Improve Your Lot Without Breaking the Bank

Private Property South Africa
Lea Jacobs

Getting your home in apple pie order before you put it on the market may not only boost your chances of selling, it could also garner you a higher price. So how do you revamp a well-loved, well lived in home without breaking the bank? Well, there are a few ways and the first step in ascertaining what needs to be done is to view the property with a critical eye.

Agents have been telling us for years that first impressions count. They really do and the importance of getting the outside of the property shipshape cannot be over emphasised. Tidy up the garden and trim back any overgrown shrubbery. Keep the lawn mowed and plant flowering seedlings close to the front door. Wash the windows and clean the exterior walls with a high pressure cleaner, removing any cobwebs and other debris. Clean all exterior light fittings.

Once the outside looks appealing, it's time to move inside. We all tend to hoard things over time and overlook the effect this nasty habit has on our homes. De-clutter as much as possible, even if this means removing large pieces of furniture that make the room look smaller. Spring clean the lounge and dining room areas thoroughly and pack away all extraneous ornaments. Patch any holes in the walls and have the carpets steam cleaned if necessary. Wooden or ceramic tiled floors that look faded and tired should be polished.

Certain colours have more widespread appeal than others. Painting the interior of your home with unusual colours that don't necessarily appeal everyone is a sure way to put some buyers off straight away. If you are considering revamping the paintwork before selling, it is highly recommended that you use the same neutral shade throughout.

Bathrooms and kitchens tend to be two of the most important rooms in the house, although are often the most costly to renovate. Again, those working on a shoestring budget can improve the overall look without spending a small fortune.

Scrub the kitchen tiles and consider re-grouting if necessary. It's amazing what a coat of varnish and new handles can do for rundown wooden cupboards and it may be wise to consider sanding down and varnishing tired looking fixtures. If the kitchen features painted units, it may be a good idea to give them a new look with a fresh coat of paint.

Clean the bath and shower thoroughly to remove any mildew or stains. Check the grouting surrounding the tiles, bath and shower and redo if necessary. Wash or replace the shower curtain. Pack all personal items away in the bathroom cabinet and clear out any books or magazines. If you have spare cash, you can pretty things up by placing pretty candles and bath pampering products strategically around the room.

Children's rooms should be kept as neat and tidy as possible while the home is on the market. Try and keep things as simple as possible by throwing away old or broken toys and packing away as much of the excess clutter as possible. Teenagers can do their part by removing posters from their walls (they can pack them away in anticipation of the move), putting away unnecessary items and tidying cupboards.

In today's competitive market, sellers should be looking for every advantage that could help them sell their homes. Showcasing a clean, neat well-presented home is one of the most important aspects of the entire process.

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