Q. I’m thinking of selling my property in the next few months and wondering if it’s worth spending a little money to freshen the place up. The walls are a bit tired having not been painted for a few years now. I don’t really want to spend any money on this as I’d rather put my money into the larger property I plan to purchase when I sell, are you able to give me a few pointers of some simple but inexpensive things to freshen the place up ready to put on the market? Or do you think I should just leave it as it is?
A. When it comes to selling a property presentation is everything. Even the most tired properties can be given a new lease of life with a simple coat of paint and a few new accents of colour. Paint costs nothing really when you consider the difference it will make to selling your property. Potential viewers will be impressed by the smell of fresh paint and clean walls, it will immediately give them the feeling that the property has been well looked after and not left to deteriorate. Of course anything that is priced right will always sell no matter what condition it is bought to the market in, but if you are keen to secure a good price and achieve a relatively quick sale then it’s always worth putting a little money and effort in to seal the deal. You would be surprised how much more you can actually achieve for a property that is sold in good order than a property that has been left to deteriorate and is looking generally tired and unloved. Agents in general – myself included constantly report that properties that are closest to ‘showhome condition’ and ready to move into sell more easily and achieve the highest prices, offering prospective buyers a ready to move into, little to do experience. With many buyers having put their cash towards raising a deposit, they have little to spend on improvements when they move in. I would definitely recommend you attempt a mini-makeover as a tactic to secure the best possible price, and achieving an early sale. A recent report suggested that only 17% of sellers would invest in a house makeover, even if it meant they stood to gain financially by achieving a considerably higher price. This reflects many sellers’ lack of access to funds to carry out what would be financially astute improvements. It also highlights one of the legacies of the downturn with many sellers suffering from shrinking equity pots, limiting their ability to raise relatively small lump sums for small renovations.