Adding Value Prior to Listing
One of the things I enjoy in my work is advising a seller on how best to present their property. As a vendors advocate I work with the chosen listing agent to get the best result for the seller. Part of that process is making sure the property presents well to potential buyers. The preparation you do beforehand can make a big difference to the price you get on auction day or through a sale process.
The idea is to work out the best ways to add value to your home or investment property, without overcapitalising.
Bathrooms and kitchens
This is usually the hardest area to decide what to do. Bathrooms and kitchens show the most wear and tear so often need a lot of attention. They also date really quickly. However, these rooms also require the most amount of money in any renovation. A good new kitchen can cost up to $40,000 while a reasonable bathroom can be $20,000. In some situations, it will be unlikely to make that kind of expenditure back so it’s a case by case decision.
Cosmetic touch ups
If that sounds too expensive for your budget, there are other workarounds you can use to spruce up these important rooms.
For instance, it may be possible to spray over tiles to give them a fresh new look. Adding shelves and bathroom accessories are easy options for giving the bathroom a new look. If you don’t wish to completely renovate the kitchen, a cheaper alternative may be to replace the cupboard fronts and handles and replace older appliances. Another option is to replace the bench top.
Make sure all the doors and windows open and close smoothly. Get rid of any glaring or obvious holes in walls or marks. Make sure you remove all spider webs or mould. Hiring a good quality pressure cleaner is often a good idea for pavers, walls or roofs. Clear any undergrowth or palm fronds from the garden. A load of new mulch on the garden looks great.
Driveways and Entrances
First impressions make a big difference. I often advise people to do some work on their driveway. A neat entranceway is very important. Adding bitumen or pebbles can go a long way and is not as expensive as you may think. The main thing inside the house is not to have it cluttered or messy – or too personalised. Have it just lived in and comfy looking, but a blank canvass so someone else can just move right in and feel at home.
Giving both the exteriors and interiors a lick of paint is another easy way to add value. You can do this yourself, or outsource to professionals.
To pool or not to pool?
Some people say putting in a pool is a great way to add value. But in my experience it is not always true as only young families really get good value from a pool. Many older people and retirees are taking pools out these days. They find them an expensive hassle, especially with the added onus of fences, insurances, council approvals and pumps that use a lot of electricity.
Second story or granny flat?
Adding a granny flat or a second story are big ticket items that can really pay off or be a big mistake. The beauty of a granny flat is that it’s a potential source of revenue if it’s rented out, which may be attractive to potential purchasers. But I have also seen many buyers be put off by a granny flat (or multiple rentals) as a hassle to manage. If a second story opens up views then it can be a good idea.
Do your due diligence by looking into prices owners of renovated properties in your area have been able to achieve before deciding the best way to add value.