Maximising your home’s value in spring!

With many homes on the market in Spring all vying for buyers’ attention, it’s crucial your property gets the attention it deserves. Give your home the best chance of standing out from the crowd by following these ten simple steps!

1. Curb appeal

You never get a second chance to make a good first impression, so spruce up the exterior of your home. Grab the attention of potential buyers, making sure they don’t just drive by, with your home picture perfect on the outside, as well as the inside. Curb appeal can never be underestimated as it sets the tone.

    Creating instant curb appeal:

  • Ensure rubbish is cleared away and your front garden is free of overgrown vegetation
  • Remove excess cars, bins etc so it looks neat, tidy and spacious
  • A well-groomed front yard creates a good first impression, adding to a property’s street appeal, so spruce it up
  • Lawns should be freshly mown, gardens planted with spring colour and garden beds weed free. Trim hedging and trees. Untidy yards can send potential buyers the message that the yard is too hard to maintain
  • Getting this detail right, particularly in the Spring selling season when gardens bloom, can help you get the returns you’re after
  • Ensure any fences or gates are clean, freshly painted where necessary, and in good condition
  • Depending on the exterior of your home, a coat of fresh paint can lift your home from average to top of the list.
  • If your house is weatherboard, replace and repaint any loose or rotting wood
  • If it’s brick, make sure that any cracks in the mortar are filled
  • A single pop of colour, such as a painted front door or extra greenery/flowering plants, can add extra character, but be careful to not go over the top

2. Fix problems

With us all spending more time at home recently we can identify sticking doors, leaking taps, loose tiles etc. It’s important to go through each room and make a list of the repairs needed and action them.

Upgrade kitchen benches and cabinets

Key selling points of any home are the kitchen and bathrooms. Take a good look at your kitchen and bathroom/s and if you see dated benchtops, tiles or cabinets it may be worth an upgrade. This doesn’t have to be a major re-make. Upgrading benchtops, painting cabinets, spraying tiles a neutral white and updating handles, taps, showerheads and towel rails can make a big difference.

3. Making space

Decluttering can be daunting, but it’s imperative it’s done to show your home at its spacious best. Removing/minimising personal items and memorabilia such as photos, notes/magnets on fridges and elaborate ornamental displays allows a blank canvas. Potential buyers need to be able to visualise themselves living in your home. Try decluttering using some online inspiration, or use a professional for a one-off appointment on what to keep and store. Think of the time saved when you move as the decluttering and some of the packing is already done!

Open living spaces

Buyers generally love open-plan living. Most new homes have adopted this style however, some older-style homes can benefit from opening up closed rooms. If you are considering this option to add value, you will need to weigh up the cost versus return on investment and be sure to engage a structural engineer.

4. Style it

To appeal to potential buyers, present your home to its best both inside and out. If your furniture doesn’t suit your home or has seen better days it’s a wise investment to get a property stylist’s advice and if necessary, hire a home styling company to bring in furniture and decorative pieces for a complete design overhaul for the duration of your marketing campaign. A property correctly styled and ‘dressed’ can have significant advantages in gaining extra inspections, offers and higher prices. For a modest investment, these professionals make changes that can add tens of thousands to the sale price.

5. Use lighting

Natural light can have a huge positive impact on a property’s perceived value. If you have it – use it! Use clever lighting solutions for a brighter and lighter feel if natural light is lacking. Replacing old, tired light switches and dated light fittings can also be an inexpensive way to add appeal.

6. Outsider perspective

Our perspective of our home is quite different to someone else’s.  We live there and may not see something that others see as a concern. That’s where an outsider’s point of view and honest constructive feedback on how your property presents is essential; so you can address any issues prior to your first inspections.

7. Think Buyer appeal

Think about what your home says to buyers when they walk in.

The look

The look should be clean, inviting and uncluttered.

Freshly cut flowers, appropriately placed lush indoor plants, bowls of bright fruit in the kitchen, colourful cushions/throws are just some of ideas for adding visual appeal to   rooms.

The smell

A clean, fragrant home appeals. There’s nothing worse than a well presented home with the smell of last night’s meal or rubbish bins lingering. It’s an instant turn off. Your home should smell fresh and sweet but not overpowering. Opening windows for fresh air, an oil diffuser or fragranced candles can add ambiance. House hunters will generally open cupboards, so tidy up and ensure rubbish bins are emptied prior to inspections.

The sound

Set the scene for inspections with some soft non-intrusive background music.

The feel and touch

Door handles, bench tops, stoves, floors should all be squeaky clean, dust and grease free. Make sure your home passes the buyers’ touch test without unwanted surprises.

8. Spruce up the backyard

More and more a focal point for potential buyers, the backyard should provide an inviting space for alfresco entertaining and enjoying life outdoors. If you have the time and budget, consider using a professional, for an expert design. Investing in new soil, rocks, shrubs, ground cover, trees, and mulch can help transform your yard; making it appear fresh and inviting. Low maintenance gardens are more in demand, so consider where decking or pavers could reduce the amount of mowing required.

Get rid of pet traces

With over 62% of Australians owning a pet the likelihood is that you have one too.

We all love pets, but take them out for a walk at inspection time and make sure the yard is free of droppings and that all litter trays and pet beds are placed outside or taken well away from buyers’ view.

9. Know your market and have comparisons

Know what goes on in your neighbourhood and track local sales that are “comparable” to your property and have the information available.

10. Walk through with a real estate agent

Inviting a local real estate agent into your home can help you define exactly what will add enough value to make it worth doing. Ask the agent what they recommend for best results. Agents see things through buyers’ eyes and can make expert recommendations about areas to improve and advise on how much value improvements may add, as they will have comparable properties to reference.

Acknowledgements: Nicola Conville, Laura Pollard-Perfect Room, Stone, Aremelle Habib, Derek Swalwell, John Downs