Thinking about selling your property? By making a few changes to enhance your property’s appeal to potential buyers, you may be able to maximise the house value at your real estate agent’s appraisal. This could help to set buyer expectations, leading to a higher sale price.
What exactly is a property appraisal?
It’s important to remember that a property appraisal is not the same as a property valuation. A property valuation is a formal process undertaken by a professional valuer working on behalf of your bank or mortgage lender, whose job it is to determine if the value of your property will be enough to secure your mortgage over the property.
A property appraisal is an informal process conducted by a real estate agent, to estimate how much you might be able to sell your property for. While there’s no guarantee that this will be the final sale price come auction day or after a private sale, your property appraisal can serve as a handy benchmark for setting your auction reserve, asking price, or even working out whether you’re ready to list your property for sale just yet.
Both valuers and real estate agents often use recent sales data from your local area to get a baseline idea of a property’s value, before looking more closely at the fine details. You can get your own estimate by ordering a free property value report.
While a real estate agent’s trained eyes should be able to look beyond the surface to see your property’s potential, you may be able to make it easier for them by making a few changes and additions to potentially add value to your property.
Tidy and declutter
Giving your property a spring-clean, no matter the season, can help present it in the best light. You don’t need to get your home spotless – the agent is appraising the home’s value, not conducting an inspection – though this could be a handy dress rehearsal for future open houses, where you want to help buyers with untrained eyes to fall in love with your property. Even just cleaning the windows can change the appearance of a property, letting more light in to really show off the space.
Getting rid of household clutter can also help your property’s potential to shine through. While you may love your ornaments and other knick-knacks, packing away everything but the bare essentials can help your property speak for itself.
Repairs and minor upgrades
Whether you’ve been living in your property or you’ve had tenants in place, your property will likely have suffered some wear and tear over time. Giving the property a general fix up can not only make your house look more impressive for a valuation, but help it last for longer, whether you decide to sell or not.
Look for cracks, leaks, and other minor repairs that can be given quick fixes – if you’ve been putting off these little jobs for ages, now may be time to step up. The bathroom and the kitchen are often among the most high profile sections of the home, so think about paying special attention to these areas.
You can also look into making some superficial upgrades to fixtures and fittings around the home, like adding a fresh coat of paint, or upgrading the doorknobs, taps, and light fittings.
Sometimes the difference between a basic kitchen and a modern one is a quality cooktop, oven, dishwasher or rangehood. New and matching appliances from quality brands may be able to enhance your kitchen’s overall value beyond their original price points.
Spruce up the garden
A well-kept garden can help demonstrate a property’s potential before the agent or a buyer steps foot inside.
The more gardening and/or landscaping work you can do beforehand, the less a buyer will have to do later, and the more they may choose to pay for the privilege, even if it requires extra maintenance to keep things green in the long term.
A property isn’t just home to people and pets – it’s also a place to keep your possessions. Buyers could potentially see more value in a property that offers a variety of convenient storage solutions.
Adding or upgrading cupboards, built in wardrobes, or sheds can be valuable to buyers. If your property has an attic or storage space under the house, make sure that these are clean and in good repair.
Bigger renovations, such as adding extensions, changing your property’s layout, or a new kitchen or bathroom could potentially add significant value to your home. Some renovations can affect the whole property, such as replacing the floorboards.
That said, beware the risk of overcapitalising. Not all improvements add value to a house, and some may be expensive. Spending too much money on improvements to your property could leave you short if the appraisal and/or sale price doesn’t turn out how you wanted.
Sometimes smaller renovations such as replacing the property’s doors or adding an air conditioning system can make a more significant impact on your property’s appraisal when compared to their cost.