5 cosmetic improvements your home needs before you put it on the market

By Julie Ryburn
In Home Loans

When it comes to preparing your home for market, there are some things that simply can’t be ignored – did anyone say shagpile carpet?! We’re not saying you’ll need a second loan to cover a renovation… but if budget allows, these five cosmetic improvements will reap some serious rewards come open home day.

1. First impressions count

What’s the first thing people see when arriving at your house? The exterior of your home, including the garden. That’s where your property has got to pack a punch. Homes that are rundown and dilapidated simply aren’t going to make the cut. What’s more, overgrown gardens with broken play equipment or rogue hoses lying across the yard make for a pretty dodgy first impression. A fresh coat of paint on exterior walls, guttering and downpipes make a world of difference. As will replacing any damaged weatherboard panels and filling gaps with fresh mortar on brick builds. When it comes to the garden, keep it tidy and – if budget allows – a little bit of landscaping goes a long way.

2. Flawless flooring

If your home’s exterior is appealing enough to get buyers through the front door, the next thing they’re likely to see is the flooring. Old, musty, shagpile carpet is a big no-no. Sleek, modern and contemporary flooring on the other hand, an almighty yes. While it might seem like a big investment at the time, replacing ancient carpets for something fresh and clean will reap some serious rewards. Floorboards, too, remain hugely popular for their classic look and low-maintenance – just be sure to repair any cracks or chips in the boards to keep them looking their best.

3. Kitchen and bathroom upgrades

You know it, we know it, kitchens and bathrooms are those big-ticket items when it comes to selling your home. And while we’re not saying you should spend a fortune ripping them out and starting from scratch, there are some things you can do to help them shine come open home day. Repairing tile grout, painting the walls and cleaning out exhaust fans are all wise moves. As is making sure all appliances and taps are in good working order. If key things like toilets, shower fixtures and ovens are looking well beyond their used-by date, pushing the budget for some updated basics will see you in good stead, too.

4. A blank canvas

You love the colour purple, and green, and orange, and it shows… because you’ve used these colours throughout every bedroom in the house. The thing is, bright, bold colours are a personal call and one that might put potential buyers off. They want to be able to visualise not only themselves, but all their furniture and belongings, within those walls – giving them a blank canvas to work with is a great way to make that easier. These days you can’t go past a crisp white, with light grey undertones for added depth. Just steer clear of egg-yolk creams and beige, you’ll drag the house kicking and screaming back into the early 90s.

5. Breathe new light

While we’re on the 90s, when was the last time you updated your lighting fixtures? Those extendable chandeliers with amber glass are still burnt into our memories. Sure, they were all the rage back then, now they have an uncanny way of weighing heavily on the space, sucking the light out of the room rather than putting it back in. This is another case of the simpler, the better. You’ll be surprised how quickly some modern and contemporary light fittings can breathe new life (and light) into a room.

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