Home and Life Ideas

Preparing our home for sale: renovations

Before you put your house on the market, it might be a good idea to consider any renovations or improvements to help increase the value of your home! Here’s what we did to our home.

In a tough housing market like now, it’s important to really stand out from the other properties that are also vying for buyers’ attention. While there are some who like the houses they can renovate for profit, it seems most people (especially those with families) would rather a “turnkey” home, ie one where they just move in without having to do anything to the house. I’m definitely one of those kind of buyers!

Below are some of the things which we did to the house before we put it on the market to really make it a “turnkey” home for a potential buyer. Some of these were easy, others needed a bit more effort, but all of these steps were so worth doing, especially given the market right now. (Such a shame though that we didn’t do it BEFORE we decided to sell, then we could have enjoyed the renovations a little longer, haha!)

1. Changed the lighting

Before, the lighting in the house was really hodge podge, with oyster lights in some rooms, downlights in others, and very early 90s drop lights in the living room. They were also mainly incandescent lights, making some of the rooms look dim. We changed the downstairs lights, thoroughfares and all bathrooms to be all downlights with bright LED downlights, with the living room having tricolour LEDs. The upstairs bedrooms all had fan/light combinations. The just made the house look more cohesive and brighter with the LED lights.

2. Painted the house

This was one of the first things we did and honestly I don’t know why we didn’t do it sooner. Before we painted the house, it was a creamy colour, with textured coloured feature walls in the bedrooms. I mean, WTH. The 90s called, they want their feature walls back!! We went with a cool off-white colour to paint EVERYTHING, I mean absolutely everything, including the wooden handrail and balustrades of the stairs, to the doors and ceilings. It made such a difference to the house and made it look so much brighter.

3. Redid the deck

If you have a deck, it’s really important to make it look schmick, even if it’s just a simple re-oil of the timber. Unfortunately for us because of rot the whole deck had to be replaced, which was a costly exercise BUT had we left it as it was would have stripped tens of thousands off the selling price. Redoing the deck was a no-brainer to help justify the asking price.

4. Spruced up the flooring

If you have timber, a sand and polish will do wonders to make it look like new. If you have tiles, a good steam clean (and if you can, grout clean) can really make them stand out. For carpet, if it’s still relatively new, a deep clean can refresh them, or if they’re old, consider replacing them. We decided to replace the carpet as the house still had the old carpet from when it was built, and was really looking snarky and dated. We changed it to a nylon pile carpet to make it feel lush under foot, and chose a neutral grey to go with the coolness of the newly painted walls.

5. Changed the taps

Our taps were pretty cracked and dated, so hubby changed them all to the same type, and all in chrome. A simple change but again helped make the house look cohesive and up to date.

6. Changed the kitchen sink

Not much point changing the taps if the kitchen sink was looking tatty. Get a plumber to do this.

7. Replaced the kitchen benchtops

Contentious whether or not this was worth it – I would say it was – I also got to enjoy it for few months! The kitchen had very dated, maroonish coloured laminate benchtops, which were actually in great condition but just looked a little 1990s. We had this replaced with a stone benchtop in a light neutral colour, and this really helped modernise the kitchen and make it look brighter.

8. Changed the window furnishings

Before, the window furnishings were a bit all over the place – Roman blinds, verticals, blockout curtains, sheer curtains, venetians… really, what? I know quite a few people despise venetians, but when done well they look really good. All the upstairs bedrooms had new venetians (timber-look to save money), and downstairs all had roller blinds. Again, these changes just helped with the cohesiveness of the home, and wasn’t expensive to do – and the new owner could change them if they were one of the ones that hate venetians!

These were the bigger jobs we did – there were smaller jobs we did just to make the home a little more presentable, like changing the mulch in the garden – but the ones above made a huge difference to the home. I think all of these were worth doing and helped increase the value of our house! If you’re thinking about selling your home, have a look around and see if anything needs improving our renovating – you could do some or all of what we did to help bring our home ready for sale!



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5 thoughts on “Preparing our home for sale: renovations

  1. Your home looked lovely and these are such good tips! We have painting on our list for our house, it badly needs repainted. We are going to wait until closer to selling to do though, as the boys are guaranteed to mess it up if we get it done now, haha!

    1. Oh you can’t imagine how many times I told the kids not to do anything to the newly painted walls, haha! We did ours first because the colour of the walls the determined the colour of the carpet and the benchtops, but if kids are around and no other majors jobs need to be done then definitely do painting just before going on the market!

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