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Inexpensive home updates that pack a punch

In the current competitive real estate market sellers need all the help they can get to make their home shine and stand out from the crowd; however this doesn’t mean that they need to break the bank with expensive updates. 

According to Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, there are a number of cost-effective ways that sellers can make their home more appealing and increase their chances of selling for the best possible price in the shortest possible time frame.  
 
“Sellers don’t always have to go to extreme measures to create a big impact. Often just subtle, reasonably inexpensive updates can go a long way to increasing the property’s appeal and give the seller the competitive edge. The updates will add to the seller’s confidence when putting their home on the market, with the added benefit of possibly pushing up the sale price,” says Goslett.
 
He provides some low-cost updates the sellers could do before listing their home: 
 
Do a walk-through

The initial step is to visit each room and make a checklist of items that need to be either repaired or replaced. During this part of the process it is best to be as objective as possible, so it might be helpful to have a friend or family member provide a second opinion. Look for outdated styles, bold patterns and colours, dated fixtures, unfinished projects and over-cluttered cupboards and countertops. When looking at these features consider what elements showcase the home in its best possible light and what doesn’t. Once the checklist has been established, the next step is to develop a budget and diarise a date on the calendar to complete the tasks at hand.
 
Incorporate contemporary styles

Each home and style will be as individual as the owner. While you may love a certain look, be it ultramodern, the majority of buyers may not. Ideally it is best incorporating modern elements into the home, but going for a transitional style that hits the sweet spot between traditional elegance and contemporary cool.  The idea is to tick the ‘just right’ box – not too cold or formal and not too fussy. A transitional style blends the comfort and warmth of traditional design with the clean lines and muted tones of the modern look.
 
First impressions count

According to research it takes just 15 seconds for a buyer to decide whether they like a house or not. First impressions count, so ensure it leaves the right mark. An impression of the home is not only formed by what buyers see inside the home, but starts from outside the property walls. Buyers driving past will judge whether they want to have a look at the property by the way it looks from the street. Curb-appeal is vitally important and vastly contributes to the success of attracting buyers to the home. Start maintenance from the pavement outside the property and work your way inwards. Basic improvements such as exterior painting, cutting the grass and planting some flowers can tremendously improve the look of a home from the outside. Special attention should also be given to the driveway, ensuring that it is weeded and in good repair.
 
Pay attention the kitchen and bathrooms

As some of the most frequently used areas in any home, the kitchen and bathrooms will be a focal point for buyers. Extra effort should be made to ensure that these areas are fresh and looking great. Things such as stained shower stalls and toilets, broken or missing grout, leaky taps or dated cabinet hardware are easily replaced at minimum cost. If replacement is not an option, have shower stalls or bathtubs professionally resprayed for a fresh look.
 
A new coat


A fresh coat of paint is a great way to revitalise the home with a reasonably minimal investment, especially if you have the skills to do the job yourself. Paint can drastically transform a space and can be used in a variety of applications on walls, doors, cabinets, fixtures and even tiles. When selecting a colour palette, neutral muted tones will be the most universally pleasing.
 
“By making these small updates before listing a property, sellers are giving themselves the best possible chance of setting their home apart and achieving their asking price. While these updates may not cost a lot, they will have a big impact on the overall appeal of the property in the eyes of buyers,” Goslett concludes.


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