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Once a decision has been made to put a property on the market, thoughts turn to how to get the best return on your investment. To renovate or not to renovate? This is the question vendors often ask, however the answer is not always straightforward.

Which do you think we should choose?

Pre-sale renovations generally increase the desirability and value of a property and are sometimes necessary to put a property on par with comparable properties on the market in the same area. If planning to spend the time and funds on a makeover though, it is crucial to research and plan in order to get it right. Ensuring any changes appeal to a large percentage of prospective buyers, in addition to meeting the needs of the property’s target market, will help to make any work done a valuable undertaking.

Herewith, some fundamental (but often overlooked) rules to help vendors determine whether renovating prior to sale will be a profitable activity.

Don’t spend more than  you can recuperateDeciding whether or not to invest in renovations prior to putting your property on the market, and how much you should spend if you do, is a tricky decision. If you spend too little your efforts may look cheap and defeat the objective of renovating in the first place. Spend too much and you may not recuperate what you’ve invested come auction day. The general rule is, if you can make $3 for every $1 you spend it’s probably worthwhile.

Kitchen and bathrooms are the place to spend money – Kitchens and bathrooms are two areas of a house that tend to have the largest impact on sale prices, so it can pay to update these rooms prior to sale. With this said, these types of renovations can be costly. At minimum, ensure both your bathroom and kitchen are in a functioning order and present well.


Factor in market conditions – It’s important to select an agent who has experience not only selling in your area, but more importantly, in your suburb. A knowledgeable agent should be able to advise on comparable properties for sale in an area and indicate how worthwhile a renovation to your property would be. It makes good business sense to keep your property within an equivalent price range to others in the area, but with some stand out features.

Street appeal – Front of house is important when it comes to real estate – spend time cleaning the windows, clearing gutters, painting where necessary and tending to the garden. These minor alterations can have a significant impact come auction day.

Judge taste – If you chose to renovate, remember you are doing it to make the property more attractive. Therefore, in order to appeal to the masses it’s best to stick to neutral colour schemes and clean lines.

Don’t necessarily go the whole distance – Sometimes a good spring clean and a coat of paint is all a property needs to attract more buyers. Again, making this decision comes down to analysing first whether or not you can recuperate what you spend.

When it comes to making the decision over whether or not to renovate, it is important to bear in mind that a renovation does not necessarily guarantee a profit. By doing some research and working closely with your real estate agent you can ensure the dollars you invest will be recouped come sale day.

Paul Bond hodges real estateAbout the author: As a lifelong resident of Melbourne’s Bayside suburbs, it was no surprise that Paul Bond chose to pursue his passion for property by commencing his real estate career in one of Victoria’s most competitive markets. Indeed, having spent the past 12 years building an enviable reputation as one of the Bayside suburbs’ most successful sales consultants before joining Hodges as a Director, many Bayside property owners are more than pleased he chose to follow his heart when he did.

Category: Buying, Renovating, Selling | Leave a comment

Buying and selling a property is perhaps one of the most emotional and demanding experiences one can undertake. In order to minimise some of the stress and emotion that comes with selling, vendors should seek to employ an agent who can act as an intermediary and devise an airtight negotiated agreement prior to the sales campaign. To facilitate a smooth sale, the agent should endeavour to negotiate an agreement that works to benefit all parties; achieving the best end result for the vendor whilst ensuring the contract accommodates the buyer.


Find your local expert

The first step in laying down the foundation for a successful negotiation process is selecting a real estate agent that understands your area’s demographic and knows how to successfully market to them.  An astute agent will determine your potential buyer demographic and strategise how the campaign will run to benefit them. This includes selecting the method of sale, the timeframe for settlement and the amount of deposit required that appeals to your property’s demographic. For example, requesting a larger than average deposit for a property which is of interest to first time buyers will alienate a number of potential purchasers. Agents using a cookie-cutter approach will not guarantee the best return on investment for the vendor, where-as a bespoke campaign is far more beneficial at gaining the best end result.

Agent awareness and communication

Clear communication is vital at every touch point throughout the negotiation process. It is critical that both the vendor and the buyer are aware of their position and clear communication will ensure the sale goes smoothly. The chosen agent should possess excellent interpersonal skills, enabling them to read the potential buyer and then advise the vendor on the best possible course of action. An agent’s responsibility to his vendor is to understand each party’s motivations and emotions and advise and mediate to ensure the best result for all.

Financially savvy agents pay dividends

It pays to check that your agent possesses a sound knowledge of financial management in real estate.  This knowledge of how issues can arise, and perhaps more crucially, how they can be worked through, pays dividends when negotiating a deal to ensure both parties are mutually benefited and the sale goes through. For example, if a vendor has sold but is yet to purchase a property, a deal can be struck with the buyer that allows the vendor to stay in the property until their accommodation has been secured.

Vendors should also seek to employ an agent who has comprehensive knowledge of property law and is adept at ensuring all paperwork is filled out correctly. This will guarantee all parties have an understanding of the legalities of the contract which may ultimately save time and money later down the track.

By negotiating an agreement that works for all parties, an agent is able to connect the vendor with more buyers and have better chances at selling the property at a greater price but within a shorter time frame.


Julian Augustini hodges real estateAbout the Author: Julian Augustini is the Director of Hodges’ Brighton, a Licensed Estate Agent, and a passionate, energetic Auctioneer. Julian’s exceptional knowledge and understanding of Melbourne real estate has come from more than 19 years in the industry. Julian is sought out by buyers and sellers alike because of his attention to detail and his record of continued success.


Category: Auction, Buying, Real Estate, Selling | Leave a comment
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