Mak­ing your home more valu­able

Lesotho Times - - Property -

WHEN you are pre­par­ing your home for view­ers, or “stag­ing” as it’s called, is im­por­tant. It will not only en­sure your prop­erty is sold faster, but can po­ten­tially add thou­sands of pounds to its value

De­clut­ter — but don’t de­per­son­alise l Get rid of all the ex­cess stuff that has ac­cu­mu­lated in ev­ery nook and cranny. Put it in stor­age or give it to a friend l Peo­ple need to be able to en­vis­age what the prop­erty would look like if they were liv­ing there. Peo­ple of­ten find this dif­fi­cult, so make it easy for them to see all the fan­tas­tic liv­ing space you’re of­fer­ing them l Don’t make it look like a generic ho­tel; leave some per­son­al­ity. Apart from any­thing else it gives unimag­i­na­tive buy­ers sug­ges­tions as to what they might do l Peo­ple are of­ten buy­ing into a life­style as much as a prop­erty. Show them the at­trac­tive side of your life­style l Con­sider re­mov­ing any bulky fur­ni­ture that makes the room feel small and re­plac­ing it with smaller fur­ni­ture

A fresh lick of paint l Giv­ing your walls a fresh lick of paint, neu­tral paint will make your home seem lighter and big­ger l It will en­able the view­ers to more eas­ily imag­ine how they would adapt the rooms to their needs l It will be eas­ier for the buy­ers to move in and use the rooms im­me­di­ately than if the walls were still bright pur­ple or lime green l Cre­ate a good first im­pres­sion — give the front door a new coat of brightly coloured paint

Fix and clean l Make any mi­nor re­pairs nec­es­sary — holes in walls, bro­ken door knobs, cracked tiles, torn or thread­bare car­pets. Many buy­ers want to move in with­out mak­ing changes, so al­low for this l Clean ev­ery­thing un­til it sparkles. Get rid of limescale, clean and re­pair tile grout, wax wooden floors, get rid of all odours, hang up fresh tow­els. This will make the place more ap­peal­ing and al­low view­ers to imag­ine liv­ing there l Tidy up the gar­den: cut bushes back, clean the pa­tio and fur­ni­ture of lichen and dirt, and cut the grass. While this doesn’t add much value to your home it makes it more likely to sell as peo­ple vi­su­al­ize them­selves us­ing the gar­den

Up­date the kitchen l The kitchen is the most valu­able room in a house. It is worth the most per square foot and can make the dif­fer­ence when buy­ers are un­sure l Con­sider refac­ing your kitchen cab­i­netry. This is much cheaper than in­stalling new cabi- netry and of­ten as ef­fec­tive l Up­grad­ing kitchen counter tops is ex­pen­sive, but can add se­ri­ous value l De­clut­ter the sur­faces and just leave a bowl of fruit out. Take out any bulky ap­pli­ances l Con­sider up­grad­ing the plumb­ing fix­tures and white goods, but keep in mind that while that could make your prop­erty sell faster, you will be un­likely to re­coup their full value

Light and airy l Wall mir­rors make a room look much big­ger and lighter. Con­sider putting some up, es­pe­cially in smaller rooms or hall­ways l Clean win­dows in­side and out, and re­place any bro­ken light bulbs. Mak­ing the place feel light and airy makes rooms feel big­ger and the prop­erty more at­trac­tive l En­sure that you have lamps on in any dark cor­ners l Putting a soft lamp in the bath­room can cre­ate a warm glow Light a fire l If it’s a cold evening, or even chilly day, light your fire. Con­sider burn­ing some pinecones for the de­li­cious smell. This will make your home feel warm and invit­ing. If you don’t have a fire then en­sure the fire­place is clean

Make it look pretty l Make sure the win­dows are prop­erly dressed with blinds or cur­tains as naked win­dows make a place feel im­per­sonal and run down. Buy some cheap ones (eg from Ikea) if nec­es­sary l Plants and flow­ers bring colour, life and light to a room and also smell de­li­cious. So does that fruit bowl on your kitchen counter

Get the right smells l Bad smells are the sin­gle big­gest turn off for prospec­tive buy­ers. Don’t just cover them up, fix the source of the smell. Clear drains, wash bins, open win­dows, air the kitchen from old cook­ing smells, get rid of fur­ni­ture that is em­bed­ded with cig­a­rette smoke, and wash any grimy bed sheets l If you are a smoker, place bowls of vine­gar around the house and leave out for three days. Though the vine­gar will smell when you open the win­dows it will dis­ap­pear quickly tak­ing a most of the stale cig­a­rette smell out with it l Con­versely, good smells can make a prop­erty feel like an al­lur­ing home. While it might be im­prac­ti­cal to bake fresh bread, cakes or brown­ies for ev­ery viewer that vis­its your home, you could per­haps brew some fresh coffee

Show­ing the prop­erty l You’ll have cho­sen a good es­tate agent, so let them show the prop­erty l It’s their job to know what things to say, what to high­light and what to down­play l They are also ef­fec­tive at an­swer­ing those tricky ques­tions about the noisy neigh­bours.

— Home Di­gest

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