If you’re considering selling your home and wondering if it’s worth investing in improvements before you go to market, I can tell you that the answer is YES! With the right advice and trade contacts, you can invest in improvements on your home now, that will pay dividends when it comes to attracting buyers and ultimately achieving the best price when you sell.

We live in an age where most people are time-poor and, unless you are selling to a house ‘flipper’, it’s most likely the person buying your home wants to know they’re able to move in with little to no work to be done on the property. People will pay more for added convenience – it’s like the car dealers say “Drive away – no more to pay”!

To give you a real-life example of how a client of mine benefitted from home-improvement advice, I’d like to introduce you to Jo. Jo and her partner Steve both work full-time and raise an energetic little 4 year old boy, Teddy. They lived in a large 3 bedroom home built in 2009 which was in good structural condition but showing its age due to the general interior style.

The problem: presenting a disjointed aesthetic to potential buyers

Having lived in the home for many years, Jo and Steve had updated certain rooms of the home as needed without considering the overall aesthetic. They were proud of their previous improvements at the time but without an overall plan, they had created a disjointed feeling for anyone viewing the home for the first time.

Jo and Steve had to make a decision between cleaning up the home and selling it as it was OR investing in some improvements aimed at increasing the visual appeal and ultimately creating a more desirable home to sell.

Obviously, choosing to make the necessary improvements before presenting the home for sale makes sense, right?! But how could Jo be sure on what to spend or which areas to improve without wasting her time and money?

That’s where we come in… (we love a challenge!)

When we first sat down with Jo to discuss the sale of her home, we agreed that an achievable price with the property in its current state would be around $900k. 

However, there was potential to get closer to the high $900k’s if we made some clever alterations inside. 

Understanding the psychology of a home buyer is vital when it comes to making informed decisions on presenting a home for sale. Evoking an emotional connection early is the key to achieving the best possible sale price and the first impressions of your property are made through the visual elements of marketing, e.g. photography.

Our knowledge was Jo’s advantage 

Our extensive experience in property development and project management meant Jo was able to trust our advice and she allowed us to manage her home improvements from start to finish. Jo knew that her home was her most valuable investment and wanted to be sure she was maximising its full potential when considering further investments.

Analysing the problem areas

While the house was in great shape structurally, the finishes inside where outdated and didn’t flow from room to room. 

The challenges we faced included:

  • 2 different colours of tiles in the laundry and a 3rd in the bathrooms.
  • 4 shades of green between the kitchen splashback tiles and overhead cupboards. 
  • The laundry tiles abutted the kitchen tiles and were different. 
  • Outdated mosaic splashback tiling.
  • An expansive kitchen bench with ageing white laminate top.
  • A brown laminate benchtop in the laundry, visible from the kitchen.
  • Daggy cabinet handles.
  • Old-fashioned pendant lighting. 
  • Beige/cream wall colour. 
  • 4 different colours in the alfresco area. 

The solution

I believe that one aspect of being a successful agent is having a keen eye for design. With this in mind, we were able to map out a plan to solve the problems in the most cost-effective and time-efficient way.

Given the kitchen benchtop was so large, replacing the benchtop to stone was a no-brainer for us. Using the off-cuts we made the same change to the laundry benchtop which converted 2 major eye-sores into features of the home. We arranged for the tiles in the laundry to be re-laid to follow the theme of tiling in the other wet areas and introduced a plain white tile to the splashback. These alterations bought us from 6 conflicting elements down to 3 matching elements in just this one area. 

To build on this modernised aesthetic, we replaced the kitchen cabinet handles to a simple but smart looking matte black handle and we replaced the existing light with a Tuscan style matte black pendant. These changes were some of the least expensive but made a huge visual impact. 

Now to the painting! Starting with the alfresco area, we repainted the ceilings, eaves and trims white and then we painted the front door black to tie into the black frames. However, transitioning from beige walls to a tranquil retreat colour throughout the home gave it a real pop against the windows and door frames where we used a vivid white in semi-gloss. Clever wall paint colour choices to give distinction from the doors and frames was a winner. With such beautiful frames around the home the contrast was gorgeous. We had plenty of comments at the home open about how the home felt fully renovated and this was no doubt thanks to the fresh paint!

The results

You can see from some of these photos just how good the end result was. In less than 4 weeks including the staging and marketing, we had created a fully transformed space ready to take to market. 

In this case, the cost to Jo came close to $15,000 so the real question is how much did she get back? I’m not able to reveal the sale price, however it was around $50,000 above our estimated price achievable before the upgrades. 

So, spending 15k to get back over $50k? Sounds like a great result to me! 

Concluding comments 

We completely understand that some people are not in the position to invest thousands of dollars getting their house ready for sale and there are plenty of options we can assist with that require little to no financial investment, if that suits your situation better.  All that matters to us is helping our clients achieve the best result possible and we are here to offer advice for you at any stage of your property journey. So please don’t hesitate to reach out if you feel like you could do with some help with making decisions on your home improvements so you can be sure you are achieving the best outcome when it comes time to sell.

Written by James Priestly, Managing Director of MGP Property.

If you want to have chat with James about your real estate matters, he is happy to help. He is best contactable via email at james@mgpproperty.com.au or on 0447 120 125.

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