Thinking of selling up? If it’s been a while since your property had an update, and it’s starting to look more ragged than retro cool, you’re probably wondering how to make your home more sellable.
The good news is that as long as the foundations of your home are still in good shape, you might not need to knock down any walls or do a complete renovation to add considerable value.
Making your property feel bigger, brighter and more appealing to prospective buyers is often as easy as a lick of paint or swapping out fixtures and fittings for new ones.
Want to get a maximum price for your property? It can be easier than you think. Picture: realestate.com.au
On the other hand, knowing which improvements won’t add value to your potential sale price means you can focus your time and money on those that do.
Ready to get started? Here are 13 easy ways to add value if you’re thinking of selling your home.
Old paint can make your home feel, well, old. But a fresh coat of paint can do wonders. It’ll make your home seem newer, cleaner and more contemporary – and it can easily be done on a tight budget.
If you’re willing to spend the time and energy painting your home yourself, you can get away with only paying for the paint, roller and brushes, drop cloths and other painting accessories. Alternatively, if your budget is a little more flexible, pay for the professionals to do it.
Just make sure to pick neutral colours that’ll stand the test of time or – at the very least – remove dated colours.
2. Improve the garden and outdoor living areas
A goody tidy may be all your garden and outdoor living space need. Cut back overgrown trees, hedges, bushes and foliage, clear up dead leaves, get rid of weeds and dead plants, clean any paved areas, and add fresh mulch if needed.
Tidying up the landscaping and oiling the deck can be all that’s needed on the outside. Picture: realestatate.com.au
If you have a deck, give it a good scrub and apply a coat of oil to get it looking spick, span and sellable.
The same goes for any outdoor furniture, features like barbecues or fire pits, and outdoor dining areas.
3. Add storage
Most buyers look for homes with ample storage. This means a good amount of cupboard, cabinet and wardrobe space, shelving, racks, and wall and door hooks.
Furthermore, clutter in general is one of the biggest turnoffs for many would-be buyers.
So if you’re lacking in storage, many of these are easy and relatively inexpensive to add to your home.
You can add wall shelving to rooms like the kitchen, laundry and living area, and hooks to pretty much any room in the home. If you have freestanding wardrobes in the bedrooms, consider changing them to built-ins – these are a big pull for buyers.
Adding new storage will tick boxes for a lot of buyers. Picture: realestate.com.au
4. Improve the facade and landscaping
Your home’s facade is likely the first thing prospective buyers will see, and we all know first impressions count.
If your budget allows, you could give the exterior of your home a serious revamp by having it repainted.
If not, simply painting the front door and sprucing up the front garden, paving and fencing can rejuvenate your home’s facade.
Parts of your garden may also look better with a bit of work. You could add new plants or flowers to bare patches, chuck in some garden features like sculptures or lighting, or even consider adding a deck or paved area for al fresco dining.
5. Give the floors some love
Whether you’ve got floorboards, carpet, tiles or something else entirely, any kind of flooring does well with a nice spruce-up to entice buyers.
Have your carpet professionally steam-cleaned to remove stains and get it back to its original glory. There’s only so much cleaning can do, though: if your carpet is too old and far-gone, and the stains are too stubborn, think about replacing it.
You could slot in new carpet or go for a different type of flooring, such as hardwood and the price is often less than you think.
Given their hardiness and attractiveness, hardwood floors are very popular among buyers.
If you have floorboards, have them resanded by a professional. If the budget doesn’t quite stretch that far, you can have them rebuffed and polished to get rid of any nicks.
Consider having your floors sanded if you have timber floors and replacing any old and worn carpets. Picture: realestate.com.au
6. Update the heating and cooling
A quality heating and cooling system – be it gas or electric – is a huge draw for buyers. This is especially the case if you live in a particularly hot or cold climate.
If you already have heating and cooling, consider its age and condition. You might want to upgrade it if it’s been in your home for a long time and isn’t running too well, as buyers will likely look for a modern system that’ll last them years.
And if your home doesn’t have heating and cooling, be sure to have a decent system installed before you take your property to market.
7. Update the blinds and curtains
Blinds and curtains seen better days? It might be time to give them an update. Contemporary window treatments can make your whole home feel different and add value to your property.
If you’ve got old or thick, bulky curtains, think about replacing them with light, airy ones or even shutters or vertical blinds.
Not only will these give your home a fresher, more modern vibe, but they’ll also let in more natural light – making your home appear airier, brighter and bigger.
8. Replace old handles and hardware
If your kitchen is stuck in a timewarp, you may not necessarily need to replace the entire thing. By updating the handles and hardware on your cabinets and drawers, you can instantly make a kitchen feel much newer. You can also do this in your bathroom and laundry.
Just make sure to go for a timeless hardware material, such as chrome or brass, which will appeal to a more diverse range of buyers. And try to match the style of your new hardware to your existing kitchen, bathroom or laundry – minimalist stainless steel pulls might look a little odd paired with a vintage-style kitchen.
Kitchen splashbacks, cabinet handles and hardware and taps make a huge difference in the appearance of your kitchen. Picture: realestate.com.au
9. Replace dated splashbacks
Just like new handles and hardware, replacing the splashback in your kitchen cuts the need to do a full kitchen renovation.
It can also do a lot to make your kitchen look more modern, especially if you go for a classic splashback style like glass, stone, or neutral tiles laid in a timeless pattern.
If you really want to take your new splashback up a notch, and your kitchen is fortunate enough to look out onto a decent view, think about adding a window instead. Along with giving your splashback a significant upgrade, it’ll also welcome lots more light into the space.
10. Replace older toilets and sinks
Your bathroom may not need an entire revamp either.
As long as the bones are good, replacing your toilet, sink and/or vanity can make a world of difference to the overall look and feel of the space.
Go for replacements that are contemporary yet classic to ensure your bathroom is both fresh and timeless.
Far from needing a full renovation, often older bathrooms need to be freshened up. Picture: realestate.com.au
11. Replace the tapware
Even the best-quality taps can look worn after time. A great way to quickly update your bathroom is to simply replace the taps, spout and mixer, and maybe even the showerhead while you’re at it.
Choose a style and material that work with your bathroom, even if the space is a little old.
You can also replicate this tip in other areas that utilise taps, including ensuites, the kitchen and laundry – we promise it’ll make any room feel more elevated.
12. Update old and broken light switches
They’re such a small detail in your home that you may not even consider them, but light switches have a surprising impact on a property’s general vibe. If they’re old and starting to turn yellow after years of use, they can make a home seem more dated than it should.
On the other hand, new light switches can make a significant difference. Despite the fact that you’ll need a professional electrician to install them, they’re relatively inexpensive to buy, making them a great budget-friendly way to add value to your home.