How to add value to your home and renovate a house to sell
Thinking about selling? Unsure if your property needs a little TLC before you hit the market? What adds value to a house in Australia that will attract potential buyers?
It’s important to do your research on what features are going to get you the biggest return on investment. In many cases, it’s not luxury features that’ll impress buyers. It’s often the simple but smart upgrades across your property that will help you add the most value to your home.
For example, if you’re selling a smaller, inner-city property, perhaps you make use of nooks and crannies to add more storage and a fresh coat of paint to give your apartment that additional vibrance.
Or, if you’re selling a larger property, you could add features to your outdoor area, like outdoor blinds or a freshly landscaped front yard, to add to your curb appeal and make a huge difference.
If you are unsure where to begin, a local real estate agent can tell you the trending designs and features buyers in your area are looking for. You can compare agents here.
Below are some of our best ideas on how to add value to a home.
Value-adding features that’ll win the heart of potential buyers
Functional outdoor living spaces
We all know Aussies love to entertain. Potential buyers are likely to be impressed with smart outdoor spaces. If you have a little cash to splash, add or update an existing outdoor space.
Outdoor living feature ideas include:
- A pergola
- A deck or patio
- An outdoor fire
- A built-in barbecue
- Outdoor pendant lighting
- Built-in day beds
- An outdoor fan.
Outdoor spaces might be desired, more so in warmer locations. By chatting with your local real estate agent, you can ask them what tickles buyers’ fancy in terms of outdoor features.
Rethink the granny flat
If you’re considering renovating to extend your property, a smarter way to achieve more space could be to add a granny flat. This way, you don’t need to make any structural changes to your existing property.
And who says it needs to be a traditional granny flat?
You could build a guesthouse, a designer’s dream studio, or a kids’ rumpus room… the opportunities are endless.
There are now Australian companies that specialise in building modular granny flats or ‘nano homes’.
A granny flat could be the perfect option if you have an older property and want to modernise a part of the property. Plus, they can be built very quickly.
Improve your property’s curb appeal
The saying ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ doesn’t necessarily ring true when buyers inspect your property.
Buyers will almost certainly drive by to suss out the front of your property, so you’ll want to ensure you have an impressive curb appeal heading of listing it on the market.
Check that the following features are in tip-top condition:
- Front door
- Exterior walls
- Roof and guttering
Restore period features
If you’re looking to add value to an older property, it’s worth looking into its history.
Did your property once possess timber sash windows, tessellated tiling, cast iron fencing or lace?
Find out what year your property was built. Then, it’s a good idea to research period features of that era or seek professional help to find out what they were.
You may find period features if you strip back some of your existing materials—for example, flooring and closed-off balconies.
Restoring period features can be a timely process, so if you are thinking about selling in the short term, be sure to ask for an ETA from suppliers and tradespeople straight away.
Make use of nooks and crannies
Rather than making structural changes, using rarely used space is a fun way of adding value to your home.
Where you have unused space, consider adding the following:
- Desk space
- Storage cupboards
- A reading nook or day bed.
Let more natural light flow
The more natural light your home has, the better its overall value. Natural lighting makes a home more energy-efficient; at the same time, it’s a good mood booster.
There are many ways to let more natural light flow. Adding mirrors can give a greater sense of space because it can create an impression of a doubled space. In addition, when carefully placed, it can help direct natural light into darker areas.
It would also help to repaint the walls and add light and brighter colours.
This is one of the easiest ways to add more light to the property. Furthermore, the colour of your interior wall can reflect natural light into the room.
Skylights are also an effective way to draw more natural light, bringing in more consistent light than most windows. This is simply because they are placed on the ceiling, which means there is less likely surrounding shade.
These tips will not only make your home more appealing to potential buyers, but they will also boost your home’s energy efficiency.
Improve your garage door and increase your street appeal
Your garage isn’t just a place to store your car because it’s a crucial part of your property that impacts its perceived value.
Unfortunately, it is often one of the most neglected spaces in your home. However, if you want to increase the value of your home, it’s time to pay close attention to your garage, specifically your garage door, as this is the first thing people will see when they drive by your property.
First off, the garage door must be functional.
