Renovate, repair or do nothing: Tips on getting your property ready for sale

Property Jan 5, 2023

7 min read

Renovate, repair or do nothing: Tips on getting your property ready for sale
Renovate, repair or do nothing: Tips on getting your property ready for sale

When it comes time to sell your property, it can be easy to get swept up in overhauling everything in the hopes that you will sell your property for more. This isn’t always the case though. Sometimes it might make more sense to do nothing at all.

Before doing anything, consider your ideal buyer

This is an important step in the process. Before you go and make any changes, enhancement or alterations, stop and think about who is most likely to purchase the property? Who will it most appeal to in its current state?

Is the dwelling  on your land the most attractive part of the sale, or could the land be what buyers are looking for? Are you targeting developers and renovators or is the property more likely to suit a first home buyer or upgrader who wants to purchase something ready to move into? If the property is going to be converted into an investment property or rental, then a prospective investor or landlord might not be after something freshly renovated and be happy with it as is.

Once you’ve determined who is most likely to purchase the property, you can decide what steps you need to take to ensure it appeals most to this type of buyer. Ideally you want to appeal to the broadest market possible, but critically you want to identify who are the likely buyers and work backwards from there. 

Look at what has sold around you recently

The next step is to take a look at what other properties have sold around you recently. Which properties achieved the best sales price, what do they have that your property doesn’t? Make sure you are looking at comparable properties so you are comparing apples with apples – this means properties of a similar age, land size and building size. 

Why did the top properties go for the price they did? Were they freshly renovated, have a more functional floor plan or is it more to do with their location and/or view? What can you change about your property to replicate this for yourself?

Some things you simply can’t change: a busy street, no parking or small land size can’t be improved with a renovation no matter how good, so make sure you understand and appreciate where your property sits in the context  of  your area. Sometimes a sale isn’t all it seems online; how long was it on the market? Was there a price revision? How many bidders were there? These are all important questions to ask when looking to emulate a result.

A full or partial renovation

If you decide a renovation is the right answer, then you’ll need to decide whether you want to undertake a complete overhaul of the property or a partial renovation. It comes as no surprise that kitchens and bathrooms are the most expensive areas to renovate however can have the biggest impact for buyers.

Modernising an old house can make a big difference to the final sale price, just remember it will have a big impact on the overall funds you have invested in the property and will affect your return on investment (ROI).

Generally you don’t want to overcapitalise, that is, to spend more on the property than you are going to get back when you sell. This includes those initial purchase costs you incurred such as the purchase price, stamp duty and maybe lenders mortgage insurance (LMI).

Sometimes a cosmetic renovation will do the trick – things like fresh paint on the walls and ceiling, fresh carpet and some new curtains or putting in some nice built-in storage can go a long way on a small budget.

Repairing any damage

Unless you are planning to sell the property as a “renovator’s delight” or “developer’s dream”, then you’ll want to ensure any damage is repaired even if you don’t undertake a full renovation.

Getting a building inspectors report can be helpful here as this will highlight any potential issues that are likely to come up during the sale. The building inspector will be able to identify where there may be faults or damage so you can repair these ahead of listing. This has the added benefit of ensuring your transaction goes through smoothly and you won’t face any surprises at a later stage.

Or you could just sell it as is

Just because you are selling doesn’t always mean you need to complete any kind of renovation. If you have a new property, there’s already been a recent renovation or the property is simply well maintained then you might not need to do anything at all. Clearing out your personal items and photos and having some staging done might be all you need to do.

In other cases, if you are selling the property as a knock-down and rebuild then spending money on it isn’t going to necessarily net you a better sale price, so you’re better off doing nothing at all.

Not sure whether you need to renovate?

Entourage Property has a team of expert vendor’s advocates who can provide recommendations on whether you should make any changes, major or otherwise before selling. Get in touch with our team today and benefit from our expertise and selling experience.

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