Six must-do home improvements if you're thinking of downsizing

If you’re thinking of downsizing or selling up for a change of scenery, it’s important you get a good price for the home you currently live in.

It doesn’t matter how long you’ve lived in your current digs, there are some simple home improvements that – if done well – can give your property added value. The good news? Some of them don’t take very much work at all!

1. Get into the garden

No doubt the easiest, and possibly the cheapest, ‘renovation’ you can give your house is a good garden landscaping. Taking the time to improve your ‘curb appeal’ is said to add up to 28 per cent to the overall value of your home, and who’d turn that money down?

If you don’t have the ability to do the job yourself, but you do have the funds, bringing in a qualified landscaper to give your yard a spruce up will inject a fresh appeal. Consider the condition of your lawn, whether or not you have shrubs or flowers, and even your outdoor furniture as these can all impact the success of your sale.

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But if a complete makeover isn’t an option, just focus on one small detail. Maybe you could give your front door a new coat of paint or you might want to replace that tatty ‘Welcome’ mat. The devil is in the details.

2. Freshen up your floors

If you’ve still got the same carpet from when you first moved in you might want to think about getting rid of it. Interior designers might say ‘carpet is so last decade’ and flooring like tiles and hardwood floors are more attractive to buyers, which might encourage you to rip up the shag pile and see what’s hidden underneath.

However, there’s no shame in wanting to keep your carpet, especially if it’s in good knick. If you do decide to keep it, consider giving it a solid clean before people come to inspect.

3. Paint and wash the walls

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Dark shades in rooms can have a negative impact on a potential buyer’s first impression. You might really enjoy sleeping in a bedroom where the walls are painted midnight blue, but a prospective buyer could struggle to picture themselves there.

Neutral coloured walls are a much better option, and for a couple of reasons. First, you are allowing your potential buyer to actually ‘see’ what’s around them, getting a clear picture of the size of the space. Second, you’ll be creating a large, light and clean area that is much more appealing to the eye.

If you can’t afford to purchase paint, consider giving your walls and doors a wash just to freshen things up.

4. Repair doors and windows

If there are doors that jam or windows that are so draughty you may as well have them open, you might want to consider repairing them. If you think a potential buyer won’t notice, think again. It’s basic home maintenance and staying on top of the little things can have a big impact on the sale price bottom line.

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5. Clean cabinets and cupboards

People will look through your cabinets and cupboards when there is an inspection and it’s not because they are interested in your intimates or medicines; they want to know what space is available and how well it works. If your house is full of clutter the only thing you are presenting to a potential buyer is the lack of space available in your home.

You can prevent them from getting a dim view by doing a bit of a tidy up before any open inspection takes place. The other benefit to this is you can repair any loose drawers or shelving, adding further value to your home.

6. Update the lighting

You might want to ask your real estate agent their opinion on this one. If your light fittings look old and dated or doesn’t adequately illuminate the space it’s designed for, they might recommend you take action. Home hardware and specialist stores often have inexpensive light fittings that can make a big difference to the look and feel of your home, making the change well worth the investment.

Have you considered downsizing in the last 12 months? What renovations and maintenance have you carried out on your home?