• Daniel Hooper


Updated: Aug 27, 2019

When we started renovating two years ago, with no experience and no idea what we were doing, it was essential for us to quickly find the best ways for us to add value to our projects on a small budget (because that was all we had).

Below we have listed our five favourite quick and easy tasks that can add $10,000 to your property value or more!

1. Paint

Painting is one of the most effective low-cost ways to increase the value of your property. This is also one of the few renovation tasks that can be done DIY….if you have the patience and are prepared to commit some long, tiring days to it.

However if, like we did, you decide to use a qualified painter to complete the work you can get an average three-bedroom interior painted for under $5000 including the paint and the exterior for around the same. A fresh coat of paint will freshen up your home and can realistically increase your properties value by $20,000 - $30,000 or more!

It is important when looking at painting your home that you stick to a simple, bright and neutral colour scheme with whites and greys, as this will make your home look new and clean. Try to avoid bright colours like greens or pinks because although some buyers will like it you risk alienating a large chunk of your potential buyers and this can definitely hurt you when it comes to sales price!

2. Clean, clean, clean!

When we are searching for a project we love finding a home that is messy and dirty because we know that there is the potential to get a great deal on it as other buyers struggle to see past the mess! We have bought a few properties where the simple act of tidying the house after settlement meant that we were already making money on day one! When your everyday buyer walks into a dirty house their mind immediately turns off and they start seeing negatives straight away which makes it really hard to get the positives across. It may seem simple but the act of giving the house a really deep clean and tidying everything up will help you sell quickly and for a much better price. Our tip if you are thinking about selling your property is to hire a skip and get rid of any clutter and things you don't want (this will help you pack for the move anyways). Once the rubbish is gone make sure everything is clean and tidy especially the bathrooms, floors, kitchens and walls. If you want to hire a professional it is worth it, $300 for a deep clean could add $5000 - $10,000+ onto your sale price when you go under contract.

3. Stage your home!

There is an ongoing debate about the value of staging a home but in our opinion it is one of the most important tools you can use to make sure your property sells quickly and at the best possible price! In the current market there are always plenty of properties available for buyers to look at so you need to have something that differentiates your home and makes them fall in love with your property. Spending $2000 - $5000 on property staging can realistically increase the sales price of your property by $10,000 or sometimes a lot more!

When staging a property the goal is to try and make your property look as bright, fresh and new as possible so that buyers walk in and say wow! Staging can also be used to guide buyers towards certain aspects of your property and away from other aspects as well as being used to strategically make a small room look bigger or a dark room light brighter. When looking for a staging company, make sure to get multiple quotes and to check out their portfolios to make sure you like their style. Alternatively, if you feel brave, you can do the styling yourself and hire the furniture from a warehouse such as PABS Furniture Rentals - (Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne) – Just make sure you keep it simple and clean and avoid clutter! If you are selling your principle place of residence it might not be possible to stage it as all of your furniture with be in the house. If this is the case we recommend a big clean and tidy as step one and then re-arranging your furniture where necessary to ensure your property looks as fresh as possible for buyers. You can even hire a few pieces or art or a rug during the sales process just to add some extra attraction to your home.

4. Kitchens and Bathrooms

I am sure some people reading this will be muttering under their breath “kitchens and bathrooms aren’t cheap!” and that can definitely be true; however it is possible to really freshen up a kitchen without spending a huge amount of money.

Our advice when it comes to dealing with these two key rooms in your property is to look for budget alternatives. If the room is worn/dated but the bones are in good condition (no cracked or falling tiles, cabinetry in good condition etc) then a fantastic solution that can add tens of thousands of dollars to your property value is tile and cabinetry paint or re-surfacing. If you are looking for a real budget DIY solution you can get tile/laminate paint from your local Bunnings and re-fresh an entire room for under $1000. If you have a little more money to spend a re-surfacing company will do it for you in a thicker lacquer professional finish for under $5000.

If your bathroom or kitchen is a little worse for ware you should look to approach it with the attitude of removing/fixing the damaged areas without necessarily replacing the whole room. It is possible to tile over the top of walls or floors with cracked tiles, replace shower screens or vanities and even replace bench-tops without stripping the entire room and starting again.

If you are able to focus the work on the big issue areas it will save you a lot of money. Also make sure that you are not bullied into a full-room renovation by your trades. We have had a number of situations where we have been told that it is not possible to do a room in bits and pieces but we found a new, more cooperative tradesman and everything was fine. The final point on these key rooms is to shop around. If you do want to strip the room and re-do the whole thing it is possible to even do this at a budget price. We have installed entire new kitchens including stone bench-tops and new appliances for under $8000 on past projects and regularly will refit a complete bathroom for $5000-$8000, something which a lot of suppliers would tell you is impossible. As you speak to more suppliers and trades you will notice that prices can differ by more than 100%. A tip