Home improvements on a budget

16/07/2019

Is it worth renovating a house before selling? This is a question many home sellers ask, particularly if they are selling a house that needs repairs. Before you start spending, it’s essential to know the right home improvements to make before selling your home. Getting the balance right is crucial if you want to make your money back.


The right home improvements don’t need to be expensive to make a huge difference to your home. Here we reveal the best renovations to do before selling if you want to maximise your selling price.


How to sell a house that needs updating


1. Talk to an agent

The first thing you need to do is talk to a reputable, experienced real estate agent. They will know the market in your area, so they will have the best idea of what local buyers are looking for. There’s no point adding features that simply won’t attract buyers, as the cost of these renovations might not end up being reflected in the sale price.


An experienced agent will take a look at your home and advise you of cosmetic changes that will make the most difference and achieve maximum returns on your investment. They will also be able to put you in touch with a professional home stylist who can showcase your property in its best light.


2. Find a team of reputable tradespeople

DIY is fine if you’re experienced, but remember all renovation work has to look professional to attract buyers. If you’re not confident doing a job yourself, even if it’s just painting, it’s far better to get an experienced tradesperson to do it.


You should always get at least three quotes for every job, but don’t always be tempted to go for the cheapest – their work might not be good quality, so it could cost you more money in the long run as you might not achieve the sales price you’re hoping for. It helps if you can get recommendations first – it’s worth talking to your real estate agent, as they might have a team of trusted tradies they use regularly.


3. Don’t overspend

Remember, the most important thing here is to add value to your home. You don’t want to overspend or have to get a loan to fix your house to sell, as you are unlikely to see a return on your investment.


In addition, the buyer is unlikely to share your taste. If you spend thousands on a new kitchen or bathroom, they could easily rip it out as soon as the house is sold.


This means the most important thing is to concentrate on essential repairs and small cosmetic changes. Selling a house in poor condition is extremely difficult, but you can easily fix the main problems without breaking the bank.


What are the most important improvements to make before selling a house?


1. Clean and tidy

Make sure your property is completely decluttered and give it a thorough deep clean before making any other improvements. This will give you the best sense of what other work needs to be done, if any.


2. Freshen up

A coat of paint can make a huge difference to the look and feel of your home. Stick to neutral colours, as buyers want a blank canvas that they can imagine stamping their own personalities onto.


Regrouting tiled areas can make them look new, as can simple improvements like changing the handles on cupboard doors and drawers. If your cabinetry looks shabby, simply replace the doors, wherever possible, rather than investing in brand-new cabinets.


You should also replace any worn or damaged flooring, but this can be done cheaply – you don’t need to buy the most expensive. It's amazing how much difference a few small cosmetic changes can make. For example:


  • In the bathroom: You can retile a bathroom quite cheaply, particularly if it's relatively small. You can also replace the doors on a vanity, swap old tapware for new, paint the ceiling and you're done.

  • In the kitchen: Replace cupboard doors and handles, paint the walls, put down a new floor covering, replace old tapware and your kitchen will look like new.

  • In the garage: Make sure the space is tidy and ordered, and check the door mechanism works.


3. Make any necessary small repairs

Creaking doors, dripping taps or broken tiles are instant turnoffs for buyers, as they suggest there might be other, larger problems with your home. Make sure all these minor issues are fixed. Don’t forget the exterior of the property, either – make sure the roof tiles and fence are in good condition.


Whatever changes you decide to make, you should choose budget-friendly, timeless options rather than following the latest trends, and always talk to an agent first. If you would like any advice, we are always here to help.

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