If you want the absolute highest price for your house, there could certainly be a few easy, low-cost updates to consider. OK, so while we admit the following list contains more common sense than tightly held trade secrets, these things aren’t always obvious to sellers – especially those that are new to the world of property sales. One of the golden rules to remember is that any money you put into the house doesn’t necessarily result in a higher value at the time of sale. In the past, we’ve found that sellers can get clouded and overwhelmed with information, or mistakenly inject large amounts of money into renovations believing that this will drive up the end price. Here are 5 of our top ‘secrets’ enhancing potential for an awesome result without spending a small fortune.

1.   Define Your Selling Goal

This sale is about you. Not your agent. Not the buyer. You. Selling your own or family home can be an emotional and exhausting process, so ask yourself if your life will improve as a benefit of the sale. You should be able to discern a clear and positive reason for selling, such as:

  • Needing to upgrade to a larger family home
  • Reducing financial pressure
  • Downsizing to a smaller, more manageable property
  • Moving to a retirement village
  • Freeing up property equity

Once you have set that goal, your agent can help you work from A towards B.  If you are putting your property on the market just to see if you can get a dream price, but are otherwise comfortable in your current residence, you will be wasting time, energy and a whole lot of emotions. Putting your property on the market when you don’t have a genuine desire to change or improve your situation by relocating can be a very expensive and disruptive exercise.

As for whether to sell based on market conditions, again, this sale is about you. If you are selling and buying the same market it shouldn’t play too much of a part. What matters is how urgently you need to upsize, change locations, or release capital. Don’t sell if you aren’t ready and remember, you can always ask professionals their advice around your own situation. There shouldn’t be a one size fits all approach. Most importantly, be sure your reason for selling is confidential between you and your agent. 

2.   Boost Your Street Cred

Your house’s street front appearance is your first chance to make an impression, so make it count. If your house looks shabby from the road, potential drive-by buyers could end up giving the inspection a miss. Cleaning the outside of your home is one of the first things we recommend when building up your street credibility. A high-powered wash is an inexpensive way to clear away years of dirt and cobwebs on your external walls, not to mention removing those unsightly mossy bits on the roof. Even just a good brush down of cobwebs can help.  Give windows a bit of a clean and remove or repair any ripped awnings or window coverings if you can. When it comes to painting, redoing the entire house is a major investment of time and labour. Your buyers may also want to paint it their own colour anyway, so just be sure to touch up any areas where the paint is cracked, flaking or damaged. We don’t recommend making major changes to your home’s facade unless necessary, because as soon as external tradespeople enter the picture, you are looking at big bills.

Also, check that entrance gates are working and that your fence isn’t in a state of disrepair, remember first impressions count. Finally, if time allows spend a little time in the garden. Clear away any overgrowth or weeds, sweep paths, cut the lawn and get rid of any unsightly garden rubbish or detritus. A few flowers planted here and there, especially near the entrance, can also make the home look more welcoming, again if time and or budget allows.

Consider touching-up external areas that have cracked or flaking paint.

3.   Cover Over The Cracks

Paying some extra attention to cosmetic and structural issues could translate to thousands of extra dollars in your home sale. Basic repairs might be helpful in some circumstances. Unless your house looks to be in working order, buyers may use this to negotiate a lower price. There could be issues that you’ve learnt to live with but will be glaringly obvious to new visitors. Are there cracks in the wall you no longer see, missing door handles, wonky cupboards, ripped flyscreens or wayward curtains? You can always a friend or family member to be objective and point out areas of concern, or of course, ask your agent for advice on critical repairs. If there are any major structural issues you are aware of you could consider getting a professional building inspection report done prior to putting the house on the market and make this available for potential buyers.

Remember, buyers have imaginations. Even though there is a room or area that seems dated or off-trend, they will see that as an opportunity to reclaim it in their own style. You can’t cater for all potential tastes, so don’t go to too much trouble trying to hide existing themes. 

4.   Serve It Light & Fresh

Never mind cookies in a can. Buyers are wary of gimmicks and it may create a false first impression. Things like something baking in the oven or quiet background music can serve as distractions rather than enhancements. Light, however, is a major factor when it comes to enlightening a buyer’s mood. Savvy buyers with a penchant for detail will pay attention to how much light is reaching inside and from which direction sunlight hits the house. Others will just be moved by the brilliance of light in a particular space or enjoy the warmth and cosiness of artificial light in dull areas.

Open up the curtains to ensure maximum light pours through the windows. If it’s winter and the air is a bit too chilly, turn on lights or add lamps to areas that are particularly dark. A fireplace is often a sought-after feature for buyers in Victoria, so if you have one, set it alight to infuse natural warmth and comfort.

Fresh air is also ideal. No matter how well you’ve cleaned, your home may still have remnant scents, so get those windows open before the inspection. Finally, make sure the bathroom is in good condition. Grimy tiles, dust, stained grout or mold is never a good look if you can help it. Even if your bathroom is dated, giving it an extreme clean before inspections is recommended.

5.   Show Off Your Best Features

You know what they are. They might be the reason you bought the house in the first place, or could be features you have added since you bought the house. Many buyers fall in love with properties based on their best features. This could be the incredible view from the balcony for example, if so give your buyers clear and easy access to it. If the home has noteworthy or period architecture, talk to your agent about how best to highlight this in the marketing materials.

Maybe you have a statement fireplace. As mentioned above, if it’s winter, get it roaring. If it’s summer, perhaps sweep it out and stack some logs and pine cones in it. If your property has beautiful heritage features, check their condition. Consider a repaint of iron lacework if needed and give the stained glass a good clean. Does your home have beautiful wooden floorboards? You’ll want to get these looking their best, but don’t leave wet floors just before an inspection or you could end up with a very messy (and slippery) open house. Of course, some houses have negative features as well. A good agent will ask about the positive features of your property and be able to discuss these with potential buyers.

There may be things you love about the house that won’t be of as much consequence to new buyers, so if in doubt, let your experienced agent guide you on what is most desirable in the current market.

Show off your property’s best features and you could yield a better result.

Get The Price You Want With Kardinia Property

Even in a sellers, buyers or balanced market it’s essential to have an expert agent on your side who can not only execute effective sales strategy but is also master of negotiation. If you’re thinking of selling, get in touch with your Geelong-exclusive real estate agents at Kardinia Property ​for your best chance at a higher price.  Jackson and Sara Wilson treat all of their clients like family so if you’d like to experience real estate, as it should be simply give them a call at the office on 52928084 or Contact them HERE. They are always happy to discuss property plans, values or provide information that may assist in making decisions.

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