When making improvements to your home with a view to increasing value, the most important thing to bear in mind is that potential buyers will make decisions emotionally.

This means that regardless of the bones of the home or the square metre value, buyers are going to be influenced by how it makes them feel.

If you’re renovating, there’s a lot of things you can do to breathe new life into your home.

And to get the ideas flowing we’ve put together a list of some sure-fire ways to strike an emotional chord with buyers and ultimately increase the value of your home.

Start with street appeal

As the saying goes, you only get one chance to make a first impression.  According to Real Estate NZ many buyers may have made up their mind before they even get past the front door.

No matter how beautiful and modern the interior, if the outside leaves something to be desired then buyers are going to be looking for more problems.

Start with a fresh coat of paint over those old timber boards. Tidy up your entry way, fix any cracked paving, pull out any weeds antestd consider planting something low maintenance like tussocks, or framing the entryway with pot plants.

blog 9 ways to add value peter wolfkamp street appeal

Image: Peter Wolfkamp’s transformation of an Auckland bunglow.

Paint the walls

Particularly if you have pastel-coloured walls from the 70’s and 80’s, these colours will really date your home.

The feature walls that were big in the 2000s have well and truly had their time, getting rid of these will immediately make your home appear more modern. Likewise, if you have wallpaper that’s still hanging on – it’s time to say goodbye.

Opt for muted yet on trend colours for a timeless look that will remain stylish for years to come, for inspiration check out Dulux’s curation of the most popular neutral colours.

blog 9 ways to add value escea colour inspo dulux

Images via Dulux

Take care of the carpet

Nothing dates a home like worn carpets and rugs. A quick way to transform your home is to simply replace these with something new and fresh. Better yet, if you have nice timber or oak flooring hiding underneath then remove the carpet all together.

Embrace your home’s character features as they are much more likely to be a selling point for potential buyers.  Top this off with feature rugs, as this shows potential buyers the design possibilities within the space.

If you can’t afford to replace the carpets – give them a good clean, this will make a world of difference.

blog 9 ways to add value escea decor inspo flooringxtra

Images via Flooring Xtra – Featured: Nebraska Natural White Rug.

Fix what’s broken

Fixing up defects on your property will increase your homes sell-ability tenfold. And it won’t cost too much.

Realestate NZ says that a well-maintained home is much more appealing to buyers because they know they won’t need to worry about fixing things themselves after they’ve moved in, and even if those things are minor – they’ll pay for the convenience.  

Common problems which can be easily solved include; cracked tiling, peeling paint or wallpaper, dripping taps and faulty door handles. Get these fixed so your buyer doesn’t have to.

Find your fire

According to real estate agents across New Zealand, homeowners want fireplaces – and adding a new fireplace to your home can add a lot of additional value.  

Updating your home with a gas fire is a great way to create a feature and gathering point in the home, as well as being a highly efficient heating source.  Escea gas fireplaces have flexible flue technology which means they can be installed virtually anywhere – with flues that can be run up, down and sideways.

If you have an old open woodfire with a character surround that looks great but isn’t exactly functional – retrofitting a gas fire is a great solution. Escea DF Series gas fires come in a range of sizes perfect for fitting into existing fireplace cavities.

If you love a wood fire, a Spartherm will give your space a rustic, European feel. Or, for something more low maintenance an Ambe Electric Fireplace is great option.

Fires are well known to create a feeling of calm and connection, and this will have a positive emotional impact on potential buyers.

Escea DFS730 Freestanding Gas Fireplace | Ferndale By Webster Architecture & Design.

The Devil is in the details

There’s an age old saying that bathrooms and kitchens sell houses, and OpenAgent Australia say that both kitchens and bathrooms have the potential to add upwards of $100,000 in additional home value, so make sure you put some love into these rooms.  

But it doesn’t have to be big, even small upgrades can make a noticeable difference.

Swapping out old cupboard handles with something new and on trend will give your cabinetry a fresh look. Replace old rusting tapware with a statement brushed brass or upgrade your kitchen countertops for a full face-lift.

In the bathroom, fresh tiling, new exposed tapware and a new shower head will give the space a stylish upgrade.

blog 9 ways to add value devil in details

Images via Abiinteriors  | Featured: Elysian Kitchen Mixer

Think Outside

An outdoor area can be an extension of your home if you’re prepared to invest a little time and energy into landscaping.  Despite often being forgotten about by renovators, OpenAgent Australia believe a well landscaped outdoor space can add up to $50,000 in home value, especially if it’s a functional space that can be enjoyed through the seasons.

An outdoor fireplace will not only ensure your space gets use in the cooler months, it also creates a sense of oasis and retreat.

To really extend the entertainment area, consider an outdoor wood fire that can double as a professional cooking appliance like the Escea EK Series Outdoor Fireplace Kitchen.

If you’re looking for something more low-key and convenient, the Escea EF5000 Gas Fireplace gives youwarmth and ambience without any fuss.  Or if you’re renovating on a shoestring, an Ambe Electric Outdoor Heater will make your outdoor space more inviting in the cooler months.

escea ek1550 bunton image cooking mode

The Escea EK Outdoor Fireplace Kitchen creates a gathering place in the backyard and extends the living areas. 

Open things up

When asked what buyers were looking for in 2021, Real Estate Agents in New Zealand and Australia said open plan spaces. Specifically, spaces that interact with each other and foster a sense of connection.

Creating an open plan kitchen and livings area is thought to be one of the most worthwhile structural changes you can make to your renovation to increase property value.

Think about the spaces in your home, particularly the living areas, and if there is a wall there, think about knocking it down. 

escea ds1900 double sided concrete roomset

The Escea DS1900 double sided gas fireplace designates two different yet connected areas within one open plan space.

Dress to impress

Finally, just like a job interview or a first date, it’s important that you look the part. To get the best value for your home, buyers need to see it in the best light.

Update your décor with modish, fashionable items. If interior design isn’t your thing, no worries - seek inspiration from design boutiques and magazines.

Cushions, throws, artwork and ornaments are a great way to style your space and make it appear modern. In the kitchen, consider utilising open shelving to create an artisan display of chopping boards, utensils, and a climbing vine plant.  It’s easier than you think.

If this all sounds like a bit much, get the professionals in – companies like Valiant offer property styling tailored to your home. The best part is its all for hire and gets delivered and taken away without you needing to do anything.

blog 9 ways to add value escea decor inspo the designory

Image: The Designory.

It doesn’t need to be overwhelming; it can be as simple as putting yourself in the buyers’ shoes and thinking about what’s important to you in a home – what hits the right emotional strings and gives you that ‘at home’ feeling.