For most of us, our home is our most valuable asset – so when the time comes to sell your property, it’s natural to want to get the best price possible.
The official figures on national house prices underscore the wisdom of making smart investments in your house to maximise its value. The average price of residential properties across the nation’s eight capital cities soared 10.9 per cent in the year to March 31, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
The increase pushed the total value of Australia’s 9.3 million residential properties to a cool $5.1 trillion, equivalent to an average price of $546,000 per dwelling, the ABS report, released last week, showed.
Renovating increases the value of the home if it’s done in a smart manner
Tim Heavyside, director of sales at Fletchers Real Estate, advises homeowners to renovate their property before putting it on the market to get optimum benefits.
A house worth approximately $700,000 can be sold for up to $800,000 if an owner is adopts a strategic approach to home improvement, he estimates.
“Renovating increases the value of the home if it’s done in a smart manner,” he told The New Daily.
The good news is that maximising the sale price of your home doesn’t necessarily involve an extensive renovation – it can be as simple as give your property a face-lift.
There are, however, pitfalls for the unwary: Quirky measures – such as painting your bathroom orange – can reduce, rather than boost, the value of your dwelling.
“It needs to be modern, [but] it doesn’t have to be as drastic as pulling the kitchen apart,” Mr Heavyside said.
Botched attempts at do-it-yourself can also detract from the sale price of your dwelling, so you should resist the urge to save money by taking on tasks that require an expert.
“If you’re not a renovator and think you might save some money and rip your carpets off and polish the floor-boards and you don’t have the skill sets or tools, then it might work against you,” Mr Heavyside warned.
“In those cases, it’s best to hire someone who can do a professional job.”
Petra Sprekos, general manager of realestateview.com.au, says that a fresh paint job, a modern, good-quality kitchen and an appealing outdoor area are the three big items that will lure buyers into making the best offer possible.
“If people can spend up to $15,000 around those areas, then they will get the maximum return for their property,” she said.
“When it comes down to the crunch with two buyers, if these things are appealing, they will go that extra little bit, if their budget permits, when putting in an offer or a bid on the property.”
Ms Sprekos also advises that it’s a good idea to make your home female-friendly when preparing to sell your property.
“If you look at the profile of the people who are making the decision [about whether to buy or not], it’s generally the females,” she said.
Top five tips to get your house ready for sale:
• Spruce up your garden
Research shows that buyers are more likely to click on an online listing if a house has an immaculate front yard. Front yards not only create a good first impression, they also add to a property’s street appeal. In addition, an attractive garden adds an element of emotional interest for prospective buyers. Make sure your outdoor space is free of weeds, clear of sickly-looking plants and generally tidy. Create a water feature for dramatic impact, add a calming Japanese rock garden or lay down some decking where you can put an outdoor table and chairs.
• Smarten up the exterior of your home
Examine the exterior of your property to ensure that everything is up to date. If your house is weatherboard, replace any loose or rotting wood. If it’s brick, make sure that any gaps in the mortar are filled. If you don’t have one, consider installing a fence – it will frame your property, provide valuable security from intruders (not to mention the next door neighbour’s dog) and reassures potential buyers that their children (if they have them) won’t run out onto the road.
• Give the walls a fresh coat of paint
Dollar for dollar, a fresh coat of paint gives you more bang for your buck than just about anything. It pays, however, to ensure that your colour choice has maximum appeal. Traditional shades like antique white, ivory or cream are the safest, most popular options. Neutral, contemporary tones such as beige, stone or pale grey can also work well. If in doubt, ask your real estate agent or another expert for a second opinion.
• Create an inviting kitchen
Call it the My Kitchen Rules effect: the majority of potential buyers list a clean, modern kitchen as one of their top priorities in a potential new home. The first step is to de-clutter your workspace. Your kitchen will look bigger if the benchtops, walls and floors are cleared of unattractive detritus. The second thing on your to-do list is to make sure that every surface is sparkling clean. Grotty kitchens are a real turn-off for those people inspecting your home. If you have the budget, you may want to renovate your kitchen with modern appliances, contemporary lighting and new cupboards and benchtops. If you can’t afford a complete fit-out, consider investing in a good oven as buyers are likely to retain the appliance even if they want to replace everything else.
• Add a second bathroom
If your home only has one bathroom, installing a second can add a significant premium to the value of your home. One of the biggest costs of installing a bathroom is plumbing, but this can be limited by piggy-backing off another wet area such as the laundry or the existing bathroom. Don’t sacrifice a bedroom to create an extra bathroom, though – the number of bedrooms in a property is a key determinant of its value.
Sources: Tim Heavyside, Petra Sprekos
With Mustafa Nuristani