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Edition 17

Value addition sells homes

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Residential houses are springing up for sale in Kenya but their saleability is largely dictated by value addition that squarely style a home writes George WASHINGTON.

If you’re serious about selling for the best possible return (really, who would want less?) then there are few key things you need to do to ensure that your home appeals to as many potential buyers as possible.

1. Kitchens and bathrooms sell homes

There’s a saying that kitchens and bathrooms sell homes. When working on a property for sell, kitchens and bathrooms should be the first places you devote your budget to.

Of course this doesn’t always mean a full renovation. You can often get away with inexpensive changes like new handles, bench top, sink or taps, as well as covering over old or out-dated splash backs with new surfaces. Instead of replacing out-dated tiles, it pays to bring in the professionals who can spray an entire bathroom – including floor and wall tiles, basins and baths – so they come up good as new.

2. Paint works wonders

Nothing freshens up a place like a brand new paint job. Tired, dirty and marked walls can really let a room down. When you’re selling, neutrals are always the best way to go as soft whites, stone and yellows are the easiest to blend and co-ordinate with.

3. De-clutter or be doomed

Once any renovations or repair work is done, then it comes down to staging your home for sale which is all about creating a great impression and making the buyer feel like they want to live there. Without a doubt the one thing you must do is de-clutter, and depending on how much stuff you have, this may mean taking up short-term storage for those extra boxes, bikes or excess furniture. No one wants to see someone else’s mess so you really need to tidy up all surfaces and clean out your cupboards. People will open cupboards and look inside – storage spaces that are overflowing make it look like there isn’t enough storage.

4. Let there be light

Along with space, buyers like light so if you don’t have lots of natural light then put a few lamps around and switch them on during the inspections. They’ll also create a nice ambiance in the room. Mirrors are also great to help reflect light and space in a room. If you have a nice outdoor aspect, then position the mirror so it faces this to bring some of the outdoors in.

5. Furniture and layout

When it comes to furniture, decisions include what to keep, what to hire as well as the best layout so people can move around easily. There is a fine line between having the room look too empty and over-filled. You just need to have enough pieces that show the function of the room without it feeling cluttered, then add some nice accessories to add texture and interest. People often underestimate the value of hiring furniture. You don’t have to replace all your furniture with hire furniture but do consider investing in some nice pieces to replace old or dated furniture and to finish the house off.

6. Finishing touches

While things might look great, my biggest hate is what you can’t actually see but you can smell.

So make sure to have your carpets and rugs steam cleaned. Add some vanilla scented candles or room atomisers to leave a lovely scent instead.

George Washington is the CEO, Invision Concepts Limited, President, Interior Designers Association of Kenya and Lecturer at the Technical University of Kenya

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