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How to improve the sell-ability of your property (without breaking the bank)

savethousands_may2016_set_a_468X60Few of us buy property with a future buyer in mind. That is, who of us actually buys a property and thinks (in detail) about how they will sell it to the next buyer that comes along? It’s unnatural.

While it may be difficult to think this far ahead, and to imagine someone else living in or owning your castle, you need to know how to attract future buyers when it does come time to putting the property on the market.

Regardless of whether you’re an owner-occupier or an investor, chances are you’ll need to sell up at some point (no matter how emotionally attached you may be), and so knowing how to make your property appeal to future buyers or tenants will be valuable in future.

 

 

So here it is: 6 ways to boost the sell-ability potential of your property.

1.   Be smart about upgrades

If you’re investing in a renovation or an upgrade, think carefully about the areas that you’d like to spruce up. For instance, it may be sensible to renovate high-traffic areas such as the living room or the kitchen compared to the guest bedroom, which won’t be used as frequently. It seems logical, but you’d be surprised at how many people over-capitalise.

When planning for a renovation, speak to real estate agents in the suburb so that you focus on improving areas that will add the most value to the property based on demand for property types or features in the area.

 

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2.   Budget well (and shop around)

Know what you should be paying, and don’t spend one cent more. To develop a budget and timeline and to avoid over-capitalising, you need to plan carefully.

Depending on the scale of your project, budget around 5-10% of the purchase price of the property for a cosmetic renovation. If you bought your property for $500,000, for example, then you would look to budget around $25,000 as a minimum.

Get quotes from different supplies and make sure they’re itemised. For example, instead of getting a price for “flooring”, you need to ask the supplier to divide cost items into separate tasks such as “floor preparation”, “carpet laying” and “carpet cost.” This will help you understand exactly where your money is going.

Jump online and see what prices you should be paying for materials and labour so you know you’re getting a good deal.

The same goes for comparing your finance options, do your research and make an informed decision about how you will cover the costs.

 

3.   Know your neighbours

How can you improve the attractiveness of your property without knowing who will purchase it? Access free suburb profile reports from suppliers such as Residex to understand the demographics of the area.

This will help you understand the type of people that live in the area, such as their age, disposable income as well as their consumption behaviour – such as whether they prefer to buy or rent.

A recent finder.com.au study found that Generation Y were the most likely to want a swimming pool and a dishwasher, which was vital to 23% of this group. So if you knew that your future buyer was Generation Y, you may want to spend that extra $500 on a decent dishwasher.

 

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4.   Be kind to your tradies

If you are undergoing a renovation or upgrade, create a project plan and a run sheet that outlines when your tradies start and finish each day. There are project management apps available such as Snapguide which can help you organise your workers on site.

Random acts of kindness never go unnoticed, either. Whether it’s making them a cup of coffee or giving them an early mark on a Friday, paying respect to your tradies and developing a positive relationship will keep them happy and productive.

 

5.   Keep it neutral

Using extravagant designs or bold colours can deter future buyers, especially if it will require a great deal of time and money for them to change these finishes.

Using neutral colours on ceilings and walls can give your property that blank canvas look that allows buyers to imagine themselves in the property.

 

6.   Step up the kerb appeal

First impressions count. Breathe some life into your landscaping and front yard area. Simple tasks such as buying a new letter box, painting the front door or maintaining your plants can go a long way in creating a good (and lasting) first impression when they walk through the open-inspection door.

Making your property appeal to high quality buyers or tenants doesn’t have to be difficult — follow these simple tips and you’ll be on the way to attracting a wide, and diverse pool of prospective buyers which will allow you to unlock a good sales price (and financial security) in future.

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Bessie Hassan

Bessie Hassan is the Money Expert at finder.com.au, - Australia's most visited comparison site - and a respected commentator who often appears on national radio, TV, and throughout online publications sharing her best money-saving tips and property advice. Bessie is passionate about helping Australians find better, whatever it is they're looking for.

The opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Homeloans Ltd.