How to add value to your home

Nick Psarros , SA

Drawing on years of experience in real estate, Nick is committed to treating every client with dignity and respect, working to achieve the best possible result.

Introduction

What truly adds value to a home? How much should you spend to create value? Here, I walk you through it all – inside and out.

 

Style your home to help buyers ‘imagine’ the space.

Great bone structure

You can always update the kitchen and bathroom, but your home’s structure is a different story. If you’re going to spend money on improvements, make sure your home is structurally sound to begin with.

 

Check the condition of the roof, gutters and fascias, or engage a qualified person to do it for you. If your roof is sagging or leaky, for example, you’ll have other problems like pinning issues, rising damp, termites and rotten timbers. These are big ticket items to remedy!

On the inside

Once you’re satisfied that your home is structurally sound, you can assess what needs doing on the inside. Focus on making the house look good for the market.

 

The biggest thing you can do to lift your home’s value is repaint it. Light, neutral colours are best, as they intensify light and help ‘open up’ the space.

 

Floorboards are preferable to carpet (even in the bedrooms) as they show the furniture to best advantage. Polish the boards, and add rugs and a hall runner to create a classy accent and warmth underfoot.

 

Replace outdated light fittings with contemporary styles to add visual appeal and lift the overall light levels. It’s also vital to capture as much natural light as possible. Plantation shutters help maximise sunlight and are preferable to curtains that block the light.

Cook up a storm of demand

When it comes to the kitchen, stainless steel European appliances (Miele or Bosch) are in demand. Stone (Caesar stone or granite) bench tops are very popular and will add value. Yes, stone is expensive, but because stone benchtops are cut and installed as one piece, you’ll save on labour costs.

 

Buyers also love glass splashbacks. They make a striking change from tiles, and the glass makes the kitchen look larger.

 

Watch shows like The Block, read interior design magazines and visit showrooms to find out what’s contemporary and will work for your home.

A room for everyone

If your home has a reasonable-sized backyard, an outdoor entertaining area is a big plus. A garage that has storage or has been converted into a multi-purpose room, retreat or games room is even better. These garage conversions are particularly popular with families and add a lot of value.

How does your garden grow?

Showing a beautiful home without an attractive garden is like wearing a beautiful suit without shoes! A lovely garden can dress up a home and bring softness, freshness and warmth. In fact, it represents around 20% of a home’s value.

 

Hire an arborist to prune back any large trees that are blocking light to the home. This can make a big difference to the presentation and sale value.

 

Tidy up and improve your existing garden or plant a new one. Consider wisterias, vines, manicured fruit trees or a herb garden. They’ll attract wonderful bird life and add to the appeal.

 

Your garden doesn’t have to be big or elaborate to add value. Even small backyards or courtyards can look amazing with the right plants, trees and lighting.

To pool or not to pool?

Sometimes an in-ground pool will add value, and sometimes it won’t. It all depends on the buyer. Some buyers will walk away from a home with a pool because the need for maintenance puts them off, while others will buy a home precisely because it has a pool.

 

If you have a pool, don’t stress. Your agent simply needs to find buyers who specifically want a pool. If you don’t have a pool, don’t install one just to sell the house. Only do it if you’re going to stay put and enjoy the pool yourself.

Living smaller?

If your home is an apartment or townhouse and you don’t have much outdoor space, apply the same guidelines for adding value to the interior as you would if it was a house. Go for clean lines, minimalism and light-coloured paint.

 

Consider stone benchtops and glass splashbacks for the kitchen, and plantation shutters throughout the home to maximise natural light. Use simple pendant lights to add class and boost overall light levels. Polish the floorboards and dress them up with a hall runner and a Persian rug under the coffee table.

Get stylin’

Declutter your home, get rid of bulky furniture and hire a stylist to stage the home with streamlined contemporary furniture and clever accents to add warmth. Styling can lift even the most ordinary of homes and enable buyers to ‘imagine’ the space. What’s more, styling adds value even before buyers have set foot in your home, because the marketing photography and videography are more appealing.

 

An average staging will cost around $2000 – money well spent.

How much should I spend to add value?

As a general rule, it’s best not to spend more than 10 per cent of the home’s value if you’re updating it soon before selling. If you spend much more, you may have to sit on your property for a couple of years to get your money back. (If you’re planning to live there for a few more years, 20% may be a viable figure.

The Selling Master Class