Australia has experienced one of the longest ‘bull runs’ in the country’s property value history, and even though COVID-19 restrictions have tempered growth, so far we’ve only seen incremental declines in home values – apart from the luxury price ranges. We’ve had some very good price increases in most state capitals, particularly over the past 5 years.
For a lot of Australians that’s meant it’s a great time to sell your home and take advantage of those gains. Regardless of whether you’re considering sprucing your property up for a quick sale, putting a few things in place to add value for later, or simply getting ‘spring ready’ to make your living space, well… more liveable; I have a few tips that have proven to really add value, both in the short-term and long-term.
Get into that garden
Gardens give street appeal at the front, and liveability at the back. Research has shown that big, old established trees make people feel richer too. So there is a deep psychological impact to having a lush, leafy, well-planned garden. Look after yours, weed it, pay careful attention to the plants you put in, or just pay a landscaper. Getting this detail right, particularly in time for Spring selling season when things come into bloom, can help you get the kinds of returns you’re really after. At the same time, we should caution that smaller properties or places targeting young professionals and retirees should go sparingly when it comes to what goes into the garden – in those instances, low maintenance is a winner.
Freshly painted, adds fresh appeal
There’s something to be said for seeing a cool white fence, or walking into a freshly painted hallway or room. It just immediately says ‘welcome’ and feels new. Paint, compared to many other physical improvements you can make to a property, is relatively inexpensive but we have seen well-painted properties sell over the odds – when they are paired with well-styled furniture that captures the imagination of the market. If you’re painting for yourself, feel free to experiment a little with colours or neutral shades. If the sun is shining this weekend, dust off that paint roller and brush, you’ll be doing yourself, and your home’s value, a favour.
Let there be light
As you walk through your home, it’s easy to forget the impact that windows and natural light can have. Consider your drapes and blinds and whether they enclose or open your space. Also look at the condition of the glass and if your windows are dirty (or covered in finger prints) wash them down so they let more light through. We have seen many hallways and small rooms that have previously been dark dramatically improved by inexpensive skylights and roof windows too. Warm sun warms the mood – so if there’s an opportunity to let more light in, then go for it. If you are looking at a particular space and it is dark, and naturally improving it will be too costly, then consider whether new downlights, lamps or other architectural lighting options might assist to add to the illusion of brightness. Don’t forget, LED lighting uses very little electricity.
Clean it like you mean it
Keep your life simple by regularly maintaining order in your cupboards and even sheds or garages so you can find what you need without the fuss. Attend to often forgotten items, like patio furniture over Winter so you’ll have it looking great for summer. Carefully climbing a ladder and clearing roof gutters (or getting a handyperson or relative to assist) is also a great idea, so they don’t overflow or create issues during the next storm. Bathrooms and kitchens are often heavily used spaces, so it’s vital you wipe and disinfect these areas regularly (or pay a professional to help), and don’t forget to inspect sinks and drains to ensure water runs freely through them.
Communal spaces count
We say it a lot, but kitchens and entertaining spaces matter; they are the heart of your home. More so than bedrooms when it comes to making a sale. This is because when you think about it, we all spend more time in these parts of the house than we do where our bed is (awake at least). On sale and inspection days you’ll also find that these are areas where people congregate the most as well (and even sign sale contracts) so they need to impress. Size up those spaces with a critical eye. Make sure they’re furnished, functional and are styled to be as spacious as they can and you’re well on your way to making a great sale.
Smells like victory
Last but not least… humans are driven by their senses. And warm welcoming smells provide a sense of comfort, familiarity, and security. Whether you’re sprucing your place up for spring, welcoming guests or preparing for auction, adding fresh flowers to your home is a great way to have your home smelling sweet and looking great. Other ideas include baking up your favourite batch of biscuits, opening a fresh bag of coffee (or just brewing some up) or if your home has a log fire, getting it lit and roaring. In country and regional areas, fires are highly valued.
Disclaimer: It’s important to note that every property is different and the above does not constitute specific financial or investment advice. The information supplied should be taken as a guide with regard to successful strategies we have seen in the past, and is not a predictor of future sales performance. Market environment, time of sale, overall property condition and location can also play their own roles in the end sale price of your home – and all these things and others do need to be factored in.