Eight Steps To Boost Home Values

IF ANYONE knows the inside story on how to turn a buck in real estate, it’s interiors queen Shaynna Blaze. The design expert who has carved a television career on Selling Houses Australia and The Block, and now author of Design Your Home, believes adding tens of thousands of dollars to the value of your home on sale day could be as easy as a little bit of elbow grease, a few new door knobs and a lot of spring cleaning. And if you don’t have a big budget to renovate, here are her savvy ways to add value to your home.

lounge-room1. LIVE IN THE NOW

If there isn’t enough money in the kitty to update everything, then getting rid of daggy sofas and moth-eaten rugs can be a good start. “I think some people can get stuck in a time warp with their homes and have their blinkers on,” Shaynna said. “They don’t see that it’s dated or what’s unappealing to others. But it’s only natural that it’s harder to see your own home”.


“Painting is probably one of the quickest and relatively cheapest ways to update tired décor,” Shaynna said. “But it still always amazes me how many vendors have an aversion to painting, a bit of elbow grease. It’s one of the things you can actually do yourself if you don’t have a trade and the more you can do yourself, then the cheaper the renovation.”


“One of the other very simple ideas is to do a spring clean and declutter – but I mean a thorough one within an inch of your home’s life,” Shaynna said.
She often meets people who dramatically underestimate the value of space and feel compelled to fill every corner with furniture or art.
“A buyer really needs to see what they could do with the space, allow them to imagine their kingsize bed in a bedroom. You’d be surprised how many sales fall through because a buyer just can’t see their belongings, their life, fitting into a home,” she said.


Many sellers don’t think about windows in their home, assuming a buyer will put up the curtains or blinds they want after they purchase.

“A simple way to make a dramatic change to a room is a change in window treatments,” Shaynna said. “People don’t realise just how daggy a window dressing can be. The good thing is curtains or blinds don’t have to be expensive and if you’re going to sell, then you just want something simple. If privacy is not an issue then consider not having a window treatment at all. It can really open up a space and highlight a view.”


An old, broken light fitting covered in cobwebs is another way of destroying your home’s “wow” factor.

“If you modernise an old light fixture or pendant, then a room can really change shape,” Shaynna said. “You might need to get an electrician to do a bit of rewiring, but it could add value for little cost.”


For sellers who see the importance of a little investment for a potentially big return, Shaynna has identified a few things to spend pennies on.

“Fixing up or restoring old floorboards, or putting in new ones can dramatically change a room. But the cost can start to add up,” she said.
“I also have a thing I call the ‘touchability’ factor. It’s important to spend money on things people are going to feel, on the functional parts of the home, like handles, taps and benchtops.”


While updating a home before it hits the market will often translate to more money at sale time, Shaynna said there is a danger of overzealous sellers going “over the top”.

“Do your research and find out what investment you need to make into your home to meet the market,” she said. “In some cases there’s no need to do much more than a good clean out if the home is likely to be of interest to developers.”

In some real estate markets there’s no need to spend “crazy money” on expensive fittings if buyers wouldn’t be willing to pay top dollar for it. “You have to be careful about overpaying and not seeing a return for it,” Shaynna said.


Forget the budget-conscious, sellers might not even need to transform the whole house to get more money at sale time. The trick is to give potential buyers a glimpse of what the property could be.

“Even updating the main living areas and the entrance can do wonders to change the mood of a home,” Shaynna said. “What you really need to do is give these spaces an update so buyers get inspiration, an idea of what potential the home has.”

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