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15 home-selling improvements that take less than an hour

March 16, 2020 9:00 am by Upside

If you want to sell your house quickly, affordably and for the highest price, you’re probably wondering if it’s possible to add value to your home on a budget.

The answer is yes: adding value to your home doesn’t always mean having to fork out thousands of dollars to undergo a major renovation. In fact, there are plenty of small improvements you can make to increase your home’s value fast.

If you want to make the biggest impact for the smallest investment of time and cash, here are 15 quick ways to help you sell your house.

1. Tidy the front garden and nature strip

Curb appeal is an important factor in getting people interested in buying your house, so spend an hour mowing, weeding, edging, and pruning.

2. Clean the windows and mirrors

Make sure your windows are nice and clear, giving a sense of space, light, and air. Same with your mirrors, especially the ones in the bathroom.

3. Put away kids’ toys

After a while, it can be difficult to remember what your house looks like without all the Lego, balls, dolls, and trucks, but tidying them away will make a big difference to the sense of space and calm in your house.

4. Pack away personal items

De-personalising is a great house selling tip. Taking away knick-knacks, most of the family photos, letters, bills, medications and reminders creates a more streamlined environment that people can imagine themselves living in.

5. Put out some nice throw cushions

One way to give your living room and bedrooms an instant lift is by using some attractive throw cushions on the sofas and beds.

living room decor house selling tips
Be sure to make a 'getting your house ready to sell' checklist. It could be as easy as getting some new throw cushions to spruce up your living room.

6. Take everything off the fridge

Clear off the artwork, postcards, magnet collection, and shopping list – the fridge is a large surface in the kitchen, and the eye can be drawn to the clutter. Kitchens are an important consideration for buyers, so making it look its best should be top of the ‘getting your house ready to sell’ checklist.

7. Put some plants inside the house

Another way to make the environment more pleasant is to add some house plants to the living spaces.

8. De-clutter surfaces

Go through the house with a keen eye for any clutter – books, papers, magazines, trinkets, stationery. Anything that could be put away should be.

9. Make sure it smells fresh

Think about all the senses when you’re preparing for a house inspection: smell is a big one. If your place smells damp or stale, it could be a turn-off for potential purchasers, so open the windows or burn some essential oils to freshen the smell.

10. Clear any magazines from the bathroom

Many bathrooms have a stack of books, newspapers, and magazines that go unnoticed. Clearing them away makes the bathroom much tidier and more appealing.

11. Add lamps to make the lighting brighter

If you’ve got dim or harsh lighting, adding lamps to dark corners is a great way to brighten a space or create a gentler light.

house selling tips
More tips for selling your home include brightening up dim rooms with lamps.

12. Fix creaky doors and leaky taps

Been putting off some DIY jobs? Now’s the time to upgrade. Get out the spanner and the DW40 to eliminate small, but irritating, flaws in your home.

13. Dust in hard-to-reach places

Above door lintels, in the corners of ceilings and floors, on the top of cupboards. Keen-eyed buyers will notice cobwebs.

14. Repaint window sills and door frame

Painted wooden window sills and door frames often get chipped or stained, so a quick touch-up is a good way to improve the look of your home quickly.

15. Tidy the backyard

Pop away the lawnmower, bikes, kids’ toys, neaten up the barbecue area, and remove any major weed breakouts.

How to increase the value of your home if you have more time

Have more time to spare and a slightly bigger budget? These are some of the most effective ways to add value to your house:

  • Repaint the interiors and exteriors
  • Lay down new carpeting and/or floorboards
  • Install new built-in wardrobes and kitchen cabinets
  • Retile the bathroom and/or kitchen
  • Have the garden professionally landscaped
  • Update your dishwasher and other permanent fixtures
  • Have your home professionally staged

What adds value to a house?

If you’re in the early stages of planning to sell, you’re probably asking, ‘What increases a home’s value?’ The truth is it depends on a number of factors, including your home’s location and your typical buyer profile.

For example, having a pool tends to increase property value in beachside areas but can actually reduce the value of your home in colder climates. In other words, there are many factors at play in determining a property’s value, which is why it’s best to seek an expert opinion on your property’s value.

However, if you want to get a general feel for how much your property could be worth, these factors tend to positively impact a home’s value:

General factors:

  • Recent growth in the Australian property market and property values in your area
  • Low interest rates on home loans
  • Positive overall economic outlook
  • Strong population growth in your area
  • Low unemployment rates in your area

Property features:

  • Spacious land and/or property size
  • Renovated kitchen and bathroom
  • Fresh paintwork
  • Energy-efficient features such as solar panels
  • Plenty of storage space
  • Private parking
  • Landscaped outdoor area
  • Quiet street location
  • Close proximity to public transport, amenities and entertainment
  • Outdoor features like a swimming pool and landscaping

Again, this is a general guide and not every feature will apply to every property. Adding value to your home specifically comes down to understanding buyer demand in your area.

That’s why it’s a good idea to work with a real estate agent who has in-depth knowledge of your local market and can offer tailored guidance on how to maximise your property’s sale price.

To get a general idea of how much your property may be worth before you sell, you can also request a free property value estimate online. This only takes 30 seconds, and gives you an in-depth report featuring historic sales data and comparable home sales in your area.

Upside

Upside is an Australian-owned, full-service real estate agency with one low fee and no commission. Our standard is other agents’ ‘extras’, delivering vendors a complete agent managed service including a full appraisal, open home management, copywriting, photography, signage and advertising. It's the way real estate should be.

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