What to Renovate for Sale?

Brent Palmer
Published on January 17, 2017

What to Renovate for Sale?

It can be difficult to find the balance between presenting a home at its best for sale, and over capitalising on renovations. It’s easy to spend thousands doing a house up thinking you’ll make it more appealing to potential buyers, but are you going to get your money back? It’s important to consider your market, and what they are going to find important. It’s also vital to be objective and look at the house for what it is, and not spend too much on one area if there are fundamental problems elsewhere.  It also depends on your skills and abilities, budget, time and inclination. There is nothing worse than a poorly done renovation job, or an obvious quick fix, so if you’re going to do it make sure you do it well.

So, what is important then…

Half-finished jobs:  If there is anything you’ve started, and not finished – finish it. There is no point putting in a new kitchen if there are rooms with only one coat of paint, windows sanded but not painted or decks built but without stairs. You also can’t get a premium price for your home with mould or stains – so fix the related issue, and tidy the paint. You don’t want buyers thinking of all the jobs they’ll have to complete before they can move in.

Refurbish the little things:  Kitchens, bathrooms, laundries and wardrobes can be transformed with a modern handle, and very little cost or skill required. Modernise the door handles, just changing from gold to silver can bring the home into a whole new era. Replace the light fittings, as they tend to date the home and with the right choices, these can be relatively inexpensive.

Paint:  A carefully chosen coat of paint is a simple way to freshen up a home. Light and neutral are the keys to creating a light and airy blank canvas and making your home seem bigger. It’s no time to unleash your inner artist or your kids favourite colour. Alternatively, if you’re happy with the colour, fix the wear and tear. Paint chips and scrapes can seem like a big job, but if you’ve got the paint, and a plan, then it takes less time than you think – it also shows the buyer that you look after the home and it’s well maintained. Don’t be afraid to seek advice – if you know someone who’s done lots of painting before, ask for tips and borrow or buy good quality gear – it will save you time in the long run.

Parking:  Off-street parking is usually a must, so in areas where parking is a premium, that bit of unused garden out the front could make the perfect parking spot. So, have a think about your driveway space and see if there are any straightforward improvements you could make.

Outdoor space:  Kiwi’s love the outdoors and it’s a renovation area most of us can do ourselves, so create a space for seating outside. It doesn’t have to have flashy furniture and don’t spend time on obscure items like fountains, pools or pizza ovens. The garden is often the first thing people see – first impressions count so focus on the overall visual appeal.

Flooring:  It obviously depends on the state of your flooring, but if it’s full of stains or dates the home, a flooring update can instantly transform a space.  Buyers can be quite particular about the type of flooring they like however and it can differ greatly from baby boomers to families, so know your market. Don’t just go with your own preferences.  And remember, if carpeting, it always feels more luxurious with thicker underlay so consider upgrading it.

Kitchens and Bathrooms:  They do sell houses and it’s often an important item on the buyer’s checklist. Because they are big ticket items, if they are already done, people like the fact they don’t have to spend extra money or have the hassle themselves. But again, they are not cheap and can pop up with unknown extras – so have a contingency budget.  Ensure you seek advice as to whether it’s a worthwhile investment for your property. A new kitchen or bathroom done on the cheap can put people off rather than entice. If you’re going to do them, they need to be done well and appropriately for the market. Keep them current, practical and inoffensive with plenty of storage. There is no need to splash out on flashy light fittings, splashbacks or appliances. Buyers can change those easily if they want to, just get the basics right.

Consider a professional: It’s easy to get the DIY bug, as we get inspired by these renovation TV shows and all the do-it-yourself options at the hardware stores that make it look so easy. However, time spent renovating when you don’t have the skills or experience to go with it, can make things worse – so pick your projects carefully. Buyers can see hurried renovation jobs a mile away and may wonder about the reasoning behind them. If they’ll have to do the job again, they may think it’s overpriced. Time is money, and what may take you three weekends, could take a professional one day – so get a quote, you could be surprised. You may be better off going to work for a few Saturday’s and paying a professional instead.

About the Author: The above article on What to Renovate for Sale was written and provided by Brent Palmer, a local leader in the field of Richmond and Nelson Real Estate sales, marketing, advanced technology for home selling, and social media.

You can contact Brent Palmer here, or at 027 544 9921. He has helped many people buy and sell homes in the Nelson, Stoke and Richmond areas for years, and would love the opportunity to help you as well.

Thinking of selling your home? I have a real passion for helping people sell their homes in our Nelson and Tasman Region, as well as the marketing, social media & advanced technology for home selling that goes along with it. I’d love to have the opportunity to sit down with you discuss how we can work together to get you the best price.

I help people buy and sell real estate in the following Nelson and Tasman  towns  & neighbourhoods: Wakefield, Brightwater, Hope, Appleby, Redwood Valley, Mapua, Stoke, Tahunanui, Atawhai and of course, Richmond and Nelson City.

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