If you can afford a makeover for your home or investment property prior to its launch on the market, you are lucky enough to have the pick of modern finishes to ensure its appeal.
But what if you don’t have the budget to professionally style or update it? Or what if that additional investment seems a little risky in a volatile real estate market?
Which areas of your home or investment property should you spend your money when money is tight?
Below are my top five recommendations, in order of priority:
1. Cleaning and decluttering: Sounds obvious, I know, but if you’d seen what I’ve seen in this business, you wouldn’t be surprised it’s one of my first recommendations.
We lead busy lives. Most of us have jobs, children and pets, and we don’t have the time to get our property ship-shape for those all important property inspections.
Hire a skip, buy some storage, get someone in to give your property the shine it deserves.
2. Outside: Everyone understands the importance of first impressions, so make sure your outside areas – gardens, balconies, and terraces – are presentable. Lawns must be mowed, borders weeded (and preferably mulched), and bushes cut back. And don’t forget about the fencing or walling that frames your property. A new coat of paint will make that first impression so much sweeter for your buyer.
3. Flooring: New carpet works a treat in terms of presentation, particularly in tired, older, or underwhelming properties. A steam clean of your existing carpet may suffice, but if it is mismatched, threadbare, or heavily stained, replace it . As a rule of thumb, we tend to specify warmer, neutral tones for carpet in older properties and greys for new.
4. Window Treatments: Poorly-fitted, stained curtains and blinds that hang off broken rails and window frames give the wrong impression. Replace them with new – from stores such as Ikea, Freedom or Spotlight – or at the very least, remove the broken ones. Muslin curtains are a cost-effective alternative, as are vertical blinds, because both filter out what you don’t want your buyer to see outside.
5. Kitchen and bathrooms: It may surprise you that these two areas sit at the bottom of my list of priorities – because of the cost – but you may consider updating them if the investment is worth it. A new bench top or tiles can do wonders for a tired kitchen, as can resurfacing the bath tub or replacing the shower screen in your bathroom.