How often should you update your home?

Keeping your home in good condition can help minimize stress when the need to sell suddenly arises. To protect the resale value of the home, homeowners ought to update certain features regularly to prevent the need for costly repairs or alterations.

“Sometimes, the need to sell might arise quite suddenly,” says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa. “One might get a job offer on the other side of town, or an unexpected addition to the family might cause a need for some extra space. By periodically updating the property, homeowners can avoid having to spend large sums of money on getting the home ready for sale when the need to sell suddenly arises.”

The easiest way to achieve this is to update the home as and when features become outdated or need repairing. “This does not necessarily mean you have to undertake costly renovations that involve ripping out tiles and knocking down walls. Often just changing small features such as door handles and taps can update the space enough to make it more appealing to a broader pool of potential buyers,” Goslett explains.

Below, RE/MAX of Southern Africa highlights some of the main selling features that homeowners ought to be updating regularly:

1) Walls and floors

While timeless neutrals require less frequent updating, bold statement walls or flooring will need to be updated as trends change. Homeowners should also consider general wear and tear. If the paint is chipped and marked, then give it a fresh coat of paint. Flooring also needs to be regularly maintained; carpets should be professionally cleaned, cracked tiles ought to be replaced, and hardwood floors can be sanded down and refinished to get rid of stains, scuff marks, and other damages.

2) Bathrooms & kitchens

These rooms can make or break a sale, so you want these looking as fresh as possible. Those without a budget to do a full renovation on these spaces can consider updating them just by switching out easy-to-replace fittings such as the cupboard handles, faucets, and light fixtures. Regrouting between tiles can also make these spaces feel greatly refreshed.

3) Outdoor space

Curb appeal and garden space are major drawcards, so homeowners want to ensure that they take the time to keep the outside of the home updated as well. Regular maintenance should be done to keep lawns and garden beds neatly trimmed and in shape. There is also a difference between a home with character and a home that simply looks dated – and that difference usually boils down to maintenance. Be sure to keep the home’s exterior in top shape by maintaining the roof and repainting the home’s exterior ever so often.

“Whether a home requires updating can be somewhat subjective. This can make it difficult for homeowners to see what needs changing, especially if they are in a hurry to sell. Homeowners should always keep in mind that while buyers can always change the décor of the home, they will lower their offer if they feel that money would need to be spent to fix or update the space. If you are unsure whether your home needs updating, consult an experienced real estate advisor who can tell you if your home is ready to sell as is or if it needs some updating,” Goslett concludes.