When making over a property for sale, the main aim of the owner is to spruce the place up to get the highest possible return. While they may start out only wanting to update a few small things, as relevant questions are raised, more jobs are often added to the renovation bucket list.
Before the owner knows it, the makeover idea has snowballed into an extensive (and expensive) renovation. Big ticket items end up taking priority, which means the entire budget has been blown and they still may not have a property people want to buy.
So how do you know where to start and when to stop? Do you spend your makeover budget all in one spot, or do you spend a little bit on everything?
If everything in the house is passable and nothing stands out as being an absolute “must do”, start by getting the outside right, followed by the kitchen, interior living spaces, exterior living spaces and lastly, the bathroom.
People are often told that kitchens and bathrooms sell houses. I’m not sure I agree. For example, the front exterior of your house is a very important element. It’s the picture potential buyers will see when scrolling on the internet or driving past. If they don’t like what they see in that initial photo, they may not investigate further or come for a look on inspection day.
The next most important area is the kitchen, but this could be a cosmetic update rather than a full-blown renovation. Try to prioritise what absolutely needs to be done so your costs don’t spiral out of control.
You also need to work out who your target buyer is and what they’re looking for in a house. For example, if it’s a family home, they might prefer a well-appointed en suite over a modern main bathroom, or be more focused on main living areas rather than bedrooms. Often they’re okay with everything not being perfect, so long as functional spaces work for them.
If you’re not sure who your ideal buyer is, contact a few real estate agents. Ask them for an estimate on what your property will sell for and give them a shopping list of what you intend to fix up. Discuss with your agent what your buyer will want out of a renovation.
Lastly, approach your renovation from a buyer’s perspective. The makeover you do for your buyer is entirely different to the one you would do for yourself, so keep this in mind.