Almost daily I am asked “Should I renovate the bathroom/kitchen/build a decking to increase my final sale price?
And the reality is that when you’re renovating to sell, it’s difficult to know what to spend time your time and money on. Because if you get it right, you could increase your profits considerably. Get it wrong and you’ll potentially lose thousands of dollars with no return.
So now we know this, what areas are worth spending time and money on and what areas aren’t? Here are a few tips to help maximise profit while minimising spending.
Where to spend
Clean up the whole house. It really needs to be spotless, so clean the windows, mould and mildew, clean marks on walls and ceilings and remove any cobwebs. Then head outside and do the same, particularly the entry the home. The cost of a professional cleaner before open-for-inspection day is a minimal cost and can ensure your home is ready.
Patch any cracks or gaps on the walls and fill with appropriate filler. Remove excess pictures and picture hooks and leave space for prospective buyers to imagine their own life in the house. This is a very small cost that can make a big impact.
Repaint walls in neutral shades. This is not the opportunity to express your creativity and flare for colour. As mentioned earlier, you want potential buyers to visualise their own colour themes, paintings and furnishings in the space.
Polish floorboards for a cleaner look. Worn carpet can dates a house and can sometimes devalue a property. If you are game, lift a corner of the carpet and see what’s underneath. If the timber floor looks good, pull up the carpet. It is relatively cost effective to sand and polish boards yourself using an oil-based stain. If there are no boards, or they’re in poor condition, you can either invest in professional carpet cleaning or try floating timber or laminate floor substitutes.
In the bin with any clutter. Remove knick-knacks, children’s artwork, sporting trophies, toys, pet food bowls, fridge magnets and piles of laundry. A lightly furnished home suggests an tasteful living style. Also, rooms appear larger with less furniture and personal effects.
Step out of the house and consider adding a feature like a pergola or a paved area. These look fantastic, particularly when scaped with lush plants. It can create an outdoor living space and provide a harmonious link between indoor and outdoor spaces.
Put up a fence around the property but make sure it fits in with the style of the home. Picket fences enhance a Kyneton period-style home, but are less appropriate for a modern house. If palings are broken – fix them.
Where not to spend
Expensive fittings such as claw foot baths or glamorous pendant lights cost a lot of money but don’t often add real value to the house. Remember that style and taste varies, and your goal is to keep buyers interested. Aim to keep the decoration neutral.
Extensions that don’t harmonise with the other parts of the house appear fragmented. If you plan to extend the house and want to capitalise on it at sale time, engage an architect to give you the best look and affordable option.
Replacing kitchens and bathrooms can often be a waste of money. One of the first projects a new homeowner does is rip out the existing kitchen and bathroom and put in one themselves. Consider putting your energy into making the kitchen and bathroom clean, watertight and functional. A good ceiling fan however is a great investment.
Elaborate country garden landscaping may be your cup of tea, but could send potential purchasers running for the city. Major landscaping is often a huge investment in time and money, and one that may not bring a return.
3 Final rules of renovating for sale
Make a distinction
Spend your time and money on the areas that make a difference to the resale value.
Think about who your potential buyer is
Potential buyers look at the structure of the house – and care very little about your personal style.
Appeal to a wide market
You might think you have great interior design skills, but if the house is falling apart no one will notice your eye for style. Think clean, sound and neutral to draw the biggest appeal possible.