If you are in the enviable position of being able to afford a complete makeover for your home or investment property prior to its sale, you have the pick of modern finishes to ensure that it will stand out from the rest of the market.
But what if you don't have the budget to have your property professionally styled? What if that additional investment of money seems a bit too risky in a volatile real estate market? How can you give your property the same wow factor on a limited budget?
Her are my top five recommendations of where to target your money, in order of priority:
1. Cleaning and decluttering: Sounds obvious, I know, but if you had seen what I've seen in this business, you wouldn't be surprised that I've made this the first on my list.
Fact: We lead busy lives. Some of us have jobs, children and pets and we don't have the time to get our property ship-shape for those all important property inspections.
My advice: Get someone in to give your property the shine it deserves and make the tip your second home.
2. Outside: Everyone understands the importance of first impressions, so make sure your outside areas - gardens, balconies and terraces - are presentable. Lawns should be mowed, borders weeded (and preferably mulched), and bushes cut back. And don't forget about the fencing or walling that frames your property. A new coat of paint will make that first impression so much sweeter for your buyer.
3. Flooring: New carpet works wonders for presentation, particularly in tired, older, or underwhelming properties. If a steam clean will suffice, that's fine, but if your existing carpet is mismatched, threadbare or heavily stained, replace it with new. As a rule of thumb, we tend to specify warmer, neutral tones for carpet in older properties and greys for new.
4. Window Treatments: Poorly-fitted, stained curtains and blinds that hang from broken rails and window frames give the wrong impression. Replace them with new - from Ikea, Freedom or Spotlight - or at the very least, take down the broken ones. Vertical blinds are an affordable option - not only do they allow light in, they also filter out what you don't want your buyer to see outside. Muslin curtains are another great way to hide that ugly brick wall adjacent to you.
5. Kitchen and bathrooms: It may surprise you that these two areas come last on my list of priorities, but it's important to consider if the investment is worth it. A new bench top or tiles can do wonders for updating a kitchen, as can resurfacing the bath tub replacing the shower screen in your bathroom.
Photos found on Pinterest: 1. From dwell.com 2. From mydomainehome.com.au 3. From primcousa.com