High Impact - Low Cost Renovation

Will improving my presentation help sell my home?

I think most of us would instantly say yes, logically it would. But how much impact are we talking about. Please note we are not looking at involved renovation in this article.

Before we get into an in-depth discussion on this however let’s take a moment to consider the impacts of the online property marketing space to the sale of your property.
Online Inspections
Online inspections are steadily becoming more and more in-depth with search portal providers and surrounding industries providing new products in a race to provide buyers with as much information as possible before they go to a property.

With this increase in information however your home and ALL it’s features, floor plans, surrounding sales, last sale price, automated valuation, crime reports or your homes planning permissions/zoning is all readily available information to any potential purchaser.

From our experience buyers only attend around twenty to thirty properties before making a purchasing decision. We explain to our clients that buyers are quite literally sitting at home with a list of 100 odd properties working out ways they can shorten the prospective list. So the message is that buyers are often not looking for reasons to inspect they are looking for reasons NOT TO INSPECT.

From a marketing perspective the classic mistake is no address or price. This is backed up by independent research that shows 94% of buyers (Source: Residential Consumer Omnibus.) will exclude a property simply because it doesn’t have an address or price which is a scary statistic when you think about it.

It is not to say that they will never inspect that property but they will most likely inspect the other 40 in their list first and guess what, a lot will never make it too the 41st before they decide to purchase.

There is also a surging trend to the use of mobile devices and tablets when searching for properties for sale. With that trend is a decrease in the number of properties a potential buyer will look at when they visit an online property portal. What this means is that the tendency to want to “shorten the list” will most likely also surge as this trend continues.

So if you think about all this information you start to realise that if you give a potential buyer a chance to exclude your property from the list you are greatly reducing the interest you will receive on your property.
So what about presentation?
When it comes to the question of presentation there is one certainty, it is getting steadily more and more important to present your property for sale and buyers are steadily expecting more and more from the homes which they are purchasing.

I thought it would be a good idea to discuss the things which I have seen which are on the low cost end of the renovation scale but have provided the highest impact to the presentation of properties coming to market.
Tidy Up and Declutter
The first item on the list is a FREE one.

Over time we naturally accumulate furniture, knick knacks and general clutter. When you are coming to the market it is important to pack away as much as possible and have a good look at the position of furniture and the volume of furniture in each room of your home.

The object here is to make each room look as big as possible with clear unencumbered access for a potential buyer to enter the room.
Remember a buyer is a visitor in your home and won’t really feel comfortable climbing around your stuff to inspect the property.
How’s Your Carpet
No really, how is your carpet. If you weren’t on a first name basis with your children, your pet or potentially your partner would you think about your carpet the same.

To you it smells like home but what is that smell and where does that track lead.

Without trying to be too harsh about it carpet is one of the areas which will give the biggest impact for dollar spent for two reasons, firstly it covers a lot of the surface area of your home so it has a large visual effect and secondly like a new car you can’t beat the smell of new carpet to make an older home seem new again.
Carpet Sample
A word of warning though don’t skimp on the underlay, there is nothing that screams cheap reno faster than walking on new carpet which is flat and non-responsive.
Tile and Grout Cleaning
Often when I talk to owners about their tiles they get offended at the suggestion that they aren't clean.

Please don't take it personally, unless your tiles and grout lines have been sealed they will naturally pick up oils and anything else that will absorb into the grout lines over time.

Normal mopping does not adequately lift these "stains" particularily in the grout lines.

To make them look new again you will most likely need the help of a professional or at least the hire of the right tools for the job.

There are two basic types of cleaning.

  • Scrubbers as shown in the image.
  • Chemical Cleaning.
  • Internal Painting
    When painting it is important to remember you are renovating for sale not to your personal taste.

    • Avoid bright or dark colours as they can be difficult to paint over if they are not to the taste of the buyer. Dark Colours also reduce the amount or reflected light within the property.

    • Textured Paints are a definite NO if renovating for sale as they are very difficult to remove/paint over.

    • Keep your colour choices as light and neutral as possible, this improves light bounce in your property and also creates that "display home" feel for purchases.

    • If you are changing your carpet, paint first and either remove the old carpet prior to painting or trim the edges of the carpet with a sturdy stanley blade to allow you or your painter to easily paint to the floor.
    Painting White
    Internal Doors
    Revamping of old internal doors is an easy way to quickly modernize the internals of your home.While changes to architraves etc may not be so obvious over time doors are something which clearly date a home.

    This is in keeping with the theme of working with the biggest surface areas of the property.

    Options include;

    • Replacing doors with new ones, preferably in a more modern style.

    • Painting faded or yellowed doors with fresh gloss paint.
      Clever use of handle sets.
    Tri-Panel Door Example
    • Particularly useful if you can get a passage set which makes an old flat door look artistically modern.
    Garden Renovations
    It is amasing how far a few cubic metres of rock or bark will go to spruce up a tied looking garden. Add some fresh plants and you can transform the appearance of the outside of your home.

    Please note, always be mindful of not putting bark up against walls or structures as this will count against you at building and pest as a termite risk.

    If you have a termite barrier treatment you may also wish to get advice that your actions aren’t causing a breach in your protection.

    Block Usage
    Are you using your block effectively.

    A shining example of this I have seen is the modification of the useless corner block.

    It was a common practice of builders to simply let the land fall away to the curb on new builds, particularly on corner blocks where there would be a lot of work in retaining. This means however that firstly you have two sides (front & side) of a home which are not fenced and also the land is not that useful as it is sloping. If the land is retained and filled and a fence added this can transform this area into a useful play area for the kids or hardstand for the boat of caravan which will add significant value to your property. Again some basic handyman skills will be required to do this. Also check with your local council as to requirement for building retaining walls over a certain height.
    In Summary.
    While you may not want or need to do everything that was mentioned in this article it is important you know what others in your marketplace may be considering or doing.

    We have endeavoured to let you know the things we have seen done through many years of experience which have made the biggest differences to the potential selling price of a home but fall in the lower value superficial category.


    We have been through thousands of homes at various stages or preparedness, from early stage to fully prepared and on the market. If you are unsure where to start or what the impact of your decisions could be we are always happy to offer some advice.

    To get help call 1300 853 503 or email enquiry@creamproperty.com.au