“Sellers aren’t wrong thinking that renovations can increase the sales price of a home, but it really depends on what the renovations are,” says Bruce Swain, MD of Leapfrog Property Group.
Installing a state of the art gym or home theatre at great cost could seem like a fantastic idea, but ultimately it won’t necessarily push up the sales price. “When it comes to renovating for the sake of resale, not for personal enjoyment, sellers would be better off considering more general improvements,” Swain advises.
Tackle the kitchen and the bathrooms
Swain says that the first thing most buyers look at in a home is the kitchen and bathroom as these are two of the most costly areas to renovate. Look at new appliances and fittings or a new coat of paint – preferably in neutral colour. “The trick to remember is that buyers don’t come to show houses to see how the seller lives, they come to envision themselves living there. If the furnishings are drab and the wall colouring too garish or faded the chances are they’ll opt for another property,” explains Swain.
Installing solar panels or grey water systems might not seem like the most attractive renovations, and can be fairly costly, but with increased water shortages and higher.
energy costs demand is increasing. “The emphasis on going green is gaining traction and more and more buyers are willing to pay extra for the convenience and peace of mind of having these products already installed,” advises Swain.
Other eco-friendly additions to consider are double glazed windows, gas appliances and pool covers.
Small things that make a big difference
It’s not necessary to spend hundreds of thousands of Rands adding on extra rooms and features as taking care of the little things are enough to boost a property’s sales price. Swain recommends; “Make sure that the garden is well tended, the garage is neat and look at regrouting tiles in high use areas, making sure the window latches all work. Paying attention to the details shows potential buyers that the owner cares about the property – which likely means that the harder to get to areas like the pipes and wiring have also been maintained’.
Keep alterations in style with the rest of the house
“Whether you’re adding a porch or another bedroom it’s important to ensure that the new addition matches or blends with the building style of the rest of the property,” advises Swain. Adding another room might seem like a great idea – but it if stands out like a sore thumb the chances are it will lower the overall aesthetics of the property and create the impression that the job wasn’t done well.
Swain has a final word of warning; “Owners need to bear in mind that the longer they live in the home post renovation, the less likely they are to recoup the investment for example; redoing the kitchen and then expecting redeem the entire cost when selling five years later is not realistic”.