Should I renovate before I sell?


Should I renovate before I sell?

It’s a question real estate agents get asked all the time – how much should I spend on renovating before putting my house on the market? The answer varies from agent to agent, with some putting their interests before the homeowners by rushing the property to the market.

But we’re of a different mindset. In almost all cases - for both domestic and investment purchases - we advocate lightly renovating your property before putting it up for sale.

By ‘lightly renovating’, we mean giving it a small facelift such as a paint refresh, a garden tidy or perhaps some new carpeting or floorboard sanding. We don’t mean a major revamp such as a new kitchen or bathroom as this may result in overcapitalisation on your property.

Here’s why we feel this way.

Lessons learnt

We’ve learnt a few key facts selling hundreds of properties over the years and one of them is this – people prefer to buy properties they can move into straight away, or ones that only require a minimal amount of work before they can rent it out. Therefore, the less work that needs to be done to your home after purchase, the more buyers you will attract.

The case study

The case study we’ve chosen this month illustrates the above point really well. The property in question is 34 Florey Crescent, Mulgrave. 

Initially, we lost out on the chance of selling the home to another agent as they had advised the owner they didn’t need to renovate. They should just put the property on the market ASAP. That was music to the owner’s ears, so he did a spot of decluttering and put it up for sale. But the outcome wasn’t great.

Come auction day, there was not a single bid. The property remained on the market for another 30 days without any offers, costing the owner $6,000 in marketing fees.

We then had the pleasure of re-launching the sale, albeit in a declining market. We suggested the owner undertake a spot of light renovating to ensure more buyers would emotionally connect to the property (the key to a successful sale).

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Here is what the owner did based on our recommendations:

Painting:                                            $2,000

Floor sanding:                                  $1,600

Carpeting fourth bedroom:            $600

Hire furniture (styling):                   $2,000

Gardening/external work:              $600

Total:                                                  $6,800

The result

On auction day, we managed to get a good bid, but the property was passed in. However, the property did go on to SELL thanks to a little bit of private negotiation post-auction on the same day.

A final thought

When house hunting, the vast majority of buyers work to a strict budget. But the moment they find the right property, it’s amazing how quickly they’re willing to spend more and in some cases, much more. It surprises us time and time again. This is why it’s so important you ensure your home presents its best face to the market to attract these premium buyers.

If you’d like a bit more advice about how best to prepare your home for sale, please contact us. One of our consultants will be happy to assist you.


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Audwin Wibrata is the Director of WIN Real Estate who adapts creativity from lifestyle point of view in his selling approach . He recognises the vitally important role of new technology that plays in today’s real estate market.

For a private discussion on your plan of selling please contact Audwin on 0403 205 759 or email to 

You can also connect with WIN Real Estate on social media at: 

#winrealestate #realestateagent #propertyauction #sellinghome #mulgraveproperty #wheelershillproperty #mulgraveagent #wheelershillagent

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