As you prepare your home for sale you want the best price for your home, but know it might not be in best price condition.
The last thing you probably want to be spending money on is a house you are about to move out of. However, when you think about making a small investment in your current home in order to get a higher return at sale, then that’s actually more money you can spend moving into the home you are going to enjoy living in.
When done correctly you can add significant amounts to your final sale price, how would an $45000 look in your bank account?
There are so many reasons a run-down house might need to go on the market.
- Downsizing to a unit
- Selling a deceased estate
- Upsizing for your growing family
It’s not always possible to have cash on hand to make significant improvements or renovations, and actually, it’s not always a smart idea to put personal touches on a home you are leaving. That’s why I’m sharing ways you spend less than $5000 to prepare your home for sale.
Which rooms do I spend money on?
Kitchens and bathrooms are the most expensive renovations to carry out. While a sparkling kitchen bathroom creates a great impression, you are probably not going to recoup the thousands of dollars it will take to upgrade or the 6-8 months of living in rubble.
Not only that, if you are selling a dated and run down home, you will be attracting buyers who are looking for a project. They may have dreams of building their own custom kitchen or bathroom and something that needs some care and attention will be right up their alley.
We are going to focus on areas that will give your home a superior look with minimum spend.
Paint interior walls with a neutral colour (white, beige, creams, grey). This can include kitchen cupboards as well if needed. Painting will smooth over walls and give a fresh clean look.
With a budget of $5000 you can recarpet as well as repaint every room. It’s a clean look, feel and smell that is welcoming and feels safe as a first impression.
If you have a dated, worn or rickety fence, you can put in a white picket fence for less than $1000, which frames the yard nicely and updates the appeal of the home instantly.
These kinds of strategic alterations can increase your home’s value by at least $50,000.
If you are willing to roll up your sleeves and put in some serious work over a few weekends you can make a number of impacting changes for no money at all.
Get rid of all clutter and junk. You will probably throw most of it out when you move house anyway so get in early and clean up now to impress potential buyers. While it is true they are buying the home, not the contents, it is very distracting and disengaging to wander through messy rooms and junk heap yards. The more space you have, the more a potential buyer will be able to picture themselves living in your home.
Throw out any soiled, saggy or out-dated furniture, less is definitely more. If you find your rooms looking too bare and boring ask to borrow furniture from friends or family members until you find a buyer. A mattress on the floor makes a lousy first impression, if nothing else borrow a bed frame to make the room feel finished and polished. Make all beds neatly with clean linen.
Put on the rubber gloves and scrub over every surface, inside and outside the home, including steps, windows, sinks, floors and tiles.
Tidy up the front yard. Weed flowerbeds, trim and prune trees, shrubs and hedges, mow the grass. If your grass is looking a little worse for wear, consider reseeding or laying down bark mulch or gravel to hide dead grass or flowerbeds.
Let the new buyer spend money
Be okay with presenting a clean and functioning space your new buyers can play with – after all, once they buy it, it’s theirs to do what they want. Spending money on big repairs and renovations might actually take away the charm and motivation to buy an older property.
Walls and carpets are a great non-invasive way to give your home a fresh look without taking away a renovation project from the new owners. They may even appreciate that you have taken care of the surfaces so they can focus on the big project.
Go for clean, functional and ready to go. That way you create flexibility for anyone who wants to buy to rent, buy to live in or buy to renovate.
Most renovation lovers focus on kitchen, bathroom and backyard extensions (patio, decking, landscaping). Save your money and leave them to it.
Where to spend your time and money to prepare your home for sale
- Interior paint
- Rubbish removal
- Front yard clean and tidy
- New carpet and refinish floorboards
- Structural and visible issues (sagging gutters, slipped roof tiles, leaks, broken steps, wonky rails, old or rusty locks and handles)
When you spend less than $5000 to prepare your home for sale you can add thousands more to the sale price, and also give the new owners a clean and tidy canvas for them to create their own memories and feelings.
Peta Stewart – Certified Practicing Conveyancer