Have you ever worried about the risk of over capitalising your home? If you answered yes, you’re not alone. Often, home improvers worry about investing more into their renovations then they’ll ever make back for the property when it comes time to sell. Renovations are intended to make your property more attractive, comfortable and valuable. Unfortunately, it’s that last one many home improvers struggle with. Whether you’re planning on using your home to rent or sell, you’re investing into your future. The right renovations can help you transform a tired house into a cash flow positive property if you do it right.
What does over capitalising mean?
If you are thinking of selling your house, you might look into renovating a few things to get the attention of potential buyers. While the thought is great and absolutely can pay out well, not all renovations are worth their investment. You can actually invest more in a renovation than you would get back from buyers. To prevent over capitalising, you need to understand your neighbourhood and know your value.
What does “knowing your neighbourhood” mean? Well, it’s rather simple. If the houses within your neighbourhood sell for approx. $350k, it will almost be impossible to sell yours for $700k – regardless of what you invest into it.
When you decide to sell your house, we do recommend to freshen it up a little and take away any objection a buyer could have. Speaking out of experience, laundries don’t add as much value but if you’re able to modernise your bathroom or kitchen on a low-ish budget, it will generally pay off. You don’t need to invest in a luxurious kitchen, a simple flatpack kitchen can do the job for you to give your house a new look. Renovating a full kitchen or bathroom can be quite an investment which is why we usually recommend making such big investments only when it’s needed and include them more into a long-term selling plan, as in when you want to sell your property in 2-5 years time.
However, smaller investments that will always pay off are painting, flooring and lighting, potentially even changing furniture handles to give your rooms a modern look. When you have potential buyers walking through, most want to have a house that’s ready to move in without undergoing further renovations. We can only highlight again: Take away any objection a buyer could have, that’s when you maximise your asset.
If you’re not looking into these little and easy things to fix, you simply leave money on the table and on top of that, you narrow potential buyers down as many potential buyers haven’t budgeted for additional renovations after purchasing a house.
What is worth renovating before putting my house on the market?
If you’re ready to sell your house, it’s quite likely you’ve lived there for quite some time. While this is great as it should provide you with an extensive knowledge on the neighbourhood, it might also mean you don’t see the little short falls of your property anymore. To get a good overview of where you can improve your house to sell, we recommend walking through it and actually taking pictures. Pictures often tell a better story than our own eyes – especially when we’ve been living in the surroundings for many years.
Start with the entry of the house, the front yard and walk through to the backyard. Landscaping is often overlooked when getting a house ready to sell but it definitely adds to the overall feeling of a house that will become a home to one. Besides the obvious of mowing the lawns and clearing the weeds, we do recommend adding some life to your garden. A contrast of colours and some fresh plants will add a tremendous value to the look and feel of the house. It doesn’t have to be expensive to freshen up the outer area of your property.
Moving inside, undoubtedly fresh paint can do wonders to the interior space. If the carpets are old and show significant use, we also recommend changing the flooring and investing in new carpets. It will pay out in the end. Lighting is another key area to consider. Have a look at the overall look and feel of the house and add a modern touch to it in the form of new lights. Additional expenses to consider that can be done on a small budget are changing furniture handles in the kitchen and bathroom as well as adding window furnishings in neutral, soft colours. They add some life to the house, have a purpose and are functional.
Should I style my house before selling?
The simple answer to this question is yes! Potential buyers fall in love with the potential lifestyle they can have in their new home. More often than not we get asked where the furniture or wall art is from that potential buyers have seen when inspecting the house. When you present a house empty, it feels cold and often smaller than it actually is. Many people won’t be able to visualise their furniture and other interior elements in an empty house. Styling the house appropriately to sell, speaks volumes.
There are many houses on the market, so you want to make sure that yours stands out and catches prospects the moment they pull up. Speak to all their senses, not just visually through furniture and colours. Think about the materials of the couch or bedding you style the house with to add a specific feel to it. With candles or freshly baked bread you can even add a homely smell when people walk in. It’s all about the presentation of your house that will add to the figure you can sell it for.
Another important part of styling your property to sell is to keep it simple yet contemporary. Declutter and remove any personalisation. Strong colours and big statement pieces don’t speak to everyone. Your family pictures on the wall mean a lot to you but have no meaning to a potential buyer. Remember, it is not your home anymore!
Something we come across quite frequently is people trying to sell their 4-bedroom house by using one of the bedrooms as a study. While this might have been a perfect living solution for you, it removes the feeling of having 4 bedrooms. If you advertise your house as a 4-bedroom house, style them this way! Buyers walk in and are sold on how you have styled the house. That’s the lifestyle they have been shown. Again it comes back to the majority of the people and potential buyers not being able to visualise and personalise the house they’re inspecting. More often than not your styling becomes their future life!
To summarise it all: The more effort you put in, the more rewards you get. Take away any objections a buyer could have as that’s when you maximise your asset. Declutter and keep the colour tones neutral to speak to a broader audience and remove any personal items. Put your house on the market strategically and remember, it’s not your home anymore. When you style your selling property, do so with what matters to the buyer.
Of course, we’re more than happy to answer any of your questions and help you to sell your property quickly with maximised results! Contact us today to discuss your listing.