Your property agent says: 3 easy ways to increase your HDB’s resale value

By EdgeProp Singapore / EdgeProp | May 25, 2018 12:23 PM SGT
Resale prices for HDB flats continued to fall in 1Q2018, with the resale price index declining 0.8% from the previous quarter, according to HDB data.
The number of resale transactions within the same time period also fell to 4,458 transactions compared to 5,738 in 4Q2017, marking a drop of 22.3%.
This is a steeper decline than the 0.2% dip in 4Q2017 and marks the latest quarterly decline since 2Q2013.
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HDB resale market trends from Jan 2013 to May 2018
A screenshot from EdgeProp’s Market Trend tool.
According to HDB data, resale flats that fetched the highest median price in 1Q2018 were tied between four-room flats in the central district and five-room flats in Toa Payoh. Both had a median price of $850,000.
This was closely followed by five-room flats in Bishan and five-room flats in Bukit Merah, with median prices of $769,000 and $760,000 respectively.
Meanwhile, three-room flats in Jurong West, Bukit Batok and Woodlands were the cheapest, with median prices of $248,000, $268,000 and $270,900 respectively.
Median resale prices by town and flat type, for resale cases registered in 1Q2018
Source: HDB
With HDB home prices on a steady decline, how can HDB home owners achieve the best possible price for their resale? Yong Chee Chung (Shaw), Key Executive Officer (KEO) at Century 21, and Sharifah Kamariah, Division Director of ERA Realty Network Pte Ltd offer tips for sellers.
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You’ll be surprised at how you don’t even need to go through major renovations to command a potentially better resale price. Read on for more.
1) Clean up and declutter
A home that is messy, cluttered and disorganised can be a real deal killer for potential buyers. Which is why it is so important to remember that less is more when it comes to selling your home.
As ERA’s Sharifah puts it: “You don’t need a $100,000 renovation, but your home has to be pleasant to the eyes.”
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To achieve that, she advises home sellers to first make an effort to declutter and to use minimal furnishings. “A home that is neat and minimally-furnished puts potential buyers at ease, and offers room for them to think about how they can furnish and utilise the space when it is their own,” Sharifah tells EdgeProp.
That’s not all, a property’s presentation can also impact its valuation, says Century 21’s Shaw. To ensure you get a better valuation for your home, make sure you throw out or pack away “unnecessary items” such as old newspapers, family photos, trinkets, knick-knacks, toys and old clothes.
“Doing so will make your house look bigger and provide a better overall vibe,” Shaw opines.
2) Freshen up your interior with new paint
This is a simple and inexpensive way to enliven the look of your home. A fresh coat of paint in neutral tones can create a clean and polished look.
Classic colours like white, off-white, beige or pastel shades are your best bet, as they have a timeless effect, and a broader, universal appeal.
White or light colours make a house look bigger and cleaner, says ERA’s Sharifah.
“On one occasion, we personally arranged for a painter to paint our client’s living hall white from its original green colour. A week later, the house was sold,” she shares.
For the best effect, turn on all the lights and open all your windows during a viewing, says Century 21’s Shaw.
3) Repair and upgrade
A wonky doorknob, a squeaky door or a leaky faucet may not seem like a big deal. But these minor defects can have an impact on your selling price. Fortunately, they’re also typically quite easy to repair. Start by listing them down and getting them fixed accordingly.
Century 21’s Shaw advises home sellers to pay special attention to flooring. Smooth and spotless flooring creates an impression that a home is clean and well-maintained, especially in areas like the kitchen and the living room. “So do look into repairing any defects or damages that may have resulted from daily wear and tear. If you are not able to do so, you may consider covering it with a carpet or using furniture like a table,” he says.
In general, homes that are better-maintained tend to command higher prices, as ERA’s Sharifah can attest to: “Late last year, we sold a 30-year-old five-room flat at Bedok Reservoir at about $50,000 above the estimated valuation of the property. It was a very rare scenario, considering the market situation and also the fact that there has not been any transactions in that block for at least a year,” she shares.
“But because the house was still in tip-top condition after being renovated about five years ago, the buyer’s wife immediately fell in love with it,” says ERA’s Sharifah.