What’s the least you have to spend to get your house ready for sale?

How to present a home well – without spending too much money – is the challenge for anyone just planning to sell their home.

Major renovations – like complete overhauls of bathrooms and kitchens – have traditionally been viewed as areas where homeowners can recoup costs in a later sale, but that could be questionable in a declining market.

Still, you want to show your best side. Daniel Coulson, Ray White’s chief operating officer, says that at this time, it’s more important to ensure your home is in as good a condition as possible in order to cater to the market.

“If buyers have a choice, they will choose a made-over house over a renovation,” he says. It makes sense to start with the repair jobs that give you the most bang for your buck.

CONTINUE READING:
* The secret life of home stagers
* Expert tips on how to design your home on a budget before selling it
* 10 tips to make your open home a success

Clean up and pack up

Unless you go pro, decluttering is a free job.

You can adapt Funkt Freude? by famous interference suppressor Marie Kondo. Ask yourself immediately whether it would also bring joy to a broad group of interested parties.

The first step is to declutter and remove personal belongings like family photos.

Unsplash

The first step is to declutter and remove personal belongings like family photos.

Bayleys Nelson real estate agent Rachel Eggers says moving is a perfect time to get rid of stuff—you’ll have to pack anyway. Fill the garage with boxes is her advice. Buyers don’t let a full garage deter them, she says.

Clear out the benches and shelves, remove photos and clothing and even furniture that can make a room look cluttered.

Wash the outside

Once again, if you have access to a water jet, it’s a job most households can handle – and even enjoy – themselves. Otherwise, it can be worthwhile to call in the professionals.

The Housewash Company provides guidelines for costs, saying a home up to 120 square feet will cost $250 to $300, while a two-story home up to 175 square feet will cost between $300 and $400.

A tidy garden adds to the attractiveness of the street.

Unsplash

A tidy garden adds to the attractiveness of the street.

Clean up the garden

A DIY job is certainly possible here, although there will likely be a lot more trips to the garbage/recycling/green waste station than you expect.

Advance sales aren’t the time for expensive new landscaping, but a beautiful outdoor space will appeal to buyers.

Mike McFarlane, owner of Wellington-based Good Natured Garden Services, says Kiwis try to leave their green spaces looking good for new owners. In a tough market, sellers realize that a well-kept lawn and garden has an impact on potential buyers, he says.

Most pre-sale cleanups cost between $500 and $1,000, he says, although some require several thousand dollars to be spent. “It depends on how well it’s been maintained. Sometimes it’s just about trimming the lawns and edges.”

This backdrop by Kate Alexander features a freshly painted wall in Resene Triple Merino.

BRYCE CARLETON

This backdrop by Kate Alexander features a freshly painted wall in Resene Triple Merino.

interior painting

Many sellers get away with giving walls a thorough wash—to remove fly smears, scuff marks, streaks, and stains. But if it’s been a few years since the walls were painted, a fresh coat of paint will freshen up the space.

When wall colors are outdated or not to most people’s tastes, repainting is a relatively inexpensive exercise, especially if you do it yourself.

If there is more than one room that needs painting, the cheapest way to buy paint is to buy a 10-gallon bucket for around $220.

Of course, if you decide to hire a professional painter, the cost increases to as much as $10,000 for the entire interior of an average sized home.

Figures from Auckland-based Superior Painters put the cost of painting an interior or room at around $35 to $55 per square foot, with a single room costing “between $675 and $825.”

These harmless charcoal curtains sell for $159.98 from Harvey Furnishings.

delivered

These harmless charcoal curtains sell for $159.98 from Harvey Furnishings.

New curtains

When looking at the cost of new curtains, it’s 100% a “how long is a piece of string” equation.

However, if you have worn, moldy, or ugly curtains, replacing them is one of the tasks that Coulson finds easily worthwhile.

For less than $200, it is possible to purchase ready-made pencil pleat curtains in a high-quality block-out or thermal fabric.

For example, Harvey Furnishings offers its Denvor brand charcoal gray curtains in the largest size (extending 240cm and covering a panel of up to 3m) for $159.98.

Most of Briscoes’ thermal range is also available for less than $200 each way, alongside other major retailers.

This Wellington home was designed by Inside Out Design and Tickadeeboo.  Staging helps to make the most of a home's appearance.

KEVIN STENT/MATERIAL

This Wellington home was designed by Inside Out Design and Tickadeeboo. Staging helps to make the most of a home’s appearance.

Professional home staging

According to Eggers, home staging is a must in a competitive market so that a house can stand up to the competition on an equal footing.

Professional staging, which can include everything from houseplants by the front door to patio furniture—and everything in between—can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000 for a large home.

Harmeet Panesar of Homebase Stage Style and Interiors believes the show will help sell a home first – important when fewer buyers are attending open houses and bidding.

The essence of home staging is to “depersonalize, neutralize and modernize,” he says.

“It allows people to see themselves in a home.”

The company often sees people with old-fashioned furniture in a modern home, and that’s unnerving for buyers.

What would be an example total budget?

Assuming your home requires all of the above and with the less technical work being done on a DIY basis, the calculation could look something like this:

  • Clean up and tidy up the garden, DIY – $300 (for moving costs and equipment)
  • Full exterior cleaning by contractor – $350
  • Interior painting, three rooms by professional – $2475
  • New neutral colored thermal curtains covering half a dozen windows – $1200
  • Professional home staging, cost for an average sized house – $3500

The total for these lower cost, high priority jobs is $7,825. The return on investment once your purchase agreement becomes unconditional should make the expense worthwhile.

Leave a Comment