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Is renovating before selling worth the effort?

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How often have you noticed your neighbours renovating their homes and then listing them very quickly once these renovations are complete? At Switch Real Estate, we know that one of the best signs that someone is preparing to sell their property is a renovation, but is this a wise move when you want to put your home on the market?

Why spend a significant amount of money fixing up your home, not to enjoy it yourself?  Obviously, you need to repair a leaking roof or rotted fences, but is it worth installing a brand new kitchen or updating the bathrooms when you are going to move?

The team at Switch Real Estate have put together seven reasons why it might be best to save your money and list your home on the market in its current state (major repairs excluded).

1. You might overcapitalise on your property

Whilst bathrooms and kitchens sell homes, renovating these areas might not be worth your while. Generally, you will receive dollar for dollar with these type of renovations, but it’s a very expensive gamble that you might lose, simply because you may overcapitalise with these renovations. It’s often a better strategy to make sure that all major repairs are completed and that your home is styled appropriately to sell, than spending good money on renovations that you won’t enjoy and may not be to a buyer’s taste.

2. You have to live through the renovations

If you have ever had to live in a home that is undergoing major renovations, it’s unlikely that you will do it twice! It’s a very stressful situation with builders in and out your house all day long, dust in the air and the continual noise of tradespeople going about their work. If you can’t move out during these renovations, you should seriously consider leaving them to the new owners.

3. Move on without looking back

If you have always wanted a new kitchen or updated bathrooms, but never got around to the renovations, now is not the time to set them in motion. Your new renovations won’t be complete for five minutes before someone else gets the benefit of your new kitchen or bathrooms, so why bother to spend the money? If you have decided to sell your home, do it with no regrets and move on. Hopefully your new home will have a fabulous kitchen and luxurious bathrooms and you won’t even think about your old home.

4. Spend your money on curb appeal

At Switch Real Estate, we know that curb appeal is the big drawcard, as it’s the first view of your property seen by buyers. So if your property looks neglected outside, you will struggle to get anyone past the front door, and if they do enter, they will likely put in a low offer. Poor curb appeal usually makes buyers think that there must be something else wrong with the property, simply because you don’t care enough to make it look presentable. So hide away the rubbish bins, start watering and patching the lawn, weed the garden beds, prune the trees and bushes, and remove any plants that are dead. Avoid repainting the exterior, due to the time and cost involved, but do invest in new outdoor furniture to optimise your outdoor spaces, taking it with you when you move.

5. Don’t over personalise your home

If you think that a fully equipped media room, outdoor kitchen and new pool will make your home more sellable, you might be wrong. Buyers don’t always want these type of facilities at home and you could waste your money, because in a buyer’s eyes they might not add value to your property. On the other hand, if you are thinking of adding these facilities, because you secretly want them yourself, then your best strategy is to look for these options in your new home, not in a home that you are trying to sell. Save your money and optimise your home’s curb appeal instead!

6. Spend your money on a professional cleaner

An outdated home still has lots of potential in an upbeat market, particularly if it’s clean and liveable. The bathrooms might be straight out of the 80’s, but if they are clean and everything functions, a buyer could move in and renovate later. However, a home that really needs a good clean is off-putting to anyone, enticing buyers to make low offers, because they can see the potential, but it’s going to be expensive! So hire a professional cleaner to make your home spotless and your outdated home will look very appealing to buyers.

7. Take home message

The take home message from the team at Switch Real Estate, is to think twice about renovating before you sell. Particularly if you are only considering it as a way to make your home more sellable or increase it’s value. You might be better off making sure it’s clean, tidy and in good repair, whilst holding onto your money and spending it on your new home.


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