When settling into a new home, putting it up for sale isn’t usually at forefront of your mind. But unless you’re certain that this one is going to be your ‘forever home’, it is wise to consider renovation and design choices in relation to when you potentially have to resell and maximise a return on investment (ROI).
Blogger: Naomi Findlay, International Institute of Home Staging
Here are some top tips to take into account when choosing to embark on house projects, keeping resale in mind.
Before you start
Consider home improvements carefully. With a lot of voices in the market all claiming to offer state-of-the-art makeovers, ask yourself if it is worth the promised added value in the long run. In fact, some projects may do the opposite.
Research the local area. How does your home compare to others down the street? What do your competitors have that you don’t? It may be two living areas instead of one, an additional bathroom for easy access at each end of the house, or an updated kitchen. Do your research on what previous homes have sold for in the area, and access floor plans and inclusions to make comparisons. This should inform your decision on what home improvements are best for resale value.
Interior design and decoration is an easy trap when trying to sell. Even with the slightest inclination to pack up shop years down the track, try and keep colours and finishes reasonably neutral. For example, you may hold a deep purple close to your heart, but you will alienate a large pool of potential buyers if you use it throughout the home as a recurring theme, such as on painted feature walls, wallpaper, light fittings, splashbacks, and the list goes on. Think Burnt Toffee from Taubmans and Revere Pewter from Benjamin Moore.
Appliances account for approximately 30 per cent of home energy use. When replacing appliances, choose those that are the most energy efficient. Come time to sell, you will have saved a significant amount of money, and many buyers will look more favourably on your property. Everyone will be looking for little ways to tighten the purse strings, so also consider additional ways where energy use can be minimised throughout the home, such as insulation.
Often considered the hub and heart of the home, the kitchen is the most important room in the house and will make or break the sale. A fresh, new kitchen still needs to tie in with the scheme of the house, so be wise in sprucing it up without making it stand out on its own.
Getting a decent ROI on a kitchen remodel can be as simple as a coat of paint, replacing handles on cupboards and cabinets, or replacing the benchtop. Contrary to common assumptions, you may not need to spend thousands on a completely new kitchen.
If you only have one bathroom, consider a second one. Bathrooms are one of the biggest selling points, and your ROI will be good to great if you decide to go ahead with this investment.
When trying to source space for an additional bathroom, look at spaces in your home that you could do without. If push comes to shove, figure out how to allow for a second toilet/powder room, perhaps under the stairs or in a large laundry.
Outdoors – curb appeal
Potential homebuyers are bound to judge a book by its cover, so great first impressions are paramount to securing not only the sale, but also an interest in the property.
Outdoor living is becoming increasingly popular for buyers, so make the most of your ‘curb appeal’ by considering adding a decked area. If you are able to make this undercover, it will feel like an outdoor room. In doing so, the square footage of the home appears larger and more spacious.
The property market is a game in itself, and all homeowners are all players. Taking care of your home and making wise decisions ahead of time will eventually pay off, should that time come when you need to sell. Time, research and evaluated decisions will ensure that you reap the rewards at a time you will need it the most: moving into your next home.
About Naomi Findlay
Naomi Findlay started her successful home staging business, SILK Home Staging & Styling, three years ago and is now also the founder of the International Institute of Home Staging (IIHS). IIHS combines her experience in running her own successful home staging business with her awarded expertise in tertiary education.
Naomi has received teaching awards from the University of Newcastle and the Australian College of Education and been nominated for a national award with the Australian Teaching and Learning Council. She is also the author of a bestselling book, Ignite Your Property Mojo, in addition to being a regular columnist for realestate.com