Aiming to sell in spring? Here's what you need to do now
If you're gearing up to list your property during this year's spring selling season, it's time to start preparing now.
That could mean getting stuck into some significant renovations, or it might just involve setting the plan into motion by finding the right agent and devising a strategy.
With a timeframe of 90 days, you can achieve a lot, including smaller building and landscaping jobs, but you'll need to be organised to make sure it comes together.
These projects can help you reconfigure, remodel, renovate and refresh your home before it goes on the market.
Decluttering takes longer than you think, especially if you've lived in a home for a number of years. This is why we recommend you get started at least three months before listing your property for sale.
Not many of us have the time to dedicate full days to decluttering, so be realistic and set aside a few hours to focus on one room or project at a time.
Work out what you want to keep, recycle and donate — and be brutally honest with yourself. The more you can declutter, the better your home will present.
This is a job you can do yourself, or you can call in the pros. If you're concerned about getting rid of things, you can always hire some temporary offsite storage.
Either way, it not only involves decluttering but also depersonalising your home so it appeals to potential buyers.
Time and cost: Anywhere from $200 to $360 for a four-hour session — or DIY for free!
A kitchen renovation or makeover
As long as you're not waiting on custom cabinetry or imported appliances, 90 days is usually plenty of time to get a full-blown kitchen renovation done.
Quality flat-pack cabinetry and laminate benchtops from the likes of IKEA or Freedom can help keep your budget in check.
New appliances can also give your kitchen a big boost, especially if your existing ones are ancient.
If you're on a tighter budget, another option is to resurface your cabinets, upgrade knobs and handles or install new lighting.
Time and cost: You can spend anywhere from $10,000+ on a full kitchen renovation, or a lot less refreshing it.
Hardwood timber decking
If your outdoor area is lacking something special, you should consider installing timber decking.
Hardwood timbers look great and have a wonderful feel underfoot. There are lots of species to choose from all with their own colour profile and hardness rating, so spend some time investigating your options.
Depending on the size and height of your deck, you may need a permit. Either way, it pays to hire an experienced deck builder to deliver A-grade results.
Time and cost: Expect to pay anywhere from $300+ per square metre for hardwood timber decking. Budget at least a week, and potentially more if it's a large job.
A bathroom refresh or revamp
As with the kitchen, you'll need to do some budgeting to decide how much you want to allocate to your bathroom renovation.
This is a space you really want to get right, as buyers can be especially picky when it comes to bathrooms.
A refresh could be as simple as installing new lighting, redoing silicon, updating the towel rails and hanging some fresh towels.
If you have an older style framed shower, a semi-frameless or frameless shower screen will make the world of difference. A new vanity can have the same effect.
Once you start replacing tiles and all your fittings you're moving into a different budget altogether — but if you can afford it, it may be well worth doing.
Time and cost: From a couple of days for a refresh to weeks for a full-blown renovation. You can spend more than $10,000 on a full renovation, or far less to spruce the existing bathroom up.
Sourcing a real estate agent
If you're planning to put your property on the market at some point in the spring, the sooner you start speaking to real estate agents who know the local market the better.
It can take some time to find an agent you're comfortable with and to negotiate a commission, so don't delay here.
Commission — the fee you pay your agent to sell your property — is typically the single largest expense in selling a home and can make a huge difference to the outcome, so getting it right is critical.
Look through our in-depth guide to finding the right agent to better understand what to look for and how to be sure you're making the right choice.
Time and cost: It could take you a few weeks to secure the right agent. You could pay anywhere from 1.6 to 3.5 per cent commission depending on where you live. This doesn't include marketing and auctioneer fees.