Chances are you’ve heard lots of advice about how to get your house looking its best before you put it on the market. Certainly, aesthetic improvements are important (and a very big part of what we do here at Hotspace), but they are the icing on the cake in some ways. Making sure it fits the bill for your buyer from a practical point of view is just as important.
Generally speaking, if a prospective buyer likes the look of a house, but it doesn’t tick all the boxes from a usability point of view, it could be unlikely they will commit to buying. For example, they’re probably not going to buy a house without a bath if they have a toddler.
Of course, it’s not always practical to completely renovate a bathroom (in this case), but there are achievable and inexpensive things you can do to meet many of your buyer’s wishes.
Here are six steps to making over your home to suit your buyer.
Your target market.
An essential first step is working out who your buyer is. Many people skip this step because they assume their buyer is anyone who is looking to buy a house. However, if you look closely at different suburbs, you will find that most suburbs can be differentiated by the types of people who populate them.
For example, areas that have access to good daycare and schooling facilities usually attract families with young children and teenagers, whereas an inner-city suburb is more likely to have a higher proportion of people who are on dual incomes with no kids. Other suburbs will have a larger ratio of retirees, and some suburbs may have more single parents than others.
What does your buyer want?
You might have more than one type of buyer, so once you have defined your target buyer/s, make a list of what you think these buyers would want in a home.
If your buyer is a retiree, they might be looking for a house with a garden or a lawn that doesn’t need a lot of maintenance. A family with teenagers might be looking for good storage or an area for the kids to gather with their friends. Someone who works from home might be looking for an area to use as an office, and families with young children often look for houses with baths and a secure outdoor space for the kids to play.
Talk to your target buyer group.
If you’re not a member of your target buyer group, try to talk to friends, family and colleagues who are so that you can define the types of things they look for in a house. You need to get inside their head to find out what they place value on. After you’ve done your research, compare what you have, to what they want.
Choosing which practical changes to make.
Select the things you want to change based on whether they will add value for the buyer, yet won’t blow your budget. Not all changes will add value for every buyer in general, but the ones you choose to do should add value to your target buyer group.
For example, if your house is in a suburb that tends to have a lot of solo mums, then security screens and deadbolts might be something they deem necessary, and something that is not too expensive to do.
Check out the competition.
Your property needs to stand out from the competition. Check how your property compares to other houses for sale in your area and then aim to make yours offer more. For example, if other homes on the market don’t have ensuites, then adding an ensuite is something that could add a lot of value and demand for your property.
Making aesthetic changes.
Now that you’ve decided which practical changes to make, work out what aesthetic changes your target buyer prefers. For example, young families tend to go for a modern and minimalist look, while older generations are inclined to favour a variety of colours, surfaces, features, fixtures and fittings.
The changes may differ to what you like for yourself, but keep in mind that your buyer is the priority here.
Your makeover doesn’t have to be a complicated, full-on renovation that costs vast amounts of money. Many of my clients are renovating to sell and don’t want to spend a lot on a place they will no longer live in. My advice to them and to you is that it is more important to use your money smartly by making small alterations that fit a buyer’s practical needs than it is to spend large amounts on aesthetic changes.
Following the steps outlined will go a long way toward giving you the best chance of getting your makeover right. If you need more information, have a chat with us at Hotspace. We’d love to hear from you.