Thinking of selling your home? Check out our top tips and tricks on how to inexpensively decorate and drive up the value of your home.
Much of what happens when your home is appraised by a bank are out of your control, for example, elements of inflation, property market trends, and neighbourhood/location growth is beyond the powers of any individual.
This is however, only part of what banks look at when estimating the value of your home. In other words, it could be worth a lot more and the good news is you can improve your property’s selling price.
So what exactly can you do to proactively (and cheaply) boost your home’s financial potential? Here are 6 practical ideas to keep your property’s profit margin more gainful in the long run.
1) Start gardening
Simply planting seedlings and flowers bushes from small pots can be both low-cost and highly rewarding. With the rights plants, you can turn a basic-looking garden into a stylish oasis. If you are really diligent and have a few more dimes to spare, you can even plant a tree and invest in simple landscaping. Potential buyers will be impressed with the upgraded look and feel an attractive garden provides.
Apart from a better ambience, if your plants are formidable enough to provide shade or lower the temperature, you may also be reducing energy costs by helping to naturally temperate your home.
Keep an eye on every little leak, why? Because tiny trickles turn into an ocean of trouble. Regularly maintain little fixings in your home and save big money in the future. Remember that water damage can ruthlessly destroy walls, tiles and roofing, as well as cause rusting and foundation erosion. If left alone it will undoubtedly drag down your home’s potential value.
For extra help on damage that you may not be able to see, it does not cost a lot to have someone inspect your home every two to three years for potential problem areas. If financially able, be sure to fix any concerns ASAP; the longer you wait, the more it will cost.
3) Clean white paint
A fresh coat of paint does not cost a lot, yet it instantly refreshes the look of your home. White paint will do the job and is easier to sustain than fancy colours. What’s more, the colour has a clean, crisp effect that buyers love and classic white never goes out of fashion.
How often do you need to paint your home? Every two years is optimum (or just before a showing), not necessarily the whole house just the spots prone to dirt and discoloration, and this usually excludes bedrooms. Where you’ll need to pay the most attention: external parts of your home like outside walls and other weather-beaten spots.
4) The set-up
Homes that are ready for viewing must look tip-top and if you are still living in the home at the time, be sure to keep it ultra clean. Some go so far as to ‘set up’ the home when having potential buyers over. This means, bringing out the fancy table cloths, draping your windows and using warm lighting to showcase your home’s potential.
Do this for agents as well, (if you’ve appointed any) as they are the first line that needs to be sold on the true value of your home, otherwise known as your asking price. It’ll be easier for agents to convince buyers to meet your price, if they agree with your point of view.
5) Updating energy suckers
Adding value to your home can also come in the form of money- saving fixtures for your potential buyer. How do you do that? By maximizing on energy efficiency. Electricity costs are a major expense, especially visible if calculated annually. For those using air-conditioners (moderately) in the home, you fork out an estimated RM250 per month or RM3,000 per year for this bill.
A simple update of the fittings in your home from time to time will make a noticeable difference, but you don’t need to do it all at once. For instance, periodically change your lighting fixtures and bulbs to energy-efficient LEDs. You can also employ cost-efficient tints to glass windows in your home to maintain and deflect heat so you won’t have to use your air-conditioner as much.
6) Size matters
Numbers like 18 by 55 and 22 by 65 are just that, numbers. Buyers can’t feel the numeric you are selling until walking into the space and experiencing it for themselves. So it’s very important to let your home FEEL big and spacious even if it actually is not. You can certainly “expand” the size with just a few minor adjustments, try this:
- Reduce clutter (if any) to instantly increase the size of any room. The sight of little knick knacks sprawled everywhere creates an image of a less spacious, closed-up environment. Do store your little treasures in closable cupboards and organizers so it’ll appear as though you have wide, open spaces.
- You can use mirrors to double the area of smaller rooms as the reflection gives an illusion of more space.
- Use natural light to enhance the width of a room and at the same time, deliberately leave some spaces empty for a look of expanse.
One important detail to bear in mind is that not all these improvements are doable for cheap in the short-term. You’ll need to make it a practice, so that when you actually do sell your home (or start the process); you are giving yourself the best opportunity to fetch a real good price.
Little things tend to make big differences, so be attentive to areas that could give a negative perception to potential buyers. A broken-down home gives the impression that your property will need MORE WORK and thus MORE COST, leading to LESS PROFIT for you. Since fixer-uppers sell for less in general, you certainly will not want your home to be labeled as such.
Now compare this to a home that’s in move-in condition and don’t be surprised at how much more a well-maintained home can possibly yield. You could be looking at anywhere from a couple of thousands to tens or more and that’s plenty of incentive to get started!
(Written by: Desiree Nair, 12th August 2015)