So, you've decided it's time to sell your current home and move. You take a look around. The bathroom is looking a bit tired. The kitchen isn't the best. The paintwork's a bit grubby in places. And as for the garden!!
Number 6 just sold for an amazing price! You know, the Jones. But mind you, they did just put in that gorgeous new kitchen.
Number 10 is bigger than number 6 - an extra bedroom - but it sold for far less, didn't it? Yes, but it hadn't had a makeover for about 100 years!
But the Smiths at number 3 spent a bundle having the whole place repainted and they haven't even had one offer yet!
Stick to a budget
So the question is, when it comes to renovating, how much is TOO much?
You've probably got friends who sold their home and said: "We didn't get back what we spent on it." But they are not alone - that happens again and again.
Sure, there are loads of things you could change or improve, and loads of money to spend. And if you were planning to live there forever, maybe you would.
But if you know you are going to sell, you really do need to be mindful of your budget and be realistic.
Making a splash
New kitchens and bathrooms are generally a good investment when it comes to preparing a home for market. But do you really need gold-plated taps? Renovating to sell demands a clean, fresh look that doesn't break the bank.
For example, the sinks and baths may still be in good condition, so perhaps a change of tap ware will do the job. If the shower is old school and looks grubby and worn, just replace the shower, not the whole bathroom. Even just a fresh lick of paint will transform the room.
Kitchens can be completely replaced, or again, just do the bits that really need doing. Remember, you are selling - not staying. Nowadays there are fantastic products and services on the market to spruce up a tired kitchen. Cupboards can be re-laminated; bench tops can be replaced. If you can avoid replacing big ticket items like cookers and dishwashers, do.
Make it clean and fresh
It's also important to remember that your taste may not be anybody else's. Replacing that old carpet with the bright green one you loved so much on that TV show may work against you. Potential buyers will see a worn carpet but not consider it a problem because they are planning to replace all the carpet with tiles. Brand new flooring may make them hesitate, thinking they are paying extra because it's new, and they don't even want it!
If you're repainting for sale, try and stick to neutrals. You may love that electric blue feature wall - others may not! Simply go for a clean fresh look that makes the home look inviting but allows prospective buyers to picture their furniture in the room.
Light fittings can be another money pit. By all means modernise the room by adding something new, but there's no need to hang a chandelier!
Perhaps the garden is looking a bit wild and unloved? But your budget isn't big. Easy! Just make sure that when the For Sale sign goes up, the grass is mowed, dingy driveways have been pressure-washed, and any overhanging branches have been trimmed. Costs nothing accept time and creates that all-important good first impression. If you want to go a bit further, grab yourself a few colourful plants, pot them up and place them by the front door. Perfect!