Moving house is commonly described as being one of the most stressful experiences in life. Even if it’s for a good reason – like a growing family, or a great promotion in another city – having to give up your home and pack up your life is tough, without even thinking about the financial side of things. The fact is though, making even a little bit of effort to spruce up your home before sale can increase its value by as much as 20% and make it sell faster; both are reasons you’ll find it hard to say no to. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be a full-scale remodel to feel the benefits: there’s many easy DIY projects you can do in an afternoon.
Important to remember
The first thing to note though is that taking care of your home long-term is a really good investment and will prove itself when you come to sell. Rather than just papering over the cracks, deal promptly with any issues that crop up and invest in protection from flooding, plumbing problems and storm damage. Keeping your house free of clutter and clean will also pay off in the long run. Another really important thing to be aware of is to be realistic about the cost-benefit of how much you are spending on improvements.
Start with the small stuff
Easy jobs which can be done quickly and cheaply should be at the top of your list, costing little in terms of money and time but adding to the positive impression of your home.
Dripping taps should be repaired, and mouldy grout or sealant in kitchen and bathrooms should be cleaned or replaced.
Cracks and peeling paint should be sanded back, filled, and repainted.
Making a bigger investment
If you have a bit more money to play with, consider upgrading features in your bathroom and kitchen, which are the rooms that come under most scrutiny from potential buyers. There is little point in buying new furniture for the bedroom or living room, as you’re going to be taking that all with you: the bathroom and kitchen however, stay behind for the new owners. Even if a completely new bathroom suite is out of the question, you can add a heated towel rail, large new shower head, new faucet, and new shower screen for around $300 – and having slick, functional bathrooms can bump up your asking price by a few thousand dollars. Consider updating your shower room with modern features such as a walk-in-shower or contemporary shower enclosures.
Some extra money on cushions and flowers is also a good idea just before viewings, but most potential buyers are savvy to this kind of set dressing. Making sure that the structural quality and good design of your home shines through is what will win you a buyer – and hopefully after a few improvements, a few more dollars than you were expecting.