Monthly Archives: April 2009

10 Tips to Make Your Home Attractive for Potential Buyers

Flickr: Photo by AlexKess

With the boosted first time home buyers grant looking nearly certain to end by June, I think Aussies can expect a flourish of activity right up to the very close of play. So, with all that activity, how can you prepare your home before you make it available for potential buyers to view? Here are some tips for a successful showing and possible sale:

#1 When opening your home for public viewing, make it inviting and appealing for a broad range of prospective buyers. The goal is to make them immediately feel attracted to your home.

#2 Have the home as tidy as a showroom. Clearing the clutter will not only allow the rooms to appear larger, but also an easier upkeep. Pack up all personal items, such as family pictures or stray toys.

#3 Present a meticulously clean home. Dust all ceiling fan blades, lamp shades and furniture. Clean the windows, polish the kitchen appliances and sink. In the bathrooms, clean the showers, tubs, sinks and faucets until they sparkle.

#4 The entrance to your home should be welcoming and clutter free. Accent the front door with fresh potted plants on each side. The front and interior doors should be unobstructed and squeak free. All closet doors should be easily opened and clothes neatly hung.

#5 Give your walls a fresh coat of neutral color paint. Introduce coordinating color, by adding throw pillows, area rugs, table runners, placemats, floral arrangements and plants. The tip is to stage the home so any prospective buyer will imagine themselves living there.

#6 Mirrors are great for reflecting light and create a look of spaciousness in a dark entrance. Be careful to hang mirrors and artwork at eye level.

#7 Complete all unfinished projects and any repairs needed, even if it means taking out a small personal loan for home renovation, it’ll be money well spent. Get some help from someone who can repair a cracked window pane, a loose hinge on a door or replace a broken door bell. Change all burnt light bulbs in table lamps, fixtures and ceiling fans. If a prospective buyer sees any unfinished project or neglect in your home, he or she may become suspicious of major unseen problems.

#8 Be certain that every room is used for a particular purpose. If it is an office or a guest bedroom, there shouldn’t be toys on the floor or shelves. The dining room shouldn’t have evidence of homework or a craft project in progress. Neatly organize closets and shelves with fabric or wicker containers for storage.

#9 Consider replacing dark and worn out carpet with fresh, neutral colors. Perhaps a do-it-yourself replacement of wood laminate flooring may give a modern appearance.

#10 Pets should not be allowed to remain in the home during a showing and should be taken to a friend or neighbor. Carefully brush away any pet hair that may be on the furniture, etc. Be conscious of any pet odors and ask a friend to honestly tell you if there is a smell.

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Some Useful Tips for Kitchen Renovation

photo: cripics

Lots of first time home buyers are whetting their teeth on the market or the first time. And, many like some in my family, are simply getting on with their retirement, selling their old house and buying another house. So as I walked around the kitchen of a house I inspected at the weekend I thought, “what can I do to renovate this kitchen?” Thankfully there’s a lot that can be done for every kitchen!

There are usually two reasons homeowners decide to renovate.

  1. To enhance the comfort and functionality of their kitchens while they live there
  2. To add value so the house will sell easier.

The second reason was the one I was thinking at the weekend because when you buy an old beater of a house, you have the room and hopefully the money to renovate – and if you don’t you can always take out a personal loan.

So, when considering a renovation, the most important first step is to plan well. With a renovation, homeowners have an opportunity to fix and change the things that irk or bother them about their kitchens. Whatever changes decided on, plan thoroughly and make sure traffic patterns flow and function well, and adequate storage to accommodate pots, crockery and food have been met.

Other important considerations:

Cabinets
Cabinets are the dominating feature in most kitchens. Any renovation should involve at least a thorough cleaning. If the finish is outdated, then consider sanding down the cabinet doors and shelf facings, and either painting or re staining them in a popular hue. If cabinets are being replaced, consider using particle board for the cabinet boxes, and then hardwood for the doors. This will save hundreds of dollars.

Bench tops
The popular choice for counter tops is granite because it is durable, heat and scratch resistant, and beautiful. A 20-40 mm thick slab is the standard thickness. Also consider different height levels of bench tops. For example the stove top should be lower than the sink and preparation areas.

Flooring
In Australia, there are many options for flooring. Vinyl flooring is the least expensive. Cork tiles are comfortable, but they stain; they are priced around $90 per sq. meter. Tile floors are maintenance free, but feel cool to the touch. Hardwood floors are lovely, but can cost around $130 per sq. meter.

Electrical
It is important to place lighting where it is needed like over the benches and over the sink. Try to avoid shadows. Also install one circuit for each appliance and then at least two more for the outlets. No one wants the toaster sparking when the microwave turns on.

There you go, these are my tips for kitchen renovation. Do you have any tips of your own? Leave a comment

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