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Saturday, April 21, 2012

How to get the best resale price

While the adage “location, location, location” is still considered the ideal gauge for your property’s resale value, there are other factors that can still play a part in helping you get the best price when you part ways with your home.

One of the things to consider is the upgrades or renovations that you may have made to the property. While making improvements to a home can be a good thing, there are some additions that can make or break your property’s resale value.

The following are some home upgrades that will dampen your property’s resale value.

Poor renovation

It’s one thing to make renovations to your home – and another thing when those upgrades requires further improvements!

“Nobody likes to buy a home with something that requires big money to modify or repair,” says property investor Kamarul Ariff.

He gives an example of a property he had purchased that had a “badly-renovated roof.”

“The roof obviously had some bad leaks in the past but the renovations were very poorly done by the former owner. Unfortunately, when people go to inspect property, not many check to see if the roofing is in good condition. After all, most homebuyers or investors check out a property when the weather is clear anyway.”

Kamarul recalls that after buying the property, it rained heavily - indoors!

“There were leaks everywhere! When I finally got an expert to check the roof, I discovered that there were badly done patches made to some holes on the roof, which only worsen the leaks.

“In my opinion, it’s better to spend a bit more money and get a good job done than to stinge and get poor workmanship. In the long run, nobody benefits.

“It’ll affect your resale value and the buyer who’s looking for his dream home ends up buying into a financial nightmare.”

P. Lalitha, a home-buyer, shares a similar sentiment.

“The apartment I bought had poor floor renovations in the bathroom. Of course, it was my neighbour who lived below that alerted me of this.”

Upon inspection by an expert, she discovered that the cement used by a previous owner for the flooring was of poor quality.

“Renovations were not just done, they were badly done. So much so that it cost me a fortune to fix them. My advice for future home-buyers? Check every inch of your house. To home sellers, if you want to get the best resale value for your home, get your renovations done by an expert,” Lalitha says.

Permanent upgrades

Some homeowners make upgrades to their property for personal gratification without taking into account the fact that they may need to sell it in the future. However, these renovations hardly do anything when it comes to resale value, nor do they make it easy to sell.

“Among them are fixtures such as swimming pools and wall modifications,” says KL Interior Design executive designer Robert Lee.

“Having a swimming pool can increase the price of a home, but it also comes with extra responsibilities that not everyone wants. If you’re a senior citizen and not the active sort, you’d probably need to hire someone to clean and maintain the pool you’d probably never use.”

He also points out that major works done to a property’s structure, such as to its walls, can be hard to undo.

“There was this large family living in two adjacent terrace houses and they made a huge arch in the wall between the two houses. When it came to selling, they had a huge problem!

“They also wanted to sell off the house as soon as possible and refused to patch-up the wall.”

Other structural changes, like turning a three-bedroom apartment or house into a two rooms can also put a damper on resale value, says Lee.

“If you’re selling a two-bedroom apartment and your neighbour is selling a three-bedded one at the same price, which property do you think a buyer will you go for?”

Home-Deco Art Sdn Bhd director Rachel Tam says having a distinct paint job won’t affect a home’s potential resale value.

“Some people paint their homes in all kinds of colours, like a kindergarten,” she chuckles.

“But it won’t affect a property’s resale value. It’s not permanent and can be easily replaced. Besides, the first thing most homebuyers do is give it a new coat of paint anyway.

Unexpected outcome

Some upgrades can be so extreme that they no longer look like what they were initially set out to be.

“We knew of someone who bought a single-storey house for RM250,000 and spent about RM200,000 to build a second level. When he sold it, he only got RM300,000,” says Lee.

“Some renovations that place a property beyond its original architecture will not increase its resale value,” he adds.

Tam notes that some people turn their homes into an office or place to conduct business, which may or may not affect the property’s resale value.

“It depends on how extensive the renovations are. If you’re just converting one room into an office, then it’s fine, as the future owner won’t need to do much or anything at all to convert it back into an ordinary room.

“However, if you’re going to start raring animals or live stock there, which may include additional structures to contain them, then this could be a put-off for potential homebuyers who are looking for a basic place to live.”


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