Published : 13 January 2016
A new year brings a flurry of new home-hunters, which is great news if you are currently selling your home. So it's a good time to consider what your potential buyer is actually looking for.
We've all heard the advice about preparing your property for sale - giving it a spring clean, tidying up the garden and mowing the grass, finishing the painting and fixing things that are broken. And that's important - because although most of these things are cosmetic, and can easily and cheaply be fixed, only a few buyers will look beyond years of neglect and see their dream home.
Wide open spaces
The first point is actually the strangest! While on one hand many homebuyers are saying they want to downsize, and the 'small house movement' is gathering momentum, they are also demanding more open plan living spaces and high ceilings. So the secret to making your home highly desirable to buyers is to make the most of what you've got! If you are marketing a small home, make it appear bigger by de-cluttering and using neutral colours.
Outdoor Living Spaces
While this requirement features more in certain Australian states than others, you can moreorless guarantee that anyone buying a home in Australia will expect plenty of outdoor space. We spend a large percentage of our time outside in this country and outdoor living space is considered to be an extra 'room'. So, in preparation for sale, make sure your outdoor areas appear large and uncluttered, and well maintained. For example, with wooden decks, replace any rotten wood, mend broken handrails and apply a fresh coat of decking oil.
Generally, get rid of dead or messy plants or foliage, clean stagnant ponds and dress the area with selected pot plants and garden ornaments.
A real bonus is a water feature and / an outdoor fireplace.
Neutral is best
Okay, so the lime green feature wall might have looked awesome when you did it, but it may actually hinder the sale of your property. Of course, there's a one in a million chance that a lime green fanatic may come and view the property, and the wall will be the deciding factor! But it's unlikely. Prepare the property for sale by giving your rooms a fresh coat of neutral paint. This will give a clean, fresh feel to the home, make it appear more spacious, and inspire potential buyers to make it their own.
Kitchens and bathrooms
We've all heard the warnings of overcapitalising on home renovations and never getting your money back, and that's a good warning to heed. However, two renovation projects which will definitely help your house sell, and probably add to the price, too, are kitchens and bathrooms.
Nothing is more off-putting that mouldy old sinks and showers, chipped cupboards and rusty taps. So do what you can. If you can't afford a complete makeover, consider new cupboard doors and bench tops, up-to-date lighting, new shower glass and new kitchen appliances. At the very least replace all tap ware. Potential buyers are looking for clean, fresh, modern kitchens and bathrooms.
A few years back, buyers weren't that bothered whether a home came with solar power or not. Now they are! The more energy efficient the property, the more interested buyers will be. Even solar power purely for hot water is a huge plus. Remember, you are trying to get buyers to choose your home, over a new home. When it comes to energy efficiency, new homes win hands down, so make yours as appealing as possible to win them over.
So simple, yet this can be a deal-breaker. Lack of storage space is given again and again as a reason for not buying. Generally buyers expect built-in robes at the very least, but you'll catch them poking around hallways and the laundry for linen cupboards. people don't want their vacuum cleaners, mops, coats and boots, tools and endless other items on display.
De-clutter the storage areas in your home to make them look bigger than they are!
Garage with Workshop
And that's a minimum! A double or triple garage is generally desired with enough room for a storage and a workbench, too. Internal entry and remote are even better. And increasingly, as well as garaging, or at least a car port, buyers seek an additional parking area for their caravan, RV or boat.