Renovating to Sell!

People renovate for many reasons. They renovate to update their existing home, they renovate rental properties or they renovate to sell.  Finishes selection for each of the above varies. When renovating your existing home you are doing it for yourself and your family hence adding a personal touch to the finishes selection is the norm for most renovators.  When renovating for rental properties the driving factor is durability of finishes.  These two will form part of a future post.  In this post I’m going to concentrate on renovating properties to sell.

Renovating to sell means one thing, and that is that you will not living in the property, hence when it comes to the selection of finishes you need to distance yourself and try an avoid adding your personal style.  Individually we are all different and therefore like different things.  You may favour bright, bold colours, but then again not everyone does.  The key is to try an appeal to the masses.  You want to appeal to as many people walking through your home as possible.  You want potential buyers visualising themselves in the property and the key to doing this is to make sure they remember your property for the right reasons and not for the house with the red kitchen!

My top 5 tips when renovating to sell are:

1.       Budget allocation – When planning where you will allocate your budget write a list of what needs to be done around the house.  Determine which items are required to be fixed because they are broken and which items are being updated.  Go through the list and prioritise, then start getting as many quotes as possible.  It’s important to do this as it will establish a realistic view of how much things cost and it will assist you in making decisions on what to spend the money on.

2.       Be careful of trends – Trends come and go.  They key to making sure a renovation appeals to all and that it can stand the test of time is to avoid using trends.  This does not mean it will be boring.  Make the selection contemporary and stylish but avoid fads that may appeal to some, but limit the appeal to others.

3.       Keep it neutral – if you are going to the expense of replacing key items like kitchens and bathrooms which require generally large portions of renovating budgets keep them neutral.  This does not mean it all has to be white, however it does mean avoiding using bold colours. Select quality finishes that look good and won't date quickly. Colour can be added with accessories! People that buy a renovated property just want to walk in and not do anything.  

4.       How to add interest – When you have a neutral palette you can still create interest by adding texture and subtle pattern on tiles, carpet and wall covering.  In the bathrooms consider contrasting tiles of floors and walls.  Add a feature wall and or change tile size.  Use large format for walls and break the scale down on the floor tiles buy going to a smaller format.  I’m personally a huge fan on making sure the grout lines in the tiling line up.  The extra time spent making sure this small detail works out will come through in the final product.

5.       Impact items – Potential buyers don’t spend much time overall at the properties they buy so, it’s important to create the biggest impact.  When we bought our home after viewing it 3 times, which added up to a total of 45 minutes we finally walked in once we owned it and realised that the bathroom had only had one wall of tiles updated.  The rest of the tiles were original 1970’s. However the impact was made the bathroom at a glanced looked like it had gone through a basic renovation.  My list of items that create impact are:

-          A very intensive clean

-          Bathroom tiles, vanity units, shower screens etc.

-          Painting

-          Kitchens

-          Polished floor boards

The reasons you may renovate to sell would allow the home to be transformed from one that potential buyers think this needs to be demolished or its too big a job for us to one that they can just walk in.  Yes, it will require work from you, however it will be all worth it!