Tidying up the garden of your home before putting it on the market has been shown to improve sale prices by up to 20 per cent. NQ Parks and Gardens gardener Danny Sinclair trims some bushes in the front yard of a property for sale at Cairns North. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE
Tidying up the garden of your home before putting it on the market has been shown to improve sale prices by up to 20 per cent. NQ Parks and Gardens gardener Danny Sinclair trims some bushes in the front yard of a property for sale at Cairns North. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE

How to increase your home value overnight

CHANCES are you've probably never stood outside your property and had a really good, hard, critical look at its flaws.

But any buyer worth their salt will so if you're hoping to sell, two Far North property experts have shared their tips on how to get the best price for a property.

For Elite Real Estate Services' Karl Latham, it all starts with "kerb appeal".

"Think of anything that might not be appealing and start with a full house wash," he said.

"If the house hasn't been painted in 10 years, it probably needs a paint - keep it to a neutral colour, if there are rusty screws on the roof, replace them, think about planting some new plants, or doing a bit of landscaping, or even just tidying up the garden.

"You could also put in a new garden statue, replace the letterbox. And when you're walking into the house, buyers like to see a lot of light so take down those old halogen lights and replace them with LEDs."

He said kitchens and bathrooms could be given an inexpensive spruce up by changing handles, replacing splashbacks and installing a stainless steel towel rail - never plastic.

"Ovens and appliances can really lift up a kitchen if you continue with a stainless steel look all through the space," Mr Latham said.

"Make sure you have consistent flooring too whether that's carpet or tiles. You look down when you step into a house and consistency can make it appeal more spacious.

Most importantly, Mr Latham advised first establishing what a property was worth, with or without renovations.

"You don't want to over invest in a property, you don't want to overcapitalise and not see that return," he said.

i.D Blinds owner Diane Healy also said a lot of sellers forget about street appeal.

"I always say to people they have to walk up to the front door like you're a visitor.

You walk there every day and you might miss things so you need to create an entry, something people will remember," she said.

"Sometimes it's jut a beautiful plant beside the front door, sometimes it is splashing a bit of paint on the front door, something to make it stand out."

Internally, Mrs Healy suggests adding items that will create a vision for what life in your home will be like for a buyer.

"Not everybody can afford to have their house professionally styled, but most people are looking for emotions that make a house a home and sends people the message of, 'this is what my life is going to be like here'," she said.

"Little things like a hammock, or chairs, sometimes it's that lovely connection between the outside and inside.

"Be aware that all of the blinds and window furnishings pushed to the side give an illusion of a connection to the sky and outdoors and a lot of people are looking for that."

But pre-sale expert and Channel 9 TV presenter, Jacqui Dunn, who is one of the presenters on Channel 9's Outdoors Indoors and an Interior Design expert said outdoor rooms

and extensions were an easy way to increase the value of your home.

She said homeowners could increase the value of their home by up to 15 or 20 per cent with well thought out backyard upgrades.

"Think luxury outdoor living spaces with all the comforts and amenities, and stylish landscaping with lush garden beds and greenery," she said.

"Done properly, outdoor rooms can add thousands of dollars and appeal to a property. It's a smart way to add value to your home, especially if you are thinking of selling. I see it all the time."

Artificial lawn, outdoor blinds, pergolas and verandas and timber decking can transform an outdoor living space.

Ms Dunn said Australians' love for entertaining - especially outdoors - has led to the popularity of indoor/outdoor living.

"We are blessed to live in one of the most beautiful countries in the world, so it makes sense that more people are opting to add outdoor rooms they can enjoy all year-round for everyday life and entertaining family and friends," she said.

"Whether you're looking to sell or rent out your home, creating an entirely new room as an extension to the home is a sought-after feature for many home buyers."




Karl Latham's tips:

It is surprising what new lighting fixtures and fans can do to lift a property, so consider replacing those.

Get rid of bold feature walls which might only appeal to a certain number of people.

Declutter. Remove anything hanging around on surfaces and get rid of all the family portraits before an open home. Remove all the furniture and if you need to stage your home, stage it. If you need to get advice from an interior designer, do that.

Diane Healy's tips:

People are looking for a home that is their sanctuary, so a nice lamp on in a room, rather than lights, can sometimes give a beautiful ambience to a room you just can't achieve otherwise. A beautiful, big plant or a hanging plant can change a bathroom from something mundane to something spectacular. We've had a lot of success with wallpaper. You can get some great wallpapers now that you can use to totally transform a room with a feature wall.