Upgrades that don't break the bank

Private Property South Africa
Cathy Nolan

In today’s real estate market there is no ideal formula to follow when it comes to selling a property, however there are economical ways to make a property more appealing and increase the chance of selling it in a shorter time frame.

There are a few fairly inexpensive things that sellers can do to update their homes before listing them. These subtle improvements will largely increase the property’s attraction and give the seller the competitive edge required in the current buyers market.

That old garage door – In many cases, a large percentage of the entrance of a property is the garage door. This is why it is often the first thing that many buyers notice when they arrive at a property. Often because it is exposed to the elements it can look a little worn and tired. A new door or even just a simple coat of paint will go a long way in updating the overall look of the property. If the door is made from wood, it may be worthwhile to sand it down and reseal it.

Windows can be a ‘pane’ – Old tatty windows can severely age a property, so replacing the windows will give it a contemporary fresh look. This is an update that is often overestimated by first time buyers or homeowners that have never embarked on this kind of improvement. While some options may be more expensive than others, the average home has approximately eight windows, this means that the cost of replacing the windows will be far less than the value perceived by potential investors.

Buyers will be floored – If the home is carpeted, a professional carpet cleaning can rejuvenate the look of worn carpets and leave the whole home smelling great. Alternatively, they should be replaced. This does not have to be a large expense as there are many options available that are reasonably inexpensive. Buyers can smell a new carpet. If the home has hardwood flooring, have them sanded and varnished as this will add huge appeal to the home. Generally buyers place extremely high value on homes with wooden flooring.

Spruce up the paint work – Although painting the entire house would probably be ideal, it can be expensive and very time consuming. Simply painting the trim and gutters is a small improvement that makes a big impact. The interior trim is just as vital, so touch up the skirting boards and areas that need it.

Fresher fixtures – Look out for sales and specials at the local home improvement store and replace fixtures that are damaged or just outdated. These could include plumbing or hardware fixtures or lighting. A contemporary light fitting and updated taps can change the entire look of a bathroom or kitchen.

By making these small updates before listing a property, sellers are giving themselves the best possible chance of standing apart from the competition and achieving their asking price. While these updates may not cost a lot, they will to the overall appeal of the property in the eyes of the buyer.

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