Ten tips to sell your home for more

By Yvette Yatras

There are tricks of the trade that can boost the value of your home without the need for a major renovation or spending thousands of dollars.
Your Money asked property experts to round up their top tips to quickly add value to a home to help make it stand out and add thousands of dollars to the price tag.
If you want to add value to your biggest asset, here are our experts’ top 10 tips to do it quickly.
You are often not the best person to pass a critical eye over your property before embarking on any changes or improvements.
In most cases, it helps to have a friend or someone independent to go through the property with a notebook and jot down everything they don’t like or think needs improvement, as well as noting the wow factors and the good points.
“Think like a buyer and take a walk through your own home. Make a list of all the things that would raise major issues,” Archicentre managing director David Hallett says.
Valuer WBP Property chief executive Greville Pabst says start your inspection from the end of the street on the other side of the road.
“Walk from across the street towards and right through your property as if you’ve never been there before. By doing this, you will notice all the small faults your eyes have got used to,” Pabst says.
It is only after this critical assessment that you can see things through new eyes.
You might have got used to a barren front yard, overlooking neighbours and a dodgy back door, but when it comes to adding value, fixing these small things can often provide the biggest boost.
Make sure your front garden, fence and path makes a good first impression. Tidy or landscape the front yard, paint the fence and gate, and ensure the house is clearly numbered.
Make sure the facade of the house is in good condition. This can include cleaning the windows, front porch, gutters or even hiring a water blaster to give the exterior walls, front path, fence and woodwork a professional clean.
Wash or paint the front door, put welcoming pot plants either side of the entrance, provide a coat hook, table or stool to place shopping on while you fumble for the door keys. Install a motion sensor front light as a safety measure and to welcome your visitors when they arrive at night.
Other easy updates include replacing old door handles on interior doors and updating light fittings in all rooms.
These small items help give a clean, contemporary and well-cared-for impression, as well as being very practical and easier to live in the home.
Remove heavy drapes, blinds and curtains and replace them with light-filtering fabrics.
You still get the privacy but more light is able to stream through the home.
Alternatively, make sure all curtains and blinds do not cover any window space when they are opened fully.
Fit skylights to bathrooms or any other areas that do not have enough natural light.
Metropole Property managing director Michael Yardney says the impression you want people to have when they visit your property is that they would like to live there themselves.
This means ensuring that the home is well furnished, is welcoming and comfortable.
“Rearrange furniture to make rooms bigger and create spaces that allow easy access,” he says.
Archicentre’s David Hallett says don’t be too afraid to rearrange the floor plan.
“If you have a two-bedroom home, the quickest way to increase the value is rearrange internal space to create a third bedroom or have a design concept prepared to show how they can add a bedroom.”
The same goes for a study nook or home office. There is usually some “dead” space in a home that can be converted to an office area, such as a built-in wardrobe, cupboard or an area underneath the stairs.
“Polishing an existing timber floor or installing a floating timber floor can also dramatically change the appearance of large areas such as living rooms, kitchens and hallway entrances, to create a wow factor at a comparatively low cost,” Hallett says.
Adding a wall of glass folding doors will also open up a small house to the outside – even if it is just to a lightwell or side walkway. This can enlarge your living space to include the outside area when the doors are open.
A shower head over a bath may not be ideal, but it is still better than a bath only with no shower. If you can’t have two bathrooms in a home, at least make one a separate toilet.
Provide plenty of functional outside areas such as off-street car parking, a shed, storage areas, play area and, of course, entertaining and gardening.
WBP’s Greville Pabst says properties with vehicle space, especially in inner-city areas, are highly sought after and add considerable value.
Creating extra parking or a front drive-on area will add tens of thousands of dollars while in most situations it requires little more than removing part of the front fence and the cost of a cross-over permit from the local government authorities.
If there is definitely no space for a car to park, then create an area large enough for a motorbike or bicycles. This will also be an added feature.
by Karina Barrymore | The Herald-Sun

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