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10 ways to add real value to your home over the Christmas break

Profile photo of Andy Webb

The property market is winding down for another year as everybody gets ready for a new-year reset, and it's a golden opportunity to boost your home's value without breaking the bank. 

There are so many ways to make bang-for-buck improvements in a short time, typically without having to find a tradie. 

If you're considering selling in 2023, here are 10 ways to bring your home up to listing-ready condition over the holiday period.

Make some eye-catching kitchen updates

It's often said that kitchens sell homes. Thankfully, a kitchen upgrade doesn't have to mean a full teardown — there are ways to significantly improve the space on a budget. 

Updating things like taps and drawer handles can be a simple and effective refresher. Replacing cabinet doors, installing an attractive splashback or adding a bit of extra storage will also go a long way to revitalising the room. 

Replacing tired old appliances can boost attraction levels substantially. And if you're feeling particularly motivated, installing a new benchtop can be surprisingly easy and affordable to do yourself. 

Get the bathroom sparkling

Similarly to the kitchen, the bathroom has a reputation for being one of the critical rooms to present perfectly when selling a home. 

For starters, bathrooms should be clean to the extreme. Take a grouting pen to the tiles, get rid of the slightest sign of mould, and scrub every surface like your life depends on it. 

Replacing fittings and fixtures is the next cost-effective step to make the room sparkle. Consider replacing a sad-looking mirror, invest in some fluffy new towels, and if you have the budget and the drive, think about a full vanity replacement if it's required.

Add a fresh lick of paint

Just about any agent will tell you that painting is one of the most important things any seller can do to boost buyer appeal in an instant. It's also a task most of us can get through in the holidays without professional help. 

If any part of the house, inside or out, is looking worse for wear or even just a little muted, pick up a brush and get stuck in. Don't do anything too wild — it's typically best to stick to light, neutral shades that will help accentuate natural light. 

A small financial investment — and, yes, a decent amount of time and effort — can pay dividends when it's time to list. 

Spruce up the alfresco area

Particularly if you're aiming to sell in the warmer months, showing some love to your home's outdoor areas will go a long way. 

Oiling the deck, repainting railings, deep-cleaning or replacing outdoor furniture, and even doing some necessary repaving are all holiday-friendly DIY activities that can have a transformative effect on your home. 

A high-pressure hose can be your best friend in these situations. Driveways, paths and patios can be revived quickly and easily with a heavy-duty spraying.

Do some DIY landscaping

While you're outdoors, it might be a good idea to get the gardening gloves on and bring the greenery back to life. 

Introduce some new plants and prune any existing ones that are looking unwieldy. Eradicate every weed in sight and throw some fresh mulch or quality soil on garden beds and pot plants. Clean up any dirty pots and think about throwing in one or two more to make for a nice statement piece. 

A well-kept garden will light up buyers' eyes, and it's an improvement you can make just by setting aside a weekend and a few dollars.

Clean things from top to bottom

It might seem insignificant, but the importance of a stunningly clean house when selling can't be overstated. 

The final, all-encompassing clean should be done shortly before your first open home, but you can get in early with some bigger jobs. Windows (inside and out) are a must, as are carpets and floors. You can hire deep cleaners for carpets from Bunnings for very little. 

Don't neglect any surface, nook or cranny. Thoroughly clean the oven, cooktop and rangehood, get every cupboard looking brand new, and even get under the beds. It'll be worth the effort. 

Ruthlessly declutter

Freeing your home of clutter and personal items is a must when preparing to list, and there's no harm in starting early. 

Box up any non-essentials and take stock of what furniture will need to be removed before open day. An off-site storage unit is a worthy temporary investment so you're not fretting over where to hide things. 

The more ruthless you can be with this step, the better. A decluttered and depersonalised home will allow buyers to mentally 'move in' and imagine their own life in the property.

Focus on lighting

A light and bright home is going to be far more attractive than a dark and gloomy one. 

Enhancing natural light should be the priority. This ties in to some of the other steps — pruning trees that block light, painting a bright shade to lighten rooms and strategically placing mirrors can all help accentuate natural light. 

Next, replace any daggy light shades and fixtures, and make sure you're using relatively bright and warm bulbs throughout. Adding some floor-standing lamps can also deliver some extra warmth.

Replace old blinds or curtains

Following on from the topic of lighting, the choices you make with blinds and curtains can prove to be very important. 

For one thing, they need to be exceptionally clean, as whatever window coverings you have are liable to get quite mucky over time. They also need to be capable of letting in as much light as possible when desired, so consider replacing block-out curtains with something more light and friendly. 

Installing new roller blinds can be done on a budget without needing a professional, too, and they'll allow you to maximise natural light when they're fully open.

Consider updating your flooring

Whether it's replacing carpet, sanding and polishing floorboards, or retiling, updating flooring can be a bigger, more expensive job that does require professional help. 

When it's appropriate, though, there are cheaper DIY options available. Installing new laminate in the kitchen, for example, can be a smart choice if done right. It's durable, easy to maintain and cost-effective. 

Think about what's going to be necessary to really elevate the presentation of your home. If a holiday job will help revitalise a sad, old floor, then get stuck in.