Tips for improving your home's value

In a challenging real estate market, potential buyers will be seeking to find bargains, and are expecting sellers to negotiate price quite a bit. However sellers you can increase bargaining power by increasing the value that the potential buyer will perceive in their property. If you are selling your home, here are a few tips to help increase the attractiveness of your property in the eyes of your potential buyer.

Declutter - If you are moving, you most likely know already that there is some stuff you don't want to move with. Take some time, room by room, to decide what you want to throw away, what you should give away, and what you want to keep. Aim to get rid of stuff you haven't used in the past 18 months. Get boxes and get the stuff that you're not going to move with out of your house before showing it to the public. Your house will look and feel lighter, and more airy and attractive.

Paint - If you haven't painted in a while, aim to do so in at least the kitchen and bathrooms, where potential buyers pay keen attention. Ensure the paint job is neat and in keeping with the theme of the rest of your house, and by all means avoid gaudy colours, which are taste-specific. Potential buyers must not think that they need to repaint these areas as soon as they move in. Also, so re-paint watermarked ceilings after you have made repairs to roof leaks.

Garden - If your home has a garden, by all means ensure that it is neat. Mow the lawn, trim the hedges, prune the trees, get rid of weeds. For apartments, and townhouses, try to reduce the number of potted plants to a bare minimum; ask a friend to house-sit a few of yours if you feel you have too many. Replace broken or mildewed pots as well.

Update fixtures - If you can afford to, updating the bathroom and kitchen fixtures is a worthwhile effort. Unless the cabinets are in disrepair, even if you don't update the entire kitchen or bathroom, potential buyers will not necessarily see the need to do an immediate overall updrade if fixtures are updated, and the area freshly painted in a complimentary colour. Also, do upgrade decoratives like shower curtains and towels.

As a rule, don't spend more on renovations than you can recoup through the value from the sale, and because buyers don't want the most expensive house in the area, if doing other more costly renovations, don't over-improve based on the average value of houses in your neighbourhood. 

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