Looking to sell? Add value to your home with these simple DIY strategies

Article by Mozo

You’re gearing up to put that big ‘for sale’ sign up out the front of your place but before you do why not improve the value of your place. There are plenty of easy, quick and cost effective DIY tasks to undertake that will ensure you get the best resale price for your home.

With all three children finally moved out of home, Mr and Mrs Smith have decided it’s about time they downsized from the family abode they’ve owned and lived in for the past 20 years. Without much thought and effort the Smith’s sign up a real estate agent and put the house on the market. They are hoping for a sale price of around $750,000 but are happy to gauge a better idea of what their 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom house is worth following the first open inspection.

Apart from sweeping the floor and placing some fresh flowers in a vase on the kitchen table, the Smiths make little changes ahead of the initial open house. Well let’s just say open inspection wasn’t a hit! There were no real interest and feedback from potential buyers wasn’t favourable with most only willing to pay around the $650,000 mark.

Here are a few comments the agent received:

‘The walls look so worn, there were even pen marks and scratches on the walls in the bedroom’

‘If only there was another bedroom, we need four rooms to fit our growing family’

‘There’s not enough shade in the backyard when the kids run around in summer’

‘Honestly, the place is really old school and dated, some of the light fittings remind me of my grandma’s place’

‘They’re kidding themselves if they want $750,000, a little facelift and I might be willing to pay closer to that figure.’

The Smith’s are feeling deflated about the initial responses but bounce back quickly after some experts in the property field give some sound advice on how to add value to their home. Here’s what they learnt.

1. Clean up and clear out

After bringing up three children in the home, there was no denying the Smith’s had accumulated a lot of stuff over the years! It was time to get rid of a lot of things they no longer need nor use to help make the home look and feel more spacious. Decluttering makes a house more presentable to buyers. It’s ok to keep a few personal touches around the place to create a warm, homely feel but you don’t want too much so that potential buyers can visualise themselves living there. 

So it was time for the Smith’s to pack away every school photo, from every year of each child!

2. Paint, paint and paint some more

A coat of paint can go a very long way when adding value to your home. The walls of the Smith’s bedrooms and living area look withered and dated and you can’t help but to notice the pen stains on the bedroom walls. A crisp, white lather of paint will make a world of difference, lightening up the place, lifting the mood and making it feel larger. Painting can be a fun, family task accomplished over a weekend.

3. Address the floors

If you take one look at the Smith’s floors you may be a little grossed out! The carpet is stained and the floorboards are faded with black skid marks on them, this is enough to turn any buyer off. All the Smiths need to do is put some time and effort into addressing the home’s floors, it will be worth every cent spent. Hire a high quality, commercial carpet steam cleaner and your floors will look a million dollars. It then doesn’t take long to polish the timber floor boards.

4.  Repair holes in the walls

When a potential buyer sees a hole in a wall they just think money along with time and effort trying to find something to cover it. Rid them of this stress by patching up the holes. It’ a simple DIY task that won’t take long. All you need to do is place an adhesive patch over the area and using a trowel to spread all-purpose drywall compound over it. Once it’s dry you can paint the area.  

5. Create curb appeal

From the street the Smith’s home looks like it needs a little TLC. By creating curb appeal they could potentially have a lot more people come and look through the place, as we know first impressions last forever. Here are a few ways to add value to your home through curb appeal.

  • Give your front door a fresh lick of paint
  • Do a letterbox makeover
  • Buy a new house number
  • Replace the overhead light at the front door
  • Add colourful planters to the front garden
  • Mow the lawn, prune hedges and keep the front garden neat and tidy

6. Replace outdated fittings

Mrs Smith has been advised to give the home a quick audit to see if any window sills, door handles, frames or skirtings need painting or replacing. Rest assured she finds plenty of outdated fittings to replace. This is an easy DIY project that can be completed over the weekends leading up to sale time.

7.  Kitchen facelift

These days the kitchen is a real entertaining area, no longer just a place to prepare food, it’s also a space where family and guests sit around and talk. So when you’re upgrading your place to sell, you can’t go wrong with undertaking a few DIY tasks in the kitchen. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on a brand new kitchen - instead focus on projects like re-lining your kitchen cabinetry and bench tops.

Given the kitchen is such a key selling point, the Smith’s are also looking into updating the splashback as it’s so visible. By doing this with stylish tiles they will brighten and modernise the space.

6. Create an additional bedroom:

Taking on board feedback from a couple that came to the open house who said they wished there was another bedroom, the Smith’s are going to convert the attic into a spare room. It was only collecting dust! Now they can advertise on websites such as realestate.com.au and domain.com.au as having four bedrooms. Buyers aren’t looking for houses with attics or basements, they’re looking for a decent number of rooms.

The outcome…Over a couple of weekends, Mr and Mrs Smith get hard at work completing the above DIY tasks adding huge amounts of value to the place. A few weeks later and their humble family home sells at auction for $70,000 above the reserve!

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