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By Leanne Spring

How to add value to your property when selling but you’re on a budget

If you're planning to sell your home adding value to your property doesn’t need to cost a small fortune.

If times, and the purse strings, are tight then there are still things you can do to boost buyer appeal or even generate some more equity without breaking the bank.


While a major renovation can add value to a home, there are a number of smaller jobs you could do, either by yourself or with the help of a professional, to give your space a lift and a refresh.

Here are 10 low-cost (or free) tips to add value to your property.

1. Improve the curb appeal

First impressions count, so the outside of your home is a great place to start if you want to help boost buyer interest.

We’ve all been too open for inspections and been put off by an overgrown garden or one that has outdoor furniture that has definitely seen better days.

You don't need a million dollars to make your front yard look like a million bucks.

Investing a little time and energy into landscaping can provide an attractive first impression.

Plant some flowers, trim the hedges, and maybe add a welcoming pathway.

Painting the front fence, weeding the garden, mowing the lawns, cleaning the pathway, hiding the rubbish bins, disposing of any old furniture and even putting down a welcome mat can make a big difference to the street appeal of your home.

And that means buyers will enter your property with a smile on their face, not a furrowed brow because they’ve had to gingerly tip-toe through the wilderness that is your front yard.

2. Paint

Paint is one of the most affordable ways to improve the look and feel of your home.

Applying a fresh colour palette to your home’s interior will instantly transform it from drab to fabulous, and it can easily be done yourself.

Light colours can also give the impression of more space, which is especially useful in apartments or smaller homes.

Some sellers opt to paint the exterior of their homes as well, which is an added expense, but if your property looks a bit tired it can make a big difference to your final sale price.


3. Clean, tidy, and declutter

One of the keys to securing a successful sale is to present a home that would-be buyers can imagine owning.

Mess doesn’t impact the actual value of the home, it will definitely reduce its perceived value, and it costs nothing to clean up.

So tidy up, clean as much as you can, and also depersonalise it by removing personal knick-knacks or family photos.

You want buyers to walk in and envisage how their belongings will look inside your home.

Not have them ponder why you still have your collection of sporting trophies from the 1980s still on display.

In the same vein, decluttering generally will make your home look larger.

4. Neutralise

Take your decluttering to the next level and neutralise the property.

Give a potential buyer a blank slate so they can immediately start thinking about how they would decorate and hang their own pictures.

Think neutral colours, minimalist decor, and simple furniture.


5. Update your lighting

If you have some money in the bank consider updating your lighting to help add value to your property.

It might seem simple but quality downlights or timeless pendant lights can help to transform a space and make it appear brighter, bigger, and more modern.

6. Open it up

Speaking of lighting, another free hack to help boost buyer appeal is to open and light up your property.

When you’re showing your property, open windows, doors, blinds, anything you can to expand the space, and definitely turn all the lights on.

7. Replace some fixtures or fittings

Your property might be due a whole bathroom renovation, which can be both timely and expensive.

But it’s also possible to create a new bathroom look by making some small but modern updates.

For example, you could replace handles and taps or consider painting or repairing broken or old tiles.

Or if you can fit it into your budget, replacing the vanity would give a bathroom an instant refresh without having to go the whole hog.


8. Do some cosmetic touch-ups

Major renovations can be costly and there’s no guarantee that you’ll see a return when you sell, but small cosmetic changes and spruce-ups can help to add perceived value with little investment.

Re-grouting tiles, laying a new carpet, replacing old blinds, replacing or painting kitchen cabinet doors, replacing laminate benchtops, or installing a new splashback are all worthwhile.

9. Add mirrors

Placed correctly, hanging up mirrors can open up a room and give the illusion of more space.

For example, hanging a mirror behind a couch in the living area, the hallway, or even behind the headboard in the master bedroom.

10. Get some staging

When selling, staging the property professionally can boost appeal.

If you can't afford a professional stager, there are DIY staging tips online that can help you present the property in the best light.

Bringing in some hire furniture helps show your property off.

It might cost a bit extra, but it may pay for itself many times over if it helps secure the sale.

Staging could include things like plants, mirrors, furniture, and minimalism styling, even creating extra spaces in open-plan rooms.


What to watch out for

One of the problems that renovating your home presents is the risk of over-capitalisation.

This is less of a problem for investors, who are more careful with every reno dollar they spend, but because of the emotional attachment that homeowners have to their properties, they can easily spend too much.

This is especially the case when undertaking structural renovations, such as adding a balcony, a new room, or knocking down walls.

The cost of these more advanced renovations is high and sometimes homeowners will end up with a home that owes them far more than they are likely to get back if they had to sell it.

So whatever changes you make, be sure you create a budget… and stick to it.

It makes sense to have your home looking its best when it’s time for you to move on.

And it doesn’t have to cost thousands of dollars to do so.

By undertaking a few simple upgrades you can not only improve your chances of securing a quick sale, but you can also give your home the best chance possible of achieving a strong sale price.

And then there will be a happy buyer and a very happy seller, too.

About Leanne Spring Leanne is a highly experienced Buyers Agent in the Brisbane Real Estate market. Leanne became a passionate lover of property in 2001. Since then, both professionally and personally, she has been involved in all aspects of property including purchasing, negotiating, renovating, and selling.
1 comment

I appreciate the thoroughness of your suggestions, especially the emphasis on cost-effective improvements that can make a significant impact. The tips on enhancing curb appeal without breaking the bank were particularly helpful, and I'm excited to im ...Read full version

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