For example, wooden garage doors look amazing as part of your home’s exterior and will even contribute to its street appeal. Still, the truth is they can be heavy, which isn’t something most homebuyers will find appealing.
So, if you’re considering replacing your garage door, go for something lightweight and functional.
There are also plenty of technologies you can add to it that will increase the garage’s security. This will increase your home’s value significantly and could even be one of your major selling points.
Add efficient outdoor technology
Another central selling point of your property is the outdoors. Aside from beautifying and fixing it, as we tackled in this post, we suggest adding some tech, such as sprinkler systems, for more efficient garden maintenance.
It’s also a good idea to invest in smart outdoor lighting that will help you save more energy and keep your home secure. Today’s smart door lighting can be controlled easily via your smartphone and your home’s control panel.
New technology can add value to your home and make it stand out in today’s competitive market.
Consider new flooring
Upgrading your home’s flooring is an effective way to make your home more attractive to potential buyers. At the same time, it’s a value-adding feature that could impact the selling price, making you get more from your property.
Of course, before upgrading your flooring, you need to assess it properly. Let’s say your floors are in good condition; then there is probably no need to replace them. On the other hand, if you see scratches and scuffs and it’s been there for quite a while, it may be a good idea to replace it.
Additionally, the market for your home should also be considered because new flooring usually depends on the neighbourhood and the area’s competitiveness. Your local agent can help you decide this.
When deciding on flooring, consider hardwood flooring. Research shows that up to 54 per cent of buyers are willing to pay for this feature. If you choose this flooring, keep in mind that there are specific styles that most homeowners today prefer, so it’s also essential that you take your time with this.
Update your windows and doors
Your home’s windows and doors carry lifetime value, and making upgrades before you put them on the market is a worthy investment. For example, replacing windows with energy-efficient double-paned ones will add significant value because they can keep harmful UV rays from your home. At the same time, they can prevent air leakage, which will save you more energy.
New windows and doors can make your home stand out. However, it’s essential to keep in mind that replacing windows and doors is a huge investment, which is why some sellers tend to skip this part.
However, if your windows and doors are broken, and repairs would cost more, replacing them will pay off as they can make the home even more sellable on today’s market.
Do a kitchen revamp
The kitchen is the heart of the home, so if you want to add a feature to your home that will certainly bring value to it, consider renovating the kitchen. Giving potential buyers a fresh and inspiring kitchen will ensure you see a return on investment.
One thing to keep in mind when renovating your kitchen is its age and condition. Let’s say your kitchen is small and cramped; then a fix might be to create an open kitchen that will immediately make the room bigger and modernise it.
Other excellent ideas for your kitchen revamp include adding an island and installing more storage spaces from floor to ceiling that will showcase the multi-functional potential of the area.
On the other hand, if you don’t see the need for a complete kitchen renovation, you can still upgrade this area of your home by updating the finishes. You can install new cabinetry, upgrade the appliances, play with the lighting or even install a beautiful splashback.
And don’t underestimate the impact of a fresh coat of paint. Whether it’s a kitchen feature wall or a neutral colour palette, you will be surprised at how a paint job can increase value to your home.
Consider adding window treatments
The main point of your renovation is to increase value to your home; an easy way to do this is through cosmetic touches. Window treatments like blinds are a perfect upgrade to your home. In Australia, roller blinds are the most popular because they provide privacy and are affordable.
You can also get curtains if you want something that can add a more formal and elegant feel to your home. They are also an excellent choice if you want something easy to install.
How much value does a renovation add to a home?
If you’re selling a home worth $500,000, spending $10,000 on rooms like your kitchen and bathroom could add considerable value. If you’ve got a $1,000,000 property, you could spend $20,000 on improvements. If you overspend on renovations, you risk over-investing and not making a profit.
Want to understand the value of your home? You can use our online valuation calculator to get an online property estimate based on your recent sales in your area, property condition and the number of bedrooms.
Get insights from a local real estate agent
Reach out to a local real estate expert who knows exactly what buyers in your area are looking for. They’ll be able to give you tips and advice on what improvements are likely to add value to your property. You can compare agents using our online comparison service.