Tuesday, 6 February 2018


A lot of home owners think that they shouldn’t do any renovations prior to putting their home up for sale just in case it’s not to the taste of the buyers. “Let them choose how they want it to look”, they think. Buyer’s these days are usually lacking the funds, time and often the skills required to do a renovation themselves. The days of buying a “fixer-upper” are gone, unless it’s so run-down that people will actually be looking to knock it down! If you stick to neutral tones and take advice from the experts around you, whatever you select is going to be better than the dated décor in your home now.
All homes need to be updated from time-to-time - about every 10 years is a good benchmark. Not only do styles and fashions change all the time, but selling a home that hasn’t been updated for 20 years is no easy feat and will severely impact your final selling price.

Every real estate agent has probably said similar words in their career that “kitchens and bathrooms sell houses.” It is so very true and the reason is that they’re the most expensive rooms to update! Buyers do not want to and spend $400,000 on a home only to have to spend another $50,000 to update the kitchen and bathrooms. The good news is, that there are options to refresh these areas without breaking the bank:
  • Kitchen cupboards can be re-sprayed or re-painted with laminate paint – put on new doorhandles and it’ll look like you have a new kitchen!
  • Tiled kitchen splashbacks can be painted too – ask an expert for help and all the right tools.
  • Benchtops can be re-sprayed by a professional to look like stone benchtops or even just a more modern coloured laminate. Or you could look into covering with a thin layer of granite – again look to a professional to do this for you.
  • Bathroom tiles and also bathtubs can be painted with Tub & Tile paint
  • Update tapware and other accessories like towel rails, toilet roll holders, etc.
  • Replace the old vanity and toilet if necessary.
  • Plan ahead with all your plumbing jobs (like vanity, toilet, tapware) and have everything ready to go all at once so you only have to pay one call-out fee.

Don’t worry too much about tiles vs. floorboards in your main traffic and living areas. Those things seem to be quite subjective with many different buyers having different opinions. Only look to update if the colouring is not neutral or if there is a lot of damage to the existing flooring like scratches, chips or cracks.
Carpeting is a different story – carpets need to be updated regularly, not just because of staining, but just from wear. Again, just keep it neutral and listen to advice from the experts at your chosen flooring store.
A freshly painted house does wonders when trying to sell. Cover over any bold feature walls – even if you love it, buyers probably won’t. Even if you don’t have anything bold to cover up, a fresh coat of paint will cover up any scuffs, nicks and marks that may catch the eye of your potential buyers which could give the impression that there’s too much work to do.
The home will feel cleaner and fresher with a coat of neutral toned paint throughout.

Storage is so important to buyers these days. If you don’t have a lot of it, put a storage and/or linen cupboard in the laundry - even if it’s just a free-standing melamine cupboard that you intend to leave at the property after you sell.
If your budget allows, get built-in robes for the bedrooms and at worst, at least get one for the master bedroom. A lot of homes have built-in robes these days, so people don’t want to move from a house with them to one without and then have to bear that extra expense themselves.

Make sure the front yard is welcoming and appealing. Do some planting if you need to, otherwise just tidy up existing plants and stay on top of the weeding.
In the backyard, an outdoor entertaining area is very important to most buyers. If you don’t have a pergola or veranda, look to put in some high quality, waterproof shade sails - they’re not cheap, but less expensive than a new pergola or veranda.

Looking at these few key areas will make your home look and feel like a welcoming and modern home. Yes, it will cost money, but if you don’t spend it upfront, then it’ll end up coming off your sale price. If you do it right, you should come out in front and make more selling your home than you’d hoped!

For more tips on preparing your home for sale:

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