If you are thinking of selling your home, don’t rush to renovate. Here are 10 best things you can do to get your home sold quicker and for more money!
Have a good scrub
The cheapest and easiest way to increase the value of your home in the eyes of potential buyers is to make sure it’s spotlessly clean. Just as greasy hair and grimy fingernails are unlikely to score you a first date, so too is the household dirt likely to repel a potential property buyer.
Most people don’t have the imagination to look past piles of dirty dishes in the kitchen and discarded clothing strewn across your bedroom floor, to see how much nicer things would be if they lived there. All they’re likely to thing is “euugh”.
If you have two houses selling in an area at the same price at the same time, the cleaner one will always be snapped up faster.
Cost: N$ 130 for labor, N$ 100 for cleaning materials
Fix what’s broken
Assuming there’s no major structural problem with your home, using some spare cash and a bit of elbow grease on odd jobs you’ve never got round to doing, can add thousands of Dollars to the value of your property.
Touch up, rather than hide, what needs to be cleaned up. If everything appears to be in ship-shape condition, it tells the buyer there’s no extra work, or money, associated with the property.
Varnish doors and other woodwork that looks tired and scratched, fix dripping taps and tighten loose door handles. Don’t forget to ensure the gutters and roof tiles are in good order. One obvious maintenance job often overlooked is the garage door – and it’s usually the first thing a potential buyer sees!
Cost: from N$ 10 for a bag of nails.
Profit: from N$ 20 000
Mirrors, mirrors on the wall
Estate Agents unanimously agree that houses that let in a lot of light are likely to sell faster and for more money than dark, dingy ones. If you have lace or net curtains, remove them while you are selling to let in the sunshine. If there are hedges blocking windows, cut them back. Dark feels small and it feels stuffy.
Add mirrors: they are a clever ay to maximize light and create a feeling of space.
Cost: from N$ 200
Profit: you can add up to N$ 200 000 to the value of a property – depending on where it is located – by making rooms feel airier and bigger.
Banish your animals
You may love Doogly Dog as much as you love your children, but make sure there’s not even a hint of his presence when it’s time to sell. Vacuum those dog hairs off the living room couch and remove his basket and blankets from your bedroom.
A whole lot of people don’t have animals and don’t want to go into a house smelling of animals. Ask a friend to be honest about the possibility of smells in your home as it’s true that pet owners do get used to their own animals’ smells. So you may not be aware of a whiff that might offend others. Pet odors also suggest to potential buyers that there may be extra maintenance work, like replacing stained carpets and sanding down scratched doors. Doggy-doo landmines in the garden are also a no-no.
Cost: your time, and lodgings at your nearest kennel.
Profit: what your house is worth, even though you can’t imagine it dogless.
Beef up security
A home needs to feel safe. Depending on where you live, security measures should range from a security gate at the front door, to closed circuit cameras surrounding the perimeter. Security is very important.
Have an alarm liked to an armed response company. A high wall, electric fencing and burglar bars on large windows will all add to the value. Secure, even undercover, parking is a must in most areas.
Cost: from N$ 1 500
Profit: what your home is worth.
Throw out your junk
There’s probably loads of stuff you’re planning to get rid of once you move. Like that pile of magazines in the corner that’s suddenly become part of the décor, or those bags of two-sizes-too-small clothes you’re hoping to squeeze into again one day.
Don’t wait – throw it all out now, including those boxes in your garage. Clutter makes a place look smaller. It makes a buyer think there’s not a lot of packing space in the house. If they get the impression the house isn’t big enough for you, it may put them off.
Profit: your home’s true value.
Freshen up appearances
Spending N$ 20 000 and more on the cosmetics can add anything from N$ 50 000 to N$ 250 000 because it creates buyer appeal by getting the senses aroused. This includes a lick of paint, inside and out, changing grubby carpets and retiling where necessary, so your house looks and smells better. Keep it bland and neutral, rather than suiting your specific taste. This way you’re likely to interest a greater number of buyers.
Kitchens and bathrooms are ‘big decision-making rooms’; so spend some effort making them ‘feel special’. Modernize where you can, using quality primers and tile paint to update the bathrooms. Replacing work surfaces can also transform a kitchen without a major overhaul.
Cost: from about N$ 150 for a five-liter tin of paint.
Profit: up to N$ 250 000, depending on the size of your property and area.
Transform your maid’s quarters
Some people undertake expensive renovations just before they sell. Don’t spend time and hard-earned savings on this if you’re about to offload your property. Leave major improvements to the next homeowner.
If there’s space for a garage, for example, you may have a different idea on how you would like it to look. Remember, buyers aren’t prepared to pay extra for renovations they don’t like or would change if they moved in.
One exception, however, is a makeover of maid’s quarters, or MQs as they’re called in property circles, into a really smart bachelor pad. There’s a very big demand for cottages, as they provide additional income and can help pay off a bond. An extra person on the property adds security, too.
Cost: from about N$ 10 000 upwards – this does require more than a coat of paint.
Profit: up to N$ 200 000, depending on what rental it’s likely to produce.
Put in props
A home isn’t just about bricks and mortar; it’s about warmth, love and care.
Creating the right feeling will add value. If you have a pool, for example, invest in some garden furniture that suggests a relaxing loving lifestyle, such as two recliners, side by side.
Inside, a flower arrangement in the entrance hall, a bowl of fruit on the dining-room table and an artistic nest of candles in a corner can help create a more comfortable and even luxurious ambience.
Cost: several hundred to several thousand Dollars, depending on where you shop.
Profit: from several thousands to tens of thousands of Dollar.
Groom the garden
Contrary to popular opinion, swimming pools and tennis courts do not add much value; so don’t go to the trouble of installing them purely to boost your home’s price tag. Expect to increase the value of your home by only up to half the amount you spend on these nice-to-haves.
What does count, however, is a beautifully landscaped garden. You can’t do enough to manicure it. A garden is a very spiritual thing. People will overlook lots of problems if there’s a wonderful garden.
Cost: from N$ 150 for a quick tidy-up to several thousand Dollar
Profit: easily N$ 30 000 or more.
Whether you’ve got a pokey two-bedroom flat on offer, or a spacious luxury penthouse, the rules are the same for attracting buyers. While the area in which your property is situated is still the most important factor determining the general value of your home, there are some steps you can take to maximize its worth on a Sunday-afternoon show day.
- Start by tidying and cleaning. Put books back in the bookcase and hide kitchen canisters.
- Next, consider rearranging your furniture – and removing some altogether where necessary – to help crate an impression of greater spaciousness.
- Open curtains and remove netting to get as much light into your rooms as possible.
- Bright flowers in colorful pots inside, and freshly raked beds near the front door, can help create warmth.
- Don’t forget about the smell of your home. It’s not necessary to keep a pot of filter coffee on the boil or light incense sticks, but do keep bathrooms clean and the place generally tidy.
- Make sure you, your family and pets are out of sight. Your presence will only make buyers feel reluctant to discuss any concerns about a property – and will make it more difficult for the agent and buyer to develop a rapport.