It’s no secret that property prices across Australia have taken a bit of a hit of late. But even with property prices on average going down, there are still ways that individual owners can maximise what their home is worth.
You may just need to be a bit smarter about how you go about it, whether you’re looking to sell or are thinking longer term. We spoke to property expert Andrew Russell from the REA Group and he explained some of the opportunities for home owners.
The quick wins
“Humans are very visual creatures”, Andrew explains, “so presentation, presentation, presentation is the big thing. Starting at the front of the house is always a good approach. One of the cheapest ways to indulge is to invest in a few tins of paint and give the outside of the house a fresh coat.”
Get your fingers green
Focussing on your garden is another way to potentially get a good return from a relatively small amount of effort.
“Think about what you can do to make the house look tidy, like trimming the trees, mowing the lawn and weeding the garden, so when people get out of the car to inspect the property they get that feeling that it’s presented really well.”
Moving inside your home, you don’t have to spend a cent to potentially add value, according to Andrew..
“Think about how the potential buyer is going to view your property. Remove the clutter – that doesn’t cost you anything - so the buyer can see their own vision for the house.”
Avoid styling that’s too ‘niche’
“You’re trying to create as big a demand as possible”, Andrew says. “So ensure that whatever renovation or changes you make will appeal to a wider group. You might like to have your garden designed in a certain way or have a room painted in a certain colour, but that may not appeal to the wider masses.”
Kitchen and bathroom
If you’re considering investing a bit more time and money into your property, Andrew suggests starting with your kitchen and bathroom.
“When people are viewing a home, they’re looking for the things that make a good functioning property, and that’s bathrooms and kitchens for most of us. Sprucing up these spaces can go a long way in a potential buyer’s mind.”
Outdoor entertaining areas
Making sure your property is equipped for outdoor dining is another way to potentially boost its value. Think about patio or decking and gas outlets for the all-important barbecue.
Fix any defects
As well as looking to value, it’s wise to think about ways to avoid losing value. That could mean addressing any obvious defects or damage, like mould or cracks that might set off alarm bells for buyers.
If you’re looking at a larger project to add value in the longer term, you may consider a full renovation or even rebuilding your home.
Taking on something like this requires careful planning, and Andrew recommends paying close attention to how much you spend, to ensure you get a good return.
“One of the big things that too many people do is overcapitalise when they’re looking at a renovation. You’re trying to find the balance between bringing your house up to competitive standards, and not spending so much that you’re not going to get a premium for that if you sell.”
It’s a good idea to talk to your home loan provider before undertaking any significant renovations or investments in your property.
And remember, there’s plenty of support available if you’re exploring your renovation options.
Important information: Please note that this is only intended as a general guide in relation to issues you may want to consider when looking to maximise the value of a property. It is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all relevant issues and does not take into account your personal needs and financial circumstances. You should take into account your own particular circumstances, and obtain independent expert advice where needed, before proceeding. Examples quoted are indicative only for illustrative purposes.