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Increase the Value of Your Home in 10 Simple Steps

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Even if you aren’t considering selling your home anytime in the near future, knowing the best ways to increase your property’s value is invaluable. For many homeowners, this includes being prepared to grab some tools from the garage and getting your hands dirty, for others it may involve hiring a tradesman. Remember though, it’s always good to check with a real estate agent to assess whether the repairs will provide a return on investment (ROI) as there is no point putting money into a renovation if you won’t make it back in the sale. Whatever the method, it’s a good idea to try and make your house as close to turnkey standards as possible. A turnkey home is a house where a buyer can move right in without the need for any initial repairs. Many buyers are more interested in turnkey homes, because they don’t want to put more money and effort into a project after going through the lengthy process of purchasing a home. The following are ten simple ways that you can approach turnkey status and improve your home’s property value before putting it on the market:

Step 1: Paint and Repair External Walls

First impressions are all-important in the world of real estate. The first thing that a potential buyer will see is your property’s exterior. Properties that appear dilapidated, old, or ugly won’t make the cut. There’s nothing like a fresh coat of paint to make your home look fresh, modern, and more universally appealing. However, you may wish to shy away from overly bold shades such as lime green, or you’ll make your house stand out for all the wrong reasons. There are a number of virtual painting programs online that can give you a good idea of what your house will look like.

In addition to giving your home a paint job, you should also examine the exterior for visible signs of damage. Walls made of weatherboard may have panels that need replacing. Brick homes may need to have small gaps filled in with fresh mortar, and rendered walls can do with fresh concrete to fill in gaps. These small improvements will make a property look like new without the need for major renovation.

Step 2: Upgrade Doors and Windows

Small details such as doors and windows can make a major difference in how stylish your home looks. Replacing old doors or windows can also make your home more energy efficient. This leads to more affordable household running costs and a more attractive, environmentally-conscious property.

Step 3: Landscaping and Yard Lighting

Buyers love an attractively landscaped yard, and it doesn’t usually take much money to fix one up and make it shine. A household’s yard is considered to be a good indicator of the total amount of effort given to the property, as dead plants, messy gardens, or boring yards can be a fast turn-off. Investing in new soil, rocks, shrubs, groundcovers, trees, and mulch can help transform your yard; making it appear fresh and inviting. Do the work yourself if you have a green thumb, or you can enlist the services of a professional landscaper. Be sure to focus on lighting as well, because some buyers will drive past the property to have a look after dark. Night lighting can create a modern, chic look for your garden.

Step 4: Fix or Upgrade the Interior Flooring

You wouldn’t necessarily think of it, but one of the first things that buyers look at upon entering a home is the floor. People expect floors to be contemporary, clean, and stylish. Old, musty carpeting will definitely not do your home any favours. Although hardwood floors are perennially popular and easy to care for, a high quality carpet can also be quite attractive and create a warm atmosphere. Be sure to fix any flaws in your flooring and be prepared to replace carpets if they are ancient.

Step 5: Upgrade the Kitchen

The kitchen is one of the most important communal areas of any home. Buyers want a functional workspace that includes adequate water taps, cupboards, and bench-tops. Going beyond these basic needs will depend on the type of buyer you are trying to attract. In most cases, you don’t need to turn your kitchen into a cordon bleu-level space, provided that your kitchen is up to par with comparable homes in your area. It’s quite a common mistake for sellers to overdo kitchen upgrades with fancy granite or marble bench-tops and all-new stainless steel appliances. Although this looks sleek and modern, some buyers will be turned off by these types of upgrades because they will automatically assume that the house is more expensive because of them. In any case, be sure that all appliances are in working condition and that the kitchen looks tidy and attractive.

Step 6: Bathroom and Toilet Repairs

As with kitchen upgrades, it’s possible to go crazy renovating a bathroom with all-new showers, toilets, tubs, and cabinetry, and this may not necessarily add value to your home. A good bathroom space will be both functional and aesthetically appealing. Small repairs like painting the walls and replacing tile grout can work wonders. Clean out your exhaust fan and repair chips in the bathtub or sink to make fixtures look like new. It’s also worthwhile in some cases to replace old light fixtures with more user-friendly or energy efficient models.

Step 7: Internal Lighting Fixtures

Although the cost of lighting fixtures varies greatly, if you have those old-fashioned hanging lights with paper lampshades, then it’s probably time for an upgrade. Lighting is really important in selling a house as it makes the house look its best. You can play up different features of your home with the right lighting effects: down-lights look good in most environments, and spot-lighting can be used to play up other pieces of decor in the home. Energy efficient lighting can also boost a property’s appeal.

Step 8: Painting Interior Walls

There are certain trends that come and go in interior design. You may have noticed that many new model homes come with coloured walls rather than blank, white walls. Buyers can interpret a white-walled home as being boring and devoid of character, while the right colours can be exciting. However, it’s important to take care with your paint choices as you want potential buyers to be able to imagine themselves in the property and really bold colours may alienate. If you’re using colour, be sure that all the colours blend well together and match other design aspects of your home. Accent walls and textured brush techniques can add visual interest to your property, but consult with an interior designer if you are unsure.

Step 9: Roof and Foundations

The structure of your home may not be apparent to buyers on first glance like many of these other factors. However, a poor inspection report due to flaws in your roof or foundations could break your sale at the last moment. It’s important to have a professional come in to inspect your home ahead of time, so that you can repair any structural flaws.

Step 10: Home Organisation and Heavy Cleaning

A heavy, thorough cleaning can work wonders on any property. This part of the process will be cheap, but it will take some considerable time and physical effort on your part to do right. Focus on cleaning every surface of the home with a bucket, soap, and warm water. This includes all the places of the home that you can see, as well as all those hidden corners that you can’t see. Get behind the stove and refrigerator, and move furniture to clean what lies underneath. A clean, tidy home with everything in working repair will help you get the best possible selling price. If you’re going to hold inspections whilst still living in the property, be sure to organise all clutter. Remove all your personal belongings, such as family photos, that will hinder the buyer’s ability to put themselves in the house. Get storage boxes and consider getting short-term off-site storage for all your items that don’t fit neatly into cupboards. Remember buyers will be opening everything and looking everywhere, and neatness (however obsessive) suggests a house that is in good order.

Following these ten simple steps is sure to improve the value of your property.  Once your home is ready to sell, the next thing you’ll need is a top real estate agent. You can compare real estate agents and find the one that best suits you on LocalAgentFinder. It’s a free, no-obligation service that is quick and easy to use.

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