Pretty up your property for a better sale By Tamra Carr
With reports of homes practically flying off the shelf in Perth, West Aussies might think their houses can be traded for big bucks in a piping hot real estate market, even if the kitchen is a little dated and the garden is overgrown.
But with fixer-uppers being a rare breed in Western Australia, Ray White Lancelin Principal and Licensee Caroline Daniel said when people were looking to buy property priced more than $400,000, they largely expected the home to be presentable.
She said this meant a fresh coat of paint in neutral colours – no greens or yellows – and redoing the flooring, along with a few other home updates that could see sellers dishing out a minimum $10,000.
“The worse it looks, the more impact it will have on value,” Ms Daniel said. “If you want to sell a property, it has to look contemporary.
“You won’t get the money from it if it looks dated.”
While character homes with a yesteryear theme definitely have a place in the market, Ms Daniel said those too had to be polished and pristine to sell for good numbers.
She recommended people save themselves a prohibitively expensive renovation job by keeping their home in good nick through regular cleaning and updates.
This includes the garden, which she said held a surprising amount of value for homeowners and had been known to raise the price of a property by thousands of dollars.
“You want a nice, green and smooth lawn with reticulation,” Ms Daniel said. “You don’t even need to use real flowers to make it look good, artificial ones will be fine.
“The garden is actually really important when looking to sell a property.
“I once had a listing – it was only a two-by-one with a shed – I didn’t think it would go for more than $250,000, but buyers found the garden so beautiful the sellers got about $100,000 more for it.”
Ms Daniel said owners looking to maintain their yards should also cast an eye to their swimming pool, which she said could be an ugly blight on your property if not presented in tip-top shape.
Regular pool maintenance to keep the summertime haven looking clean and fresh is recommended, as is checking with the local government to make sure it follows legislated guidelines.
“If the pool is not compliant, we actually have to declare that in sale,” Ms Daniel said. “The same if you have an unapproved pergola.
“A lot of people don’t actually know if they have a compliant pool, and it’s certainly important to check.”
While a handsome backyard and freshly scrubbed interiors will certainly uplift price upon resale, Ms Daniel clarified the most important areas to renovate were the kitchen and bathrooms.
She said people considered these rooms to be the highlight of the home and most buyers wanted them to look ready to serve Christmas lunch before putting in an offer on a property.
“You don’t see many people wanting to tackle a project,” Ms Daniel said. “Especially the younger generation, who are not as hands on and they just prefer to move straight in.
“It’s not enough to think ‘hey, the market’s good, I’m going to make a lot of money no matter what’ – you won’t.”
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