How to renovate to sell
Not surprisingly, I love watching real estate and renovating shows – really, it’s the only reason we’ve kept Foxtel (well, that and the golf). Give me a marathon viewing session involving Andrew, Charlie and Shayna from Selling Houses Australia and I am one happy Builderette. Time and again they show us what you can achieve if you make some sensible decisions about what to renovate to sell your house quickly and for the right price (step one – tidy up FFS!).
There are definitely some changes that will add value to your home (if you’re not selling it as a renovator’s delight!) and some that won’t. If you’re renovating to sell, focus on those that add value, rather than changes you personally would like to live with. Spend your money on areas like kitchens and bathrooms and forget about installing a new pool! First impressions really count so make sure that gardens are tidy and the outside of the house is looking fresh – a newly painted front door and a shiny new letterbox and numbers can make a big difference.
JD’s been doing some work recently across three separate properties – one was the house these customers were selling, one is the house they’ve just bought and one is an investment property. The house to be sold was first cab off the rank and, while it was a structurally sound Californian bungalow on a large block in a premium beachside suburb, it definitely needed a bit of sprucing up before it hit the market.
First up was a new kitchen. Nothing fancy, but they put in new benchtops, appliances and cupboards, while keeping the existing layout to keep costs down. The result was a fresh-looking kitchen that anyone would be happy to start cooking in immediately.
The kitchen was adjoining a sunroom that was looking pretty tired. JD’s team transformed it into a light-filled and welcoming dining room by widening the doorway from the kitchen to make it feel more like one expansive space than an add-on out the back.
While they were in the newly created dining room they replaced the frankly unimpressive floor with gorgeous timber floating floors. The new floor made a huge difference to the space and cost a lot less than you might imagine – about $3000 for the timber and labour.
Outside they did a few fix-ups as well. Some rusted out drain pipes (not something a buyer wants to see) were replaced and the front yard was re-turfed with a beautiful, lush lawn, and garden beds were mulched. The classic Californian bungalow front verandah had some timber battens added to freshen it up and the driveway also got a mini makeover. To make sure that the exterior was really looking fresh, they also boxed in the meter board and painted the guttering.
Overall, the work took about 3 weeks and cost approximately $40,000 for all building materials and labour. The agent estimated that these simple fixes added about $300,000 to the price as it gave the house that ready-to-move-in feel that many buyers are looking for. There’s certainly scope to further improve this property, but with this mini-renovation there’s now no rush for the new owners.
What mini-renovations have you done before you sold a property? What pre-sale improvement do you think adds the most value? When it comes to real estate and renovating TV shows are you Selling Houses Australia or My Dream Home?