Contemplating selling your house or apartment this spring? Before doing so it’s wise to undertake a thorough inspection to determine maintenance, or even renovations, required to present your property in the very best light.

When deciding which tasks to tackle, base your decision upon those improvements that lend the greatest return on your investment outlay, as well as those most likely to pique buyer interest.

Here are eight quick and affordable improvements you can undertake to add instant value to your home or investment property.

High pressure clean
Clean the driveway/outdoor paved or concreted areas with a high pressure hose. But, with hose in hand also clean the front of the house. The high pressure hose can remove mould and grime build up, not to mention dirt, cobwebs and some stains. After a quick clean, there’s often no need to repaint.

If the exterior of your property is painted or rendered always test on a small patch to ensure the pressure hose doesn’t remove the paint.

Maximise natural light
Natural light has a significant impact on the appeal of a home. Improving the lighting makes rooms appear larger, fresher and more inviting. If the orientation of your property isn’t conducive to adding more windows consider adding skylights in the ceiling, particularly in living areas and hallways.

Update light fixtures
Replace dated light fittings with modern alternatives, such as downlights, for an immediate update. Adding feature lighting in the kitchen (over the island bench), in the hallway and the bedroom is an easy way to improve appeal.

Refresh or replace doors
In particular, pay attention to the front door. It forms part of a potential buyer’s first detailed impression when they enter the property. A simple coat of paint and a quality door handle is all it takes to improve the appeal for most buyers. Adding a new welcome matt and planted shrubs is another inexpensive way to add instant appeal and improve initial perceptions of your property.

Replace outdated fixtures
While fixtures such as door knobs and cupboard handles are often unassuming, old and poor quality types can make a property feel outdated. Updating these simply items provides a quick and easy facelift.

Replace yellowing electrical covers
While you’re at the hardware store pick up new covers for your light switches, power outlet and exhaust fans. Old fixtures like these can impact perception regarding the cleanliness and condition of the property.

Update curtains and blinds
Blinds and curtains can be relatively inexpensive and are an easy DIY job if you’re getting ready to sell. Ensure any new window coverings don’t obscure too much natural light, instead improving the look of the room by framing the outlook from windows while taking into consideration privacy requirements.

Update the letterbox
Sounds unimportant right? Wrong. A letterbox is the first thing a prospective buyer sees when they arrive at your house. Replace your tired old letterbox with a new, modern variety and be sure to include your street number so they know they’re in the right place.

Landscaping improvements
A garden makeover can have a tremendous impact on not only buyer perceptions, but also the value of your property.
• Tidy the front fence by weeding and cutting back overgrowth.
• Prune the garden and remove excess foliage and weeds.
• Where appropriate remove large trees that obscure the house. Be sure to retain well-established trees that add to the charm of the home, as well as those that may be protected by council laws.
• If the lawn is patchy, spread some seed (of the same type as your current turf), add fertiliser and water regularly. It will only take a few weeks to see the improvement.

Remember, each dollar spent must return an equivalent or greater amount at the time of sale, so keep improvements to a minimum and focus on the key areas that impact a buyer’s appreciation for your property.

Like investors, homebuyers should invest in professional, independent and customised advice, if required, to assist with their home purchase.