Simple, cost-effective ways to add value to your home
So you’re selling your home and obviously you want make sure you're selling your current property for the best possible price. That doesn't mean spending a lot of money on major renovations, it means thinking smart. By making some low-cost improvements, and taking the time to find the right agent for your home, you can get the most out of every dollar you spend.
Finding the agent who's the one
Do some research before choosing your real estate agent – you need to find someone you're comfortable with, and who you're confident won't undersell your home.
Look for a person who has sold similar properties in your area recently. Word of mouth referrals from friends can be a great starting point. Make a shortlist of potential agents, and look at their recent results. When you approach them, don't be afraid to ask questions. Find out:
- how well they know the area (it's a bonus if they live locally)
- their history of sales in the area
- whether they can beat the price of similar properties in the area, and how they can guarantee it
- what they like about your property, and any areas they can see for improvement.
It's also important to talk fees – and you don't necessarily want the lowest price. Some agents may be looking for quick wins and fast commissions, rather than the best outcome for you. Spending a little more on an experienced agent could yield you a better result – and perhaps more importantly, professional support during what can be an anxious time.
It's impossible to tell for sure whether any extra agent fees will be covered by a selling price beyond your expectations. So balance your instincts with their track record.
Don't be discouraged if you don't find someone straight away. You need to feel completely comfortable with your agent – confident they understand what you want, and that they're focused on helping you get it.
Add small, transformative touches
Now is not the time to look at doing huge renovations. Instead, stick with low-cost improvements. You're unlikely to get back the money you spend (especially if the changes are extravagant for your area) – and you won't even get to live in your upgraded home.
Check out what other sellers in your suburb are doing and, before you bring in hired furniture or a stylist, start with a fresh coat of paint and a spring clean. It's all about creating the best possible first impression for prospective buyers.
Work your way through this checklist of simple DIYs:
That means everything. Windows (inside and out), walls, the oven, the carpets – in addition to the usual vacuuming, dusting and mopping.
First impressions count
The front of your home is the first and last thing buyers see, so make sure it looks well maintained. Focus on the façade, front garden and front door.
Buyers are now used to seeing immaculate, clutter-free properties, and this is one of the simplest and most effective ways to improve their experience of your home. If you have a lot of stuff, consider hiring a storage unit during the campaign.
Finish the job
Take care of those niggling repairs or projects you never quite completed.
Update tapware and fittings
You'll get a more modern, high quality finish at minimal cost – look at shower heads, door handles and light fittings for example.
Tend to the garden
Give the lawn a feed, replace tired bushes and plants, and add colour with potted flowers. Blast pavers with a high-pressure hose.
Low-cost DIY improvements can transform the look and feel of your home and make it more appealing.
And of course, pack away personalised touches like family photos and kids' artwork. You want to appeal to the widest cross-section of buyers, and they need to be able to easily picture themselves living in your home.
Remember that perfect agent you found? They can help at this stage too. Call them and ask for their feedback on your improvements. They're well acquainted with the market after all, and can help you put your home's best foot forward.