Seven affordable ways to add value to your home

August 19, 2015
Melinda Halloran

Spring is just around the corner and it’s a popular time for selling property. If you want to add value to your home before placing it on the market, you don’t always need to spend a fortune to make it more appealing to buyers.

Here are some budget-friendly tips you can try to spruce up your entire property and make it stand out from the rest.

Revamp the kitchen and bathroom

Kitchens and bathrooms add the most value to a property, so it is wise to spend as much money as you can on these areas. Start by giving them a thorough clean and removing any clutter.

In the kitchen, consider updating the benchtops, changing or painting cupboard doors and installing new fittings for a more modern touch. Replacing a dated splashback can also have a large impact on the mood of the space.

In the bathroom, you may consider installing a new vanity or replacing the shower screen. Tiles and mirrors are another great way to update the space without spending too much money. Replace chipped tiles or switch dark tiles for a lighter colour. Large tiles can make a space appear bigger than it really is.

Update the entrance

The entrance to your home is so important, because it’s the first impression of your property. Many experts agree that buyers make up their minds within seven seconds of entering a property. By updating the entrance, you are sending the message that the property is well kept and modern.

Outside, paint or change the front door, fix any loose fence pailings, clean the driveway, clear away cobwebs, make sure the letterbox is presentable, replace missing house numbers and place pot plants beside the door.

Inside, update the entrance furniture, consider hanging a statement piece of art and ensure it is bright. You may need to give the walls a coat of white paint or place extra lighting in the area to make the space brighter.

Sticky door locks are off-putting to buyers if the agent has to spend a long time trying to open the front door. Check yours and repair or replace it if necessary.

Spruce up the flooring 

Flooring plays a large role in setting the tone for a property. You can either replace your flooring with clean, low-maintenance coverings or give it a little TLC.

For carpets that still have life left in them, have a professional clean done or rent a steam clean machine and do it yourself. You can also enhance an area such as dining room or loungeroom by laying a feature rug. Purchase a rug that you’d like to take with you when you move or investigate hiring one. 

If you have floorboards, get them sanded and resealed. Unkempt floorboards can be off-putting to buyers who don’t want to do this themselves. 

Paint the interior

A lick of paint can be one of the most effective ways to revitalise a property. It’s also relatively inexpensive if you are willing to do it yourself.

Light, neutral colours appeal to a majority of buyers, as they allow them to imagine their own belongings in the space. For this reason, so it is wise not to add a feature wall and instead hang a piece of art to make a similar statement. Remember that darker colours often make a space look smaller and they have limited appeal. 

Freshen up the gardens

It’s easy to let the garden get out of your control, but this won’t impress buyers. Mow the lawns, trim back untidy plants and hedges, empty the gutters and clean any decking or pathways. You may also like to consider adding mulch and cheap potted colour to refresh the garden.

You should also remove any children’s toys, clean out the pool if you have one and restore or remove tired outdoor furniture. If necessary, hire furniture to place on a deck or outdoor dining area, to show buyers how they can use the space. 

Swapping an old Hills Hoist clothesline for a retractable clothesline can also make a backyard more presentable.

Add storage

Storage is an important factor in the decision-making process. You can consider adding built-in wardrobes to bedrooms, a pantry to the kitchen, installing shelves in the garage, building a small garden shed or creating a linen cupboard if you have space.

Many home improvement stores have affordable cupboards and wardrobes that you can build and install yourself.

De-clutter each room

When a buyer enters a home, they want to see the property at its best. By de-cluttering your home, you will make the rooms appear larger and make it easier for buyers to imagine their own belongings in the space.

If you have broken or dated furniture, you could consider hiring furniture to make the space more modern and appealing.

Style the property for your market

If you have empty spaces in your home, show buyers how they can be used. Put a desk in small bedroom to showcase it as an office rather than a tiny bedroom. You could also use things like rugs to split up large living areas and make the space seem more functional.

Keep the buyers’ interests and needs in mind when you are going through this process. For example, if your buyers are likely to be young families, you could consider styling extra living spaces as a rumpus room.

These small improvements can make a big difference on the impact your home has on buyers. The more work you put in yourself, the more money you will save on updating your property. If you do have major renovations in mind, speak to your real estate agent before going ahead, as they will be able to advise you how much value the renovation is likely to add. 

You might also be interested in:
How to budget for a renovation
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