When it’s time to sell your home, you’ll suddenly become painfully aware of all those little flaws and nagging home improvement projects that you’ve been keeping on the backburner. Renovations are expensive and time-consuming, so it’s not uncommon to put them off.
But those pet peeves that you ‘learned to live with’ might turn off potential buyers. Before trying to sell your home, improve its appearance and bump up its value with these five quick-fix shortcuts.
- If You Must Remodel, Focus on Kitchen & Bathroom
When selling, you should generally avoid any major remodelling projects – they are typically costly and there are no short cuts. But if you do have enough time and money on your hands to give any part of the house a total facelift, focus on the kitchen and bathrooms.
According to realtors, these are the most important rooms in the house to potential buyers. A beautiful kitchen and bathroom can often mean the difference between a quick sale and a home that lingers on the market. And, unlike other rooms, most of the cost of renovating a kitchen or bathroom can be recouped in the sale price.
- Fashion Before Function
Even though you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, all homebuyers do exactly that. The cosmetic appearance of your home will register with homebuyers on a subliminal level. First impressions are not negotiable – and they are lasting.
If you want to boost the appeal of your home in a short time with a limited budget, focus more on how the house ‘looks’ than how it ‘works’. It's better to put that $1000 towards fresh paint, a new doormat, mood lighting or a manicured lawn, rather than upgrade your plumbing. As long as the existing plumbing is functional, keep it. New plumbing will not impress buyers.
- Fresh Paint For Tired Walls
Some women never leave the house without a full face of makeup – it makes them feel fresh, attractive and complete. A new coat of paint can have a similar effect on the way people view your home.
New paint, especially well-chosen and contemporary shades, will transform a house and boost its curb appeal. Be careful of deep tones.
If you don’t have time to paint the house yourself, call in the professionals. Of all trades, painting is one of the more affordable. House painters charge a significantly lower rate than the hourly rates charged by most other service providers, like plumbers and electricians.
- Don’t Replace When You Can Refurbish
When a property is for sale, stained carpets, damaged floorboards, or broken tiles make a bad first impression. But don’t rush out and spend thousands on all-new flooring unless it’s absolutely necessary. Let the new owner make those big decisions in their own time.
Your main priority should be ensuring that the floors don’t look too shabby. Superficial repairs or maintenance should be enough to improve the look of your flooring. Try steam-cleaning the carpets; re-sanding and polishing the wood floors; or eliminating a squeaky floorboard with a few nails. Fresh floors will give your space a new lease on life.
Apply the same logic to other items in disrepair. Do you need a brand new water heater? Or can you get away with a simple repair of your existing one? Why replace the front door altogether when you can sand and paint the one you have?
- Clean The Windows
Before you dive headfirst into repair mode and start fixing and replacing things, don’t underestimate the value of a good, old-fashioned cleanup - starting with your windows.
This simple step is often overlooked but it makes an enormous difference to the overall appearance of your home – both inside and out. If your house has lots of windows, consider hiring a professional window cleaner. They will have the equipment and know how to get the job done quickly and effectively.
Katie is a blogger, digital marketing specialist and community manager for Airtasker, a community based marketplace. People post and receive offers for handyman services from Airtasker in Australia. Katie is a great cook and also enjoys interior design, especially DIY. Living next to the beach, she's always there (on weekends) swimming, catching up with friends or volunteering as a lifesaver.