How to get the best price for your home by updating five key features

You’ve got much less time than it takes to watch an episode of The Block to convince buyers that your home is “the one”.

New research conducted by the Australian bank ME in January found the majority of property owners spent less than 60 minutes checking out the property they eventually purchased. And more than a third said they missed subsequent issues with their property because “they fell in love … and overlooked them”.

Blow buyers away buy giving your home stunning street presence. Photo: domain.com.au


Patrick Nolan, ME head of home loans, says emotion is always involved when purchasing a home. So how can you tap into that reservoir of love reserved just for real estate to add the most value to your property?

1. Postcard facade Whether it’s a gorgeous period cottage tucked behind a picket fence or a modernist manor constructed of steel and glass, it’s almost impossible to ignore a postcard facade.

“If buyers love the facade, they will generally talk themselves into looking past smaller issues inside,” says Byrony O’Neill of Brisbane’s Byrony O’Neill Estate Agents.

Sam Rigopoulos of Jellis Craig Northcote agrees, and says that’s why a photo of the facade is often the hero shot in your marketing campaign and why it’s important to give it some “real presence”.

“If you put money into the facade and create a great first impression, it sets the tone for the rest of the house. So many people judge a book by its cover,” Rigopoulos says.

The period facade of this cottage tugs at a buyer’s heartstrings. Photo: domain.com.au

Facade facelift tips: Consider a fresh coat of paint, adding a porch or deck, mending or installing a fence. Trim untidy greenery, install a low garden bed around the front of the house and use fertiliser to green up the lawn.

2. Sun-drenched spaces On any house-hunting day, but especially on a gloomy day, it’s a bonus when you stumble upon a property flooded with natural light.

Research has shown that natural light helps us to produce serotonin, the so-called happiness hormone, which in turn lifts our mood, and BresicWhitney Hunters Hill agent Nicholas McEvoy says buyers often fall in love with a house that offers light and space.

“Good natural light gives people a good feeling about a property. It’s a big thing,” he says. “I’ve had people install skylights before a sale, but you can also use lighter-coloured furnishings and lamps to brighten a space.”

Natural light is the focus in this sun-drenched home. Photo: domain.com.au

Lighting tips: Cut back any greenery blocking windows, remove heavy curtains, swap out dim, tired light fixtures for brighter ones, change the paint colours. Consider introducing a skylight in a dark room.

3. Stunning kitchen and bathroom A swoon-worthy kitchen or bathroom can also be enough to loosen purse strings, says McEvoy.

“The kitchen is the hub of the home,” he says. “It’s where the buyers gather at open homes. And if it looks like something from a magazine then everyone wants to buy it.”

Director of Tanner Hardwick Valuers Neil Andrews says the refurbishment of wet areas definitely has the potential to increase a home’s worth beyond what you’ve spent, turning something dated into a major asset.

The show-stopping kitchen in this home is a major selling point. Photo: domain.com.au

Kitchen and bathroom tips: Consider replacing tired cupboard doors, splashbacks or benchtops, buy new tapware, install a servery window to an alfresco space.

4. An outdoor oasis It’s said that people are happiest when they are on holidays, so it stands to reason that vendors who can create a holiday vibe in their home will put smiles on buyers’ faces. An inspirational alfresco area or outdoor room could be a one-way ticket to a successful sale. “Blurring the lines between indoor and outdoor living is so important in our climate,” says School of Renovating founder Bernadette Janson. “Even if you live in a tiny little apartment you want to try to create that holiday feel every day.”

Tim Bodman, director of CSA Valuers in Brisbane, says a tasteful, covered outdoor area built under the main roofline of the house is a definite plus, providing a place to enjoy time outside with family and friends.

The covered outdoor deck at this home creates a seamless transition to the yard. Photo: domain.com.au

Outdoor room tips: If possible, aim for a sheltered northern aspect and install good lighting and built-in seating. Add some greenery – plants in pots are a great quick-fix. Block out neighbours with a decorative screen or a bamboo hedge.

5. Colour therapy Every year interior specialists dish up a new colour palette for paints and homewares that help keep sales of said items ticking over. Janson says buyers love gorgeous colours and if your home includes a few nods to the latest colours, buyers will feel like they’re buying into the dream.

O’Neill agrees: “Modern, on-trend colours usually make a property more desirable to buyers.”

Don’t shy away from colour in your home. Photo: Eve Wilson

Colour tips: Grab some home mags or do some research online to uncover the latest colours, then consider painting or wallpapering a feature wall, or introducing some soft furnishings in that colour scheme.


This article was originally published by domain.com.au on 30th July 2018 written by Kate Farrelly

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