1. Fix those small jobs
There’s nothing worse than a potential buyer looking around your home and seeing lots of fiddly jobs that haven’t been finished. In their head, they’ll be thinking that the house hasn’t been looked after particularly well and that maintenance has been low on your priority list.
If there are a few unfinished projects, now’s your chance to get them sorted and give buyers the impression that your home has been well cared for.
2. Clear the clutter
It’s important to create a picture in a buyer’s mind where they can see themselves living in your home. A house that’s spilling out with clutter and general untidiness is not going to cut it. If you can, go through every room in the house to get rid of the stuff you don’t need and put the things you want to keep in storage or in the attic.
Creating a clean, spacious home allows a potential buyer to picture where their favourite furniture might go. It’s a great way to increase the appeal of your home and often the sale price.
3. Freshen up your kitchen
For many buyers, the kitchen is the most important room in the house, so it’s important you get yours looking as good as it can. And that doesn’t necessarily mean a full-on kitchen renovation, which can cost you time and money. By doing a bit of research online, you’ll find some easy and affordable ways to make your old kitchen more appealing, whether it’s a fresh lick of paint, replacing the cupboard doors or even putting in some new flooring.
4. Make your bathroom sparkle
Any prospective buyers may forgive an old-fashioned bathroom, but not a dirty one. So, now’s the time to put in a bit of elbow grease and get your bathroom looking immaculate.
Focusing on the tiles around the shower and bath is a good place to start. Re-grouting the corners and edges is also an easy way to make grubby tiles as good as new – and can be done by just about anyone. Use bleach to clear up any mould issues. New home buyers always love a pristine-looking bathroom.
Finally, if your bathroom taps are rusty and your shower head looks a little outdated, this is a good opportunity to invest in some new fittings and create a more contemporary look for minimal cost.
5. Let the light in
A dark and dimly-lit home can feel small, cold and uninviting, so try to let as much natural light in as possible. Start by opening all your curtains and blinds, wash all your windows, cut back any plants or trees that might block out natural light and think about replacing dark-toned curtains and blinds with bright natural colours.
Your next job is to look at the colour scheme of each room. If your furniture and furnishings are dark, think about replacing them with neutral colours that will make your home look bigger and brighter. Mirrors are also a cost-effective way to make a home feel more spacious and are particularly effective in rooms without windows.
The last thing you could do is experiment with new lighting, which can quickly add warmth to any home. Downlights, bedside lamps, desk lamps and under-cabinet lighting can all enhance the overall light experience and highlight features such as a backsplash or fireplace. Finally, keep your bathroom lighting bright (such as above the vanity) and consider using ‘warmer’ downlights for the rest of the room.
6. Add a fresh coat of paint
Painting is one of the cheapest and simplest ways to quickly transform your home and get it ‘buyer ready’. Start with the interior walls and don’t scrimp on the ceilings. They may not seem important to you, but they will to a prospective buyer.
Bright, natural paint tones are best for creating a fresh, clean look and making your home feel more spacious. And don’t be afraid to do the painting work yourself. With a little patience and a steady hand, you will make the place look 10 years younger – and save yourself money that can be put to good use somewhere else.
Remember, there are certain paint colours and combinations you should try to avoid. If a room has a lot going on, then chances are it won’t appeal to as many buyers, so try to stay as close to neutral as you can and use classic colour combinations where possible.
For instance, a mix of blue and white tones in the bedroom is shown to be relaxing and popular, as well as soft neutral greys. On the other hand, something a little more out-there like red and yellow is seen as a very personal colour choice, which potentially limits its appeal to a wider buyer segment.
Finally, try to avoid using trendy paint colours that can go out of fashion very quickly.
7. Spruce up the outside
First impressions count for a lot, which is why the outside of your home is so important to get right. In fact, research suggests that if a buyer drives past a home that they don’t like the look of, they won’t even bother inspecting it.
The front of your house is essentially your elevator pitch – your chance to ‘greet’ buyers and entice them to come inside.
Start with a little garden maintenance, covering everything from mowing and raking, to sweeping and weeding. You should also clear away any garden waste and clutter such as kids’ toys, bicycles and gardening equipment. If you have a front fence, make sure it’s clean and opens smoothly.
Once you’ve sorted the garden, you can move on to the façade. Start by making sure the front door and walls are clean and paint them if need be. Once this is done, you may want to sweep the porch, replace the front doormat, get rid of any cobwebs and clean all exterior windows.
8. Consider styling your home
There are a growing number of property sellers who invest in a professional property stylist before putting their home on the market. A home stylist will aim to create a consistent, more neutral flow around your home, allowing potential buyers to picture how they might put their own stamp on the place.
Typically, they will look to clear your home of any personal items and clutter and suggest removing any decor that is too large or old-fashioned. They will then ‘stage’ your home with more contemporary pieces, including new furniture, rugs, and wall art, as well as on-trend accessories and fresh flowers.
At the end of the day, it’s the little touches that can make all the difference when you’re looking to get top dollar for your home. And with a bit of love, effort and small improvements like these, you can potentially add thousands to the selling price.
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