Create kerb appeal
One of the first things to consider is what estate agents call kerb appeal. It’s what makes people decide to stop at a show house or drive past.
A freshly painted exterior, neat garden and clean windows all point to a house that is cared for and consequently one that’s more likely to attract buyers.
Best of all, creating kerb appeal generally requires more of an investment in elbow grease than cash. The research is also straightforward: take a drive around the neighbourhood and consider which houses you’d visit on a show day and what makes them appealing.
Repair before renovating
Keeping on top of home maintenance and spotting potential problems before they become expensive can be just as important as renovations.
For example, a shiny new kitchen may not be enough to offset broken gutters and a green swimming pool.
Cleaning bathroom and kitchen tiles and grouting is a chore, but it is a lot less expensive than having to replace them
Make simple changes
Simple changes can make a big difference.
A fresh coat of paint can go a long way towards improving a room and is a lot cheaper than remodelling or breaking down walls. Similarly sanding down and re-varnishing wooden floors is more cost effective than laying new ones.
Avoid customised features – they’re generally expensive and require specialist installation. Instead, use off-the-shelf products wherever you can.
Regularly cleaning bathroom and kitchen tiles and grouting is a chore, but it is a lot less expensive than having to replace them. The same applies to shower floors and remember to look up and check the ceiling for mould.
Spend your money sensibly. A new shower curtain may cost you a couple of rands, but an old, grubby one could cost you the sale.
Avoid nasty surprises
It’s a good idea to get your home inspected for electrical compliance, rising damp, dry rot or borer beetle long before you sell so you can fix problems in your own time, rather than when you’re under pressure from a potential buyer.