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5 areas you should upgrade before selling your home

By George Hadgelias

When it comes to selling a property, there are many tricks of the trade you can employ to improve your sale price.

From a lick of paint to simply mowing the lawn, find out which focus-areas and tasks will have the biggest impact for the lowest cost.

We spoke to buyer’s advocate Nicole Jacobs to understand what it is people are really looking for, and how your home can live up to their expectations.

1. The walls

“Painting is always on the top of the list because for every dollar you spend on painting you can probably get back over a thousand,” Nicole insists.

Put simply, a paint job will give you bang for buck! So, what colours should you go with?

“Keep it as neutral as possible without being stark. There are so many white paints out there, so a lot of it will come down to the light your space has, and the tones of furniture and flooring.

“If you’re changing your floor you should think about the paint at the same time, and vice versa. White paint will reflect the colour of the floor.”

2. The floor

Flooring isn’t an easy one to change-up, but sometimes the existing flooring is just completely worn out, dirty and daggy. If you’re dealing with 20-year-old carpet, it’s going to benefit from an overhaul.

According to Nicole, choosing new flooring for a house on the market should depend on the type of home you have and who is looking to buy it.

“If you’re selling a home that’s going to attract home buyers (as opposed to investors), then you really need to reflect that in the flooring. I’d be going for a really good engineered floorboard that you can put straight over the top of your existing floors,” she advises.

“If you’re planning on selling to property investors, look instead to a quality, cost-effective choice, like a low-cost laminate, for instance.”

One easy way to upgrade a floor is via floating floorboards. These simply interlock and are laid over existing foundations to reduce installation time. Nicole recommends Carpet Court’s ranges of floating timber floorboards, which are easy to install and also attract a lot of compliments, she’s found.

When it comes to carpet both renters and buyers still look for that softness underfoot in bedrooms and upstairs areas. If you’re selling to investors who want to rent out the property, consider a low-maintenance, stain-resistant option like Carpet Court’s synthetic dyed nylon varieties. For something more luxurious – to attract someone buying into their forever home – nothing beats wool!

Finally, Nicole recommends considering the architecture and style of the rest of the home when picking a colour or style of flooring.

“Be sure to look at the light in the rooms and also the architecture of the house, because some homes lend themselves to a lighter or darker flooring depending on the period of style.”

3. The street view

“People often drive past a house before they’ve even decided if they’re going to go look inside, so street appeal is really important,” Nicole says.

“De-clutter and get rid of anything that shouldn’t be there, mulch the garden, put in a new lawn if you can – these things are relatively inexpensive when it comes to payback on the day of auction.”

Furthermore, if you’re painting a home’s internal walls anyway, you may as well consider touching up the exterior too.

4. The kitchen

According to Nicole, “kitchens and bathrooms sell homes.” However, before you gut your entire kitchen, make sure a renovation is worth your while.

“If you’re going to update the kitchen, make sure you’re going to be able to reflect that in the sale price,” she says. “Otherwise, just clean it up, paint it if it’s daggy, de-clutter and add a few choice styling items.”

To help you decide whether you should redo your kitchen, speak to your selling agent, Nicole recommends. They should have a good idea of the demographic your home appeals to (first home buyers, investors, young families etc.) and whether or not they are more likely to expect a fully-equipped kitchen versus a fixer-upper.

5. The lighting – including the windows

“Clean your windows!” Nicole says. “It sounds crazy but with clean windows people can see straight out to the yard and they feel they have more of a connection to the home.”

She also suggests trimming back any trees that obstruct views or light. In fact, a well-lit home is high on the priority list for most buyers.

“I’ve never had a brief from a client who wanted a dark home,” she says.

“Look at your light fittings. You may need to get rid of them and opt for something that allows more light to come through.”

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