpret a white-walled home as being boring and devoid of character, while the right colours can be exciting. However, it’s important to take care with your paint choices, as something too outlandish may hinder the potential buyers’ ability to see themselves in your property. If you’re using colour, be sure that all the colours blend well together and match other design aspects of your home. Accent walls and textured brush techniques can add visual interest to your property, but consult with an interior designer if you are unsure.
Roof and Foundations
The structure of your home may not be as apparent to buyers at first glance as many of these other factors, but a poor inspection report due to flaws in your roof or foundations could break your sale at the last moment and cost you much more. It’s important to have a professional come in to inspect your home ahead of time, so that you can repair any structural flaws. Buyers will want to be satisfied that their new home is safe and built to last.
Heavy Cleaning and Organizing
A heavy, thorough cleaning can work wonders on any property. This part of the process will be cheap, but it will take some considerable time and physical effort to do right. Focus on cleaning all the places of the property that you can see, as well as all those hidden corners that you can’t see. Get behind the stove and refrigerator and move furniture to clean what lies underneath. A clean, tidy home with everything in working repair will help you get the best possible selling price. If you’re going to hold inspections whilst still living in the property, be sure to organise all clutter. Remove all your personal belongings, such as family photos, that will hinder the buyer’s ability to put themselves in the house. Get storage boxes and consider getting short-term off-site storage for all your items that don’t fit neatly into cupboards. Remember buyers will be opening everything and looking everywhere, and neatness (however obsessive) suggests a house that is in good order.
Add More Space
Bigger homes tend to sell for more money. That may seem like an obvious point to make but stay with us. The recent median price for the size of a home was $130 per square foot. And that amount held steady for small and large homes. So adding square feet can add real value!
Take a look around. Could you knock out some walls and open up space to make the place feel bigger? Is there any spot in your house where having another bathroom would make things a hundred times easier? Just remember that home renovations tend to cost you more than the resale value. For example, say you want to do a midrange bathroom addition with a fairly nice sink, shower and toilet. Doing that could add almost $29,000 to your home’s value. But getting the project done could cost you nearly $48,000. So, you probably won’t earn back all the money you spent. But that’s still more than a 60% return, which isn’t too bad if you plan to live in the home for a while to enjoy the new addition. You just want to make sure the space you add to boost home value is worth it to you and your budget. Using the example above, suppose you have a $200,000 home and you save up $48,000 to add a bathroom. According to the data, your home would then be worth $229,000. But if you sold it soon after that, you would lose $19,000. Instead, you’d want to stay in your home until it appreciates enough to make up for the loss. And that’s tricky to predict. Although, even recent sellers who lived in their homes for eight to 10 years made $35,000 (17%) more on their home than what they paid for it. So if you lived in your home for around that long and sold during similar market conditions, you might earn back almost double the loss of the $19,000!
Add Energy Efficiency
Okay, you might think adding energy efficiency isn’t the most exciting way to increase home value. And let’s face it, you’d be right. But hey, if it increases home value, then that’s why we’re here. Besides, almost 70% of real estate professionals said that promoting energy efficiency in home listings was valuable.
So which energy efficiencies should you focus on to build home value? Well, recent homebuyers found these environmentally friendly features to be most important:
• Heat and cooling costs (33%)
• Windows, doors and siding installations (29%)
• Energy-efficient lighting (23%)
• Energy-efficient appliances (21%)
• Landscaping for energy conservation (10%)
• Solar panels installed on home (3%)
Let’s say you upgrade around 10 of your home’s windows to be more energy efficient. If you went with a vinyl window replacement, that could put you just under $17,000 in the hole. But the value of the windows would likely earn you more than a 70% return on what you spent which means your home value might increase by more than $12,000. Plus, you’ll save money on utility bills!
How Should I Pay for Projects That Increase Home Value?
You probably noticed that many of these projects cost tens of thousands of dollars. So, how in the world do you pay for them? The answer is: with cash! Don’t get suckered into thinking that financing a project is the more sophisticated way to go. Borrowing money to fix up your home is never a good idea, despite what your broke friends might tell you. As we learned earlier, most home projects don’t even earn back what it costs to get them done. So make sure you avoid lousy financing options like credit cards and home equity lines of credit (HELOC).