WHEN sprucing your home up for sale, the golden rule is to spend as little as possible, according to real estate guru Andrew Winter.
He was in Perth this week filming for the 11th season of Foxtel’s Selling Houses Australia.
“You want to do everything that doesn’t cost much,” he said.
“Tidy the garden up, paint inside and out, declutter, lose outdated window dressings, make sure windows are clean, make sure the front door is nice and make sure any broken or old appliances are replaced – it costs you next to nothing to get a new oven now.
“Replacing benchtops, taps, kitchen cupboard doors and having the bathroom sprayed are all cheap fixes that can have a major impact.
“With spraying, use professionals, don’t use a DIY kit – it will knock 20 grand off the value.”
For those on a strict budget who did not know where to start, Mr Winter recommended enlisting a trusted mate to walk through the house and provide feedback.
“It’s about looking at the house overall,” he said.
“Look at the home from the street, have you got a garden gate that falls off or is damaged? Walk down the garden path and look at the state of the borders.
“When you come to the front door, have you got one of those hideous screen doors that I hate, the standard ones? Take it off, put it in the garage; reawaken the front entry point.
“Would it look better if you had a nice planter by the front door, are the windows clean, are the dressings looking old?
“And then work your way around the house.”
Mr Winter said it was necessary to pay attention to the main living area and kitchen, and in a four-bedroom home, the master bedroom and bedroom two.
“If you’ve got two bathrooms, both very old, focus on the shared family bathroom,” he said.
“A buyer can move into the home and everyone can use the nice bathroom while they do the ensuite.”
What did not matter, according to Mr Winter, was the attic and garage space.
“They can be filled to the gills with stuff if you need them to be, to make sure the rest of the house is very tidy and uncluttered,” he said.
When it came to kitchen renovations, Mr Winter said stone benchtops and stainless steel appliances had been done to death.
“You’d be better off getting a really nice stone benchtop for a part of the kitchen and then go for a really cool timber laminate in another part – that’s more stylish and costs less money” he said.
“Same with taps; look at alternatives to chrome.”
Mr Winter said the key was to make sure everything looked fairly sleek without losing the feel of the home.
“We’ve got to the point now with staging, that if a home looks too staged, it just looks too staged,” he said.
“It’s better to give it a bit of life, keep some of your family photographs (the decent ones), keep some of the magazines, keep some of the life that’s there, just not too much of it.
“Good home staging is about bringing in a few key items but retaining some of your own stuff.”
When it came to buying and selling in the Perth market, Mr Winter said not to panic because the market was just going through a natural cycle.
“First-home buyers and investors should not be worried, they should be jumping up and down,” he said.
“In fact, if you’re a typical homeowner, in a typical Perth suburb and you want to downsize or upsize, just carry on because you sell low and you buy low.
“If you are an investor trying to cash in, it’s the wrong time to sell.
“If you’re trying to make a killing or flip a property, again it’s probably the wrong time to sell.”
Mr Winter is currently on our screens hosting season one of Foxtel’s Love it or List it with Vogue Living editor-at-large and The Block judge Neale Whitaker.
The new series aims at helping homeowners make one of their biggest, most life-changing decisions: whether to renovate their house or sell it.
The production team are looking for WA homeowners to take part in the second series.
To apply, email firstname.lastname@example.org.