If you’ve ever inspected a home to buy, you know that a fuss-free well-presented property is a far more attractive proposition than one with wonky guttering or musty old carpet. So if you’re on the selling side of the equation, making cosmetic improvements and smart repairs can help you sell your home faster at a higher price.
Unless you are selling a home in a derelict condition – in which case, real estate agent Mark Dawes, director of Richardson & Wrench Alexandria and Waterloo in Sydney, advises to leave it untouched – your property should be clean, welcoming and ready for its new owners.
“You should get it to a point where someone can move in without spending any more money,” Dawes said.
This is particularly important if you are targeting first home buyers, as they usually have little money left over for repairs once they’ve paid their deposit.
Here are the top five repairs that will help you reap rewards at selling time.
A lick of paint
Ask any selling agent and they’ll tell you that a fresh coat of paint can transform a property, presenting it in the best light possible – fresh, clean and inviting.
“Painting all interior walls is the first thing anyone should do when selling,” Dawes advised.
Refreshed floors go hand-in-hand in importance with freshly painted walls, according to Dawes.
“Carpet and paint are the two most important things you need to do,” he said.
If you are selling an apartment, new carpet is the way to go as floorboards or other flooring options require body corporate approval, which would delay the process. For a house, Dawes recommends ripping up old carpets and polishing the floorboards. If they are not in good condition, be prepared to replace them.
Updated kitchen and bathroom details
Outdated kitchens and bathrooms instantly let down a property, making it look rundown and tired. But you don’t need to go the full hog with a complete renovation. You can simply replace the cabinet doors or just add new cabinet knobs, modernise the kitchen splashback, update the light fittings or simply add a statement mirror in the bathroom.
Dawes recommends regrouting the tiles in both the kitchen and bathroom.
“It makes a massive difference because the first thing people notice is the dirt between the tiles,” he said.
“Regrouting can make the tiles look pristine.”
Spruced up exterior
Some sellers make the mistake of focusing their efforts on the interior of a property at the expense of curb appeal. If you are selling a house, the exterior is the first impression your home will make on potential buyers and sets their expectations before they’ve even walked through the front door.
“The outside appearance is very important because you want to get buyers in there,” Dawes said.
“Paint the outside and do some basic landscaping at the front. For a small amount of money, you can look at a house and think it looks really nice and appealing.”
Upgraded heating and cooling
Underfloor heating is a big plus but requires a more major renovation. For a quick improvement, Dawes suggests adding gas heating to your property if you have a gas connection and air conditioning will also add to the property’s appeal. You can also improve insulation with double glazing and window treatments.