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How to prepare for a house auction

How to prepare for a house auction

With the Australian property market booming, house auction is an increasingly popular way to go about selling your house at a top price. Some small upgrades and additions to your home can make thousands in the final auction price.

Putting cost at the fore, here are a few tips to follow for quick upgrades to increase your property value and to help avoid any unpleasant surprises on selling day.

Spend: $100 – $200 for an instant uplift

Complete cleanup & declutter

Over the years, it is easy to accumulate many things that might be nostalgic to you but completely useless in the eyes of the others. It’s very important that you put them away in a temporary storage for a clean look on the auction day.

This is often overlooked, and in theory, you’d aim to keep only the useful things, but in reality, you’d spend a lot of time contemplating whether to throw them away or not. Try not to hang up too much on nostalgic feelings. Move quickly and remember you’ve got a house to sell.

The next part is easier. Once you finish putting all belongings away, it’s time to tackle cleaning room by room and it’s usually a good idea to hire some help. Deep cleaning means everywhere is absolutely spotless.

Hiring an experienced cleaner to help with these mindless but demanding tasks can make the world of difference. With some extra hands, It frees up your time to focus on more important additions.

Spend an hour with a stylist

It’s a common misconception that home stylists are only needed for luxurious houses. An experienced stylist gives good and personalised recommendations on how to uplift the whole look and feel to maximise your property value while keeping it in a budget-friendly way.

Also, when it comes to major renovation, they can also provide insights on the design trends in the market and help to streamline the process.

Do spot of paint

With some colour planning and painting, there are a couple of areas in the house that can be revitalised, such as walls, fences and doors. It is listed as one of the most popular methods to increase property value over just one weekend.

Meanwhile, to save some cost, some tasks can be delegated a painter or handyman. Oneflare cost guide Insights show it costs around $170 for hiring a handyman to do the job.

A quick tip, look to paint your wall in mild colour as your preference and taste may different from others. A neutral look is more likely to attract potential buyers. They prefer to see a blank canvas where they can inject their personality.

Garden revitalisation

Most auctions take place in the backyard, especially when it’s a large audience. The old saying first impressions last longest comes to mind. It’s recommended to plan this project weeks ahead of the auction.

Here are 2 quick steps:

  1. Mow the lawn to prepare the grass for some fertilisation.
  2. A green lawn freshens up any home and can make an amazing difference. Than wait until the weekend before the auction, book a gardener to do a general clean-up and grooming, this helps plants and hedgery maintain shape and style.

Spend $200-$500 for some quick fix

Enhance your bathroom on a budget

A few small fixes can make a big difference to the visual appeal of any bathroom. It’s the small touches that matter most, from new toilet seats being installed to changing the shower rose.These additions can instantly uplift the look and feel of the bathroom.

However, if your bathroom needs some major fixes, such as changing taps or replacing a bath, a professional plumber should be called to avoid long-term trouble. Major problems with water flow or a clogged toilet need to be fixed straight away.

There’s no guarantee that the visitors won’t see it when they simply want to use the utility or test the shower, which will only lead them to wonder about other parts of the house.

Book a general pest inspection

Termite infestation is considered a serious red flag to home buyers. You might not have termites, but in general, home buyers are very sensitive to pest problems. Pests probably would be the last thing you want the guests to see on auction day. It indicates whether your house is in good maintainance. However, when spring arrives, the battle with infestation begins.

First, book an inspection with a pest control expert to identify any signs of trouble. If they come back with good reports, feel relieved but take a few proactive steps before the auction. In addition to keeping the house clean and tidy and not leaving food around, purchase insecticide and spray generously around the perimeter of your home.

Spend $500 or more to add key values

Update dated flooring

The entire look and feel of the house determines the property value. There are certainly some preferences among home buyers. Wood floors are highly coveted for its low maintenance and ease of cleaning.

However, hardwood is also the most expensive flooring option. To meet home buyers’ preferences but spend as less money as possible, you can choose to only upgrade the small rooms.

In general, bedrooms prefer timber flooring to keep the space warm in winter and cool in summer, but not so much for kitchen and bathroom, which requires high water resistance.

When it comes to flooring upgrades. The key is to consider the practical values of the rooms and put yourself in the position of the buyers. Additionally, if you’re looking to install the flooring yourself, which often cuts the cost in half, some are harder to DIY than the others. Take the cost of installation into consideration for your calculation.

Always have your goal and budget in mind

While planning for this home improvement project, it’s important to bear the cost and return in mind. A new plumbing system or HVAC updates may be necessary but when it’s not visible to the buyers, they’ll be reluctant to pay the extra.

Focus on the small updates that’ll give an instant uplift and compliments the selling points of your house.

Lucy Xu

Lucy Xu is a content specialist at Australia’s fast growing online marketplace Oneflare connecting consumers with experts within the home improvement and services categories.

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