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Maintaining a home

6 worthwhile exterior updates to improve your home when selling

5 October 2018

Selling your home is a major transaction. So, when the time comes, it’s important to change your mindset. It’s no longer your beloved home; it’s an asset you’re looking to make money on.

You should consider some  strategic home improvements. The way you present your property can add to your home’s appeal, reduce the time (and associated costs) that your property is on the market, and ultimately lead to higher offers.

Before you begin preparing your home for sale, consult with your real estate agent. They’ll probably advise that you engage a home sylist, who can make sure your home is presented in the best possible light and attract the maximum number of home inspections. They can also advise ona strategy and budget for home improvements that could ultimately help you get more interest. Your aim is to add value with minimal cost, not over-capitalise by launching into costly renovations.

Look at your home’s exterior before selling

Buyers judge a property on first impressions. If your front door has cracked paint, the front steps need fixing, or the front garden is a mess, you’ll have put people off before they even come inside.

Identify the areas to focus on that would help your house stand out in the market. It’s  vital to remember that most property buyers check out a lot of places online and make a shortlist of properties to view before they actually visit any. You want your home to photograph beautifully so it makes as many of those shortlists as possible.

Here are 6 worthwhile areas to consider if you’re about to sell.

1. Start with basic home maintenance

The less a potential buyer  can see that needs fixing, the more value they’ll perceive in your property. Inspect everything and make sure there are no broken roof tiles, stuck windows or garage doors, or rusting gutters. If there are any such problems, contact the right tradie to have them fixed ASAP.

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2. Consider street appeal

First impressions really do count. Walk across to the other side of the street and consider the first impression your home will make on buyers. Then ask yourself (or your agent or property stylist) how it could be improved.

Would a high pressure clean freshen up the exterior, or does it perhaps need a fresh coat of paint? Should you get a carpenter to install a new front door or would a new door handle do the trick? Check that your driveway, paths and front porch are all in good repair, gutters are clean, and shrubs are trimmed and kept short in front of windows to let more light into the interior.

Sometimes, just a few simple improvements can make a vast difference to your house’s street appeal – even a new doormat and some potted plants by the front door will help your home say ‘welcome!’.

Adding some solar lights lining the entry path can also add appeal for potential buyers, especially as busy people often ask to inspect homes in the evening.

3. Consider fixing your fencing

Any damaged fencing should be repaired by a local fencing professional or builder. If your property isn’t fully fenced, you may lose potential buyers with pets or small children. Ask your agent if the cost of fencing your entire property would pay off in the form of an sale price.

4. Create an an outdoor living space

If you don’t have a dedicated outdoor living space, create one. Even if a deck or pergola would be overcapitalising, a simple paved area with stylish outdoor furniture, a few colourful outdoor cushions and a market umbrella will most definitely add to your home’s appeal and, of course, you can take the new furniture with you to your new home.

5. Tidy up your garden

In Australia we live outside a lot. So a good looking garden is a huge appeal for many buyers. Take a good look around yours and see what needs tidying up. Have any rubbish removed and make sure lawns are mowed, beds are weed-free and edges are neat and tidy. If you’re too busy to keep your garden immaculate, call in a landscape team to get a quote on a few updates or hire a handyman to mow, trim and weed every week while your home is on the market.

Popping in some seasonal flowering plants at the last minute is a good trick to make your garden look cheerful and it’s also a good idea to decide on a discreet place to hide your rubbish bins during open for inspections.

6. Review your home security issues

Many buyers may look for added extras such as alarm systems. Will your home security systems satisfy potential buyers? Consult with your real estate agent on the value of installing deadlocks, window locks and security lighting. Your agent will also know what the competition in your area is offering buyers.

List the services you will need

Finally, make a list of the services you’ll need to help you maximise your home’s appeal and the tasks that need completing. This could include:

  • Handyman
  • Rubbish removal
  • Painter
  • Pressure washer
  • Window cleaner
  • Roofer
  • Fencer
  • Gardener
  • Paver
  • Carpenter
  • Locksmith
  • Electrician

Putting the effort in well before you list your home on the market will inevitably lead to bigger dividends, which you can put towards your next home sweet home.

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The information is intended to be of a general nature only. Please make your own enquiries.

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