UPGRADING BEFORE YOU SELL?
HOW TO ADD VALUE WITHOUT OVER-CAPITALISING
Deciding what to upgrade in your home before putting it on the market takes a bit of careful planning. Doing too little will obviously reduce your home's ultimate selling price, but at the same time, do to too much and you risk over-pricing your property, making it much more difficult to sell.
Imagine you are the buyer
Property experts agree that a good starting point is to step back and view your home from a buyer's perspective to try and ascertain which areas need improvement. Before doing anything else, clear away any clutter and give your home and garden a spring-clean. Ask yourself what you would be looking for in a new home, and then concentrate on upgrading those areas first.
If you're still not sure where to start, ask a professional estate agent for advice on what improvements are most likely to increase the value of your property. At the same time, make a study of similar homes in your neighbourhood so that you can work out an upgrade plan that will add value to your home without over-capitalising. Determine how much you will need to spend on improvements, bearing in mind that the idea is to get the money back when you sell. The more informed experts you speak to, the better informed you'll be about what the market is looking for.
If you are doing renovations before selling, you should keep your property value variation between 15 and 20 percent of other homes in your suburb, because buyers who can afford more expensive homes will shop in more expensive areas anyway. Also, be careful not to build on too many rooms - a third bedroom addition is more valuable than a fourth one. Also, be careful when spending money on repairs to gutters and windowpanes, which, while making your home more attractive, will not necessarily increase its value. A new coat of paint can do wonders for a tired looking property. Relatively speaking, it's an inexpensive 'quick fix' and an upgrade that you can even do yourself. Be sure to complete all renovations before putting your house on the market, as most buyers won't be able to visualise the end result in the same way that you can.
Focus on the bathroom and kitchen
Generally speaking, bathroom and kitchen revamps usually bring the best return on investment. If your existing kitchen is shabby and dated, and you spend between R20 000 and R40 000 on having it redone, you'll probably be able to add that amount to the final selling price. This means that not only will you get back the money you spend, but your house will also be more saleable. However, if you spend R100 000 on a designer kitchen, chances are you're not going to be able to recover your costs. While estate agents and decorators maintain that the most important areas of your home to upgrade and modernise are the kitchen and bathrooms, they also say that buyers like to see new or recently installed floor coverings throughout.
First impressions count
And last but not least, keep detailed records of the work you've done and money you've spent, should you need to claim back from the Receiver!
It is also a good idea to spruce up the outside of yow home. Bearing in mind the importance of creating a favourable first impression, it's vital to ensure that garden walls and fences are in a good state of repair and well painted. The pool also needs to be sparkling and free of algae, so don't hesitate to call in a professional if you can't get it right on your own. When it comes to the roof, replace tiles if necessary, and realign them if they are crooked. Also, a coat of fresh paint on the roof can do wonders. Compare your colour scheme to the rest of the neighbourhood - it might be worth the money to bring your colour scheme in line with the other properties in order to enhance your home's saleability.