Think you need to have a huge budget to make your home look spick and span? Here are 10 easy, cost-effective ways to get your prospective buyers making offers.
Hot tip #1: Get pruning
First impressions count, and the façade of your home is where it’ll all begin. Which is why it pays to develop your green thumb – or hire someone on Air Tasker – and get them to give your front garden a facelift. Prune hedges and overhanging branches regularly, and make sure you don’t let your weeds get out of control. Bonus point for a water feature or a flower patch.
Hot tip #2: Get handy
A regular, thorough maintenance schedule will keep you right on top of your property’s imperfections. And look, I know no one wants to spend their weekend checking the plumbing and light fixtures. But what could take an hour out of your Saturday morning, could eventually lead to a much larger problem down the track. I had one friend who ignored the ‘water damage’ in his kitchen for months, only to find out he had termites! Treat your home like crime scene when it comes to unusual marks or seemingly small problems, and you’ll avoid major repairs down the track.
Hot tip #3: Paint it
If you really want to keep on top of design trends and have a fairly eclectic taste, do yourself a favour and stay away from your walls. When you’re ready to put your house on the market, one of the easiest, most cost-effective DIY home improvements is paint! Fresh, neutral-tone walls scream new, fresh and high value. Just pop along to Bunnings, get your paint rollers, tape, drop cloths and brushes, and of course, a few buckets of paint. Make a weekend of it!
Hot tip #4: Hire a pro
Do you know how to spot termites? How about a rotting gutter? Can you tell if your hot water system is on the way out? You don’t know what you’re looking for unless you’re an expert, so hire a pro to give your place a good once-over. A pro will be able to tell you what’s broken, what needs to be fixed, and what could be improved. Think of it as a medical check-up, but for your home.
Hot tip #5: Knock it down
Open plan areas are highly coveted in 2016. Make two areas into one by removing walls, such as your kitchen and dining room. But be wary of creating too much space, as you’ll lose a lot of privacy. Keep your living room separate so that people can actually enjoy some quiet time with a good book or TV show.
Hot tip #6: Bring in the light
Nothing’s as depressing as poor lighting. Bad lighting in the home can dampen your mood, create eyesight problems, not to mention hinder your efforts to show off every aspect of your home. Installing small sun lights and sky lights in passageways will allow you to create a more positive ambience for prospective buyers.
If bringing in natural light’s not an option, install some more decorative lighting features. Pendant lights and chandeliers will set you back by a mere couple of hundred, depending on your budget and taste.
Hot tip #7: Go green
Everyone from your local barista, to your local boutique is doing it. Going green and investing in energy efficiency will not only save you money on your bills, but will also make prospective buyers see dollar signs. The changes can be inexpensive, such as installing an automatic timer for reverse cycle air con, or installing fly screens so that windows can stay open. Anything to keep the heat in when winter hits, and to help cool down your home in summer, will greatly increase the value of your home.
Hot tip #8: Look down
Nothing turns off homebuyers more than the thought of having to rip up dirty carpets and water damaged floor boards. Wooden floors are always highly coveted, but if your budget won’t allow that, floating floorboards are better than basic lino.
Hot tip #9: Don’t forget the front door!
Remember what I said first impressions? Well here is where you should really focus on if you don’t have a garden. Your front door speaks volumes about the character of your home, so it should look warm, inviting and open. Not literally wide open, but prospective homebuyers should be able to look at it and imagine themselves easily gliding through the doors to pour themselves a glass of wine or Negroni after work. Think about how you want to feel when you walk in the door. An awning will provide shelter when you’re fumbling for keys in the rain, and a frosted window pane will allow you to see if anybody’s home.
Hot tip #10: Re-jig your kitchen or bathroom
The top rooms to renovate for less than $1000 are your bathroom and kitchen. You don’t have to rip up the entire room, but creating tiny, cost-effective changes can make an outdated and overlooked spot look fresh and inviting. Replacing old hardware like taps, reinstalling vanities, laying new tiles, or switching up lighting fixtures can create a lot of bang for your buck. Just keep things neutral and stay away from the fads.