8 Ways to increase your home's value

If you are desperate to sell your home but don’t have a massive budget, is it still possible to improve the value of your home? Angelique Ruzicka finds out.

Your property is one of the biggest investments you will ever make and you could make a lot of money if you sell it at the right time. But as you’ve been paying off a home loan all these years you may not have enough savings stashed away to make the house look like something out of Top Billing.

However, there are still plenty of things you can do to improve the value of your home without blowing your budget:

Research property values
“Consider the value of neighbouring properties, as every suburb has a ceiling in terms of value and you do not want to run the risk of over-capitalising,” says Francois Venter, director of Jawitz Properties.

Consider your potential buyers
Ask yourself what would buyers want to gain out of living in your property? “If you live in an area that is popular with families, perhaps add on a bedroom or staff accommodation and definitely keep a double garage. If you live in a block of apartments in the CBD, a family adapted layout might not be necessary,” explains Venter.

Make small changes to improve the look
“You don’t have to spend thousands to modernise a kitchen,” says Andrea Atkinson, Ooba’s Eastern Cape Provincial sales manager. “You can just change the handles and the cupboard doors and leave the framework intact. A coat of paint and changing the flooring can make all the difference.”

Keep it simple
As far as the colour palette goes, Venter advises sticking to neutral colours on the walls and floors, particularly in the kitchen and bathroom. “Beware of over-personalising your space, neutral colours sell well and create a blank canvas of sorts, which will be favourable with future buyers.”

Keep your home well maintained
“Carpeting is best in bedrooms, with tiled or wooden floors in your living and dining rooms, and a well-maintained garden always adds appeal and is essential in achieving a good price for your property,” says Venter.

Be environmentally friendly
“Many buyers these days look at the amount of energy a home saves because of the contentious increase in electricity costs,” says Craig Hutchinson, CEO of Engel & Volkers. Installing a timer on your geyser, for example could save you and future buyers up to 50% on electricity bills.

Upgrade your security
This is possibly one of the most important features for re-sale value. “Upgrading your home security will not only be lucrative for you when you decide to sell but will benefit you currently,” says Hutchinson.

Extend to generate a second income
Most homes have double garages and you could potentially build a flatlet above this structure. “Potential buyers could view this as a way of generating additional income as it could be rented out or used as office space,” explains Hutchinson.

If you are in any doubt or don’t have the confidence to make your own alternations you could always hire an expert. “There are home stylists that can help you achieve the best effect. Most homeowners are not home stylists and there are quite a few agents actually hiring these professionals as they help to create the right atmosphere for when potential buyers come and view the property,” says Atkinson.

Creating the right atmosphere can be inexpensive and could help you to sell your home quickly. “When people look at your home what they see for the first time is what they will remember. So if the house is neat and tidy the overall impression they get is that this is home and they want to live in it,” adds Atkinson.

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