Do you need to renovate before listing your property for sale?

If you don’t own a contemporary masterpiece, a few tweaks can maximise your curb appeal. Older style properties don’t need to look like a display home; they may have original features we can capitalise on.

Arrested Development

People who want to build don’t buy when they know there’s a long wait for planning approval. Before this downturn, we would have sold older style homes to be bulldozed to the ground for new townhouse developments to come through. Building approvals have decreased by 26 per cent this financial year on the Mornington Peninsula. In April, new building commencements nationally had the largest quarter-on-quarter decline since September 1974. Increasingly, homeowners are renovating, rather than investing in new construction or demolition.

“In absolute value, Victorians did more renovation requiring approval than any other state or territory in 2014-15.”

.id consulting, Glenn. 2016.

It can’t be a coincidence that more Peninsula residents work in construction than any other industry. Mornington Peninsula property owners spend a fortune renovating our homes. In terms of the total value of building work spent on altering existing properties, we’re one of the country’s renovation capitals. But get this, we also make the most profit. It’s money well spent, and if you’ve held on to your property for the recommended 5.5 years, you’re in luck.

First-time buyers are targeting affordable outer-ring regions, and they’re savvy to the potential returns down the track. With limited new properties available, buyers will choose to purchase older stock, wait for more to come onto the market, or continue to compete hard for freshly listed properties. As construction grinds to a halt or buyers are put off by defects in newer buildings, there’s a renewed interest in older units and established dwellings. They need to look good from the get-go. When building approvals pick up again, or those properties currently in development are released, your property may look a bit dated if you’re targeting a wealthier retiree.

First impressions

Seeing your home with fresh eyes can lead to improvements that elevate the perception of the property before you list it. If you’re going to spend the money, you want to spend money in the right way. I recently met a vendor who had a sale price in mind. They had already built a new garage, which was a great addition. I suggested they swap out their front door to maximise the natural light in the entrance, getting space right is key to getting top dollar when selling. Replacing a somewhat dated front door with a single glass side panel with a modern door creates a better first impression – from the street and upon entry. A bit of interior styling would take care of the rest.

Make your house as presentable as possible but do your research before you invest in work that has little impact on a profitable resale. Upgrading to the latest fittings and facilities will help your property stay competitive but take advice before you do.

Written for Bowman & Company Real Estate.

Do you need to renovate before listing your property for sale?