You are getting ready to put your house on the market. You are aware that first impressions are critical, and that the property must present in its Sunday best. Grabbing your paintbrush, garden shears and some electrical tape and rolling up your sleeves may just be your first mistake. The DIY option may save money upfront but could cost you a lot more in the long run.
Prospective buyers can spot shoddy workmanship and substandard finishes from the other side of town. Amateur renovations can give the impression of a house with faults to hide that need to be camouflaged. Worse still, it may lead buyers to wonder whether there are more serious things wrong with the house.
Unless you can deliver a professional result from the quick fixes you plan to undertake, it may be best to hit the pause button and call in the people who do it for a living.
Of course, it does come down to your skills in a particular area, but there are some areas you really should consider delegating to someone else.
Spotless houses sell better than grubby ones!
Kitchens and bathrooms attract buyers, and they attract scrutiny. This means expending a lot of elbow grease under the sink, behind the loo, and in the oven, in addition to all the usual surface cleaning.
A comprehensive window clean and carpet steam is necessary. These jobs are tedious and time-consuming, and sometimes require specific equipment. There are paths, eaves and often fences to attend to outside.
A professional cleaner will get in and get it done. They are properly equipped and have an incentive to do it quickly and safely.
Indoor-outdoor living has great appeal, but not if your yard resembles an overgrown, tropical jungle. That just gives the prospective buyer the perception of neglect, and a lot of hard work ahead of them.
Outdoor areas need to give the feeling of space. Hacking back the bushes and scalping the lawn could leave you with no foliage and unsightly spiky branches over an uneven discoloured mud scrape.
Professional gardeners know how to prune plants to get them looking their best. They can suggest ways to revamp your garden to accentuate the positives.
Consensus is that neutral colours appeal to the most buyers. Easily done with a splash of paint? Well, not exactly. Cutting-in to architraves and crown mouldings and covering those dark, old walls can take several coats of paint.
Professional painters have tricks and techniques to achieve the perfect finish. Painters also have all the equipment and skill to get it done quickly. They also buy paint at a discounted rate so while you will have the expense of employing them, you may well save some money on the paint itself.
4. Electrical and plumbing work
Is there an unpleasant whiff emanating from the laundry drain? Does the kitchen sink fill with water every time you use it? Do the ceiling lights strobe disconcertingly when you turn them on?
You probably can unblock the drain with drain cleaner or change the light bulb. You shouldn’t bury plumbing and electrical problems though because a pre-purchase inspection will turn up these issues anyway. Buyers will either view them unwanted additional expenses ahead or use the problems to drive down the sale price.
Plumbing and electrical work must be completed by a licensed tradesperson anyway, it’s the law.
The explosion of makeover and renovation shows on television have imbued in us all a sense that astonishing makeovers are a very real possibility on a slender budget.
When it comes to actually delivering this in your own home, looking dispassionately at your own house and imagining the potential can be very daunting. DIY styling means dragging out your tired old furniture and temporarily replacing it.
Once again, styling is a job for the people who do it for a living. They know what the buyers will find appealing. They use their industry connections to source inspiring furniture and accessories to achieve a pleasing look that deliver just the right look. You can save yourself a lot of time and effort by hiring a professional.
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