Thinking of selling your property?
Hoping to sell for the best possible price so you can fund your next purchase?
Of course you are – which is why you need to do everything in your power to present the property in its best possible light.
These six factors represent some of the common, yet routinely-overlooked, factors that can drag down the value of your property, before you even put it on the market.
1. Dodgy neighbours
Whether they are the noisy type who hold band practice in the garage, or candidates for “Help I’m a Hoarder” with a garden full of disused tyres and old newspapers, living next to the neighbours from hell isn’t on any buyers’ list of what they’re looking for in a home.
While you can’t change your neighbours, there may be things you can do to limit the damage they cause to your home’s value.
Something as simple as a plant or hedge that screens out their obnoxious orange paint job could be a cheap and effective fix.
Of course, if they are doing anything hazardous or disturbing the peace, you should seek advice from your local council or police station on how best to deal with it – don’t try to handle these kinds of disputes yourself!
2. Traffic (and other) noise
Short of popping your house on the back of a truck and relocating it, there’s only so much you can do about noise.
Additions such as double glazing can help limit noise, or you may find heavy curtains are a cheaper option – if you do some research, you may even be able to grab some on sale, or find an online deal for double glazing.
Ensuring your home is adequately insulated can also help, but do your sums to check if you’ll be able to recover your outlay.
Steering prospective buyers through to the quieter part of the home as quickly as possible will be key for the agent, as will scheduling inspections at times that flatter the property – so, probably not during peak hour if you live on a busy road!
The agent should also emphasise the pros of the location in their advertising, such as proximity to transport.
3. Dated décor
Even if your home is structurally sound, old-fashioned fixtures and furnishings can create the impression that the property is past its best.
Buyers may prefer a property that has been cosmetically renovated, even if there are underlying issues – hence the success of property “flippers”.
Some buyers simply lack imagination, and struggle to see how the home could be turned into something modern and chic.
Never underestimate the power of a shiny, new appearance to overshadow other potential negatives you can’t do much about – such as being on a busy main road or being subject to a heritage overlay.
When choosing a scheme for a cosmetic makeover, it’s best to stick with neutral tones for walls and floors, keeping brighter shades as accents in the form of cushions and rugs.
4. Smoking inside
That’s right, your habit isn’t only costing you a small fortune in cigarettes and a toll on your health, it’s also eroding your profit margin when you come to sell your home.
Removing the odour and staining caused by cigarette smoke is difficult and expensive, with experts now claiming that even the residue left in walls and carpets is hazardous to humans years later!
Not only can smoking devalue your property, it can also make it harder to sell, as many prospective buyers simply will not be interested.
Quitting this habit could do your home’s value (and your health) a huge favour.
5. Cheap or poorly-done renovations
While a well thought-out reno can enhance the value of your home, a hasty job done on the cheap can take a serious chunk out of your profit.
Not only may you miss out on recouping your costs, but you might even lose money, if the buyer decides to factor in the cost of removing or replacing your addition into their offer.
Before renovating, make sure you’re catering to your target market.
You don’t necessarily need to fork out for top-of-the-line fixtures and fittings, but you certainly don’t want to be raiding the bargain bin, either.
It’s also unwise to make big changes that are inflexible.
For example, if you add a rumpus room for the kids as an extension, you could consider putting in a small ensuite as well, making the room usable as a bedroom or guest suite for future owners.
6. A confusing floor plan
Even if your property is large and spacious, an illogical or impractical floor plan can knock tens of thousands of dollars off the value.
You want prospective buyers to be able to imagine themselves and their loved ones living in the space, so the floor plan needs to reflect the realities of day-to-day life for your target market – be that families with young kids, young professionals, or an older couple with adult children still at home.
You don’t have to spend big bucks knocking down walls to fiddle with the floor plan, either – simply changing the way you furnish the rooms, and setting them up for different purposes, can help.
For example, a bedroom that’s at the other end of the house to the rest could be dressed as a parent’s bedroom, a home office, a games or toy room, a man cave, or a teenager’s retreat depending on the type of buyer you are targeting.
Getting your property ready for sale is crucial, so before listing, consider asking your trusted real estate agent for their industry-view about the best changes you should make to deliver the best result.
A quick fix here or a paint job there may be all you need to do to maximise your profits and walk away laughing on auction day.