When a property is on the market and competing with numerous other homes for the attention of potential buyers, standing out matters immensely. The real estate agent helping you to sell your property might recommend that you undertake a few updates, renovations or repairs in order to make the property more appealing to a larger group of potential buyers. Should your agent advise that you do this, take heed – they will be well aware of the comparable properties in the city or suburb you stay in that are also vying for the attention of buyers.
Adding value to your home does not need to cost an arm and a leg, though – there are plenty of relatively small renovations you can make to your home and garden that will, without a doubt, make an impression on prospective property buyers.
Home sellers may find it difficult to reconcile spending money on an asset that is meant to be delivering profits, but often don’t realise just how much of a difference getting rid of tiny home quirks can make. Ideally, this work should be done before the home is listed online. As this will be the first impression that potential buyers get of the property, it will pay off to complete improvements before the online listing is posted. It goes without saying that sellers should definitely try to have these completed by the time buyers start viewing the home in person.
Freshen up the kitchen
One way to make an immediate impression on buyers is to present a kitchen that is kitted out with all the appliances and features buyers would expect to find in this room. The kitchen is one of the rooms that buyers will keenly inspect for faults or a state of disrepair due to lack of maintenance. Kitchen renovations or upgrades may be as extensive or simple as your budget allows, but it should be noted that any plumbing issues must preferably be sorted out by the time buyers come. Plumbing problems are a huge red flag for potential buyers, and can put them off a property entirely, because it might suggest other maintenance-related issues with the home.
Should extensive repairs not be necessary in the kitchen, it’s still a good idea to fix leaky taps and shine the basin and taps up before home inspections. Ensure that all appliances and switches are in good working order – in this regard, the rule of thumb is that everything should work as expected. If you need to press something just so in order for it to work, rather replace or fix it. Buyers don’t have the time or inclination to figure out how to press a certain switch and will assume that small faults like these point to a larger, underlying problem with the whole property.
Budget bathroom updates
Along with the kitchen, the bathroom can also make or break a sale. Here, it is also important to make sure that all taps work without leaking, as does the toilet, and to check that all the basins, baths and showers are draining properly.
Again, bathroom updates may be as extensive as is affordable to the seller. Repainting this area – which can be particularly susceptible to mould and peeling paint due to moisture – is a cheap fix that will completely refresh a space and make it look brand new. Put in some elbow grease to thoroughly clean mildew and grime, as seeing a bathroom that isn’t spotless can seriously put off buyers. Replace any tiles that may have cracked or broken, and scrub any stains that may have accumulated in the toilet over the years.
Stage the bathroom with new handtowels and soap before buyers come to see the property to create a luxury feel. What can feel like a waste of money will ultimately also brighten up the bathroom of the new property sellers will move into post-sale.
Create kerb appeal
When buyers pull up to your property, the kerb, driveway and yard will be the first things they see. Many sellers often neglect making sure that this part of the property is tidy and well kempt, rather focusing their attention on the house and its features. However, this is starting marketing efforts off on the wrong foot, as potential buyers pay attention to the property as a whole, and not only to the home. In their minds, a neglected yard and driveway may signal other problems, creating a sense of distrust.
Ask your agent how they’d recommend you improve your kerb appeal. A few quick, cheap and easy tips:
- Clean up any oil stains form your driveway, and pull out weeds that may have started growing in the cracks. This alone will make a much bigger difference than you realise. While the home is being inspected, try and park your car elsewhere to leave the garage open and give buyers an idea of the space that is available in the garage and the driveway.
- Trim the lawn, hedges and plants. If your garden is not exactly lush, think about buying a few potted plants to place strategically.
- Don’t forget the porch and front door. Often referred to as the handshake of the house, a front door with the paint peeling off it doesn’t exactly say, “welcome home”.
Give your home a fresh coat of paint
Speaking of peeling paint, this isn’t appealing in any part of the home. Repainting rooms or the exterior of the home is relatively cheap when compared to larger renovations, but can completely change the general look and feel of a home.
Ask your real estate agent about colour options that are likely to appeal to the largest group of potential buyers. Neutral hues are almost always a good bet, and can also help with the staging of the home, creating a blank canvas against which the rest of the home’s features will stand out and come to their right.
One part of the home’s exterior features that may also be in dire need of a fresh coat of paint is the roof. As the sun beats down on it every day, roofs actually need to be repainted every few years to keep them looking well and fulfilling the roles they are meant to fulfil. Remember, interested buyers will keenly inspect the roof for leaks or other problems – make sure these are fixed before they arrive to do the home inspection. Roof repairs can be very costly, which is why sellers looking to sell quickly should not ignore any faults related to the roof.
Don’t forget the essentials
When it comes to selling a property, the basics matter most. Unless you are selling the property as a fixer-upper, everything in the home needs to work the way it was intended to. Light fixtures, taps, toilet flushing mechanisms, appliances – these all need to be in working order. Sellers, beware: buyers do not want to purchase a dud, and will test features and appliances.
As mentioned earlier, certain rooms, like the bathroom and kitchen, have a big hand in convincing or discouraging buyers to purchase a home. Similarly, problems with the home’s plumbing or roof can put buyers off immediately, and if they do still consider buying the home, it will be with a few caveats that can affect the profit a seller makes.
Staging the home properly is also a cheap and easy way to take care of the basic requirements of the home inspection. By letting buyers imagine themselves in the space, staging the home is an essential part of making the property one that interests the largest possible pool of buyers.
Many sellers may already have a number in their head when deciding to put their home on the market. However, once speaking to the real estate agent helping them to sell their property, sellers may be disillusioned to find out that small faults and lack of maintenance can have a prominent effect on the price the home fetches when it does sell.
Real estate agents who have been doing business in a specific city or suburb understand what buyers are looking for, and may recommend that sellers undertake small repairs and renovations (or big ones, if necessary) to add value to their home.
Small improvements to rooms like the kitchen and bathroom will go a long way in creating a good first impression with buyers, as does paying attention to kerb appeal. A fresh coat of paint is one of the simplest ways to make a property look brand new, and making sure that all the home’s features are working as they should will set buyers’ minds at ease.
While some renovations are absolutely essential, not all repairs add real value. Your real estate agent will be able to make recommendations that won’t break the bank, but will guarantee a handsome profit when the home is sold. Still haven’t found an agent that you click with? Perfect Agent’s recommendations take all your specific need into account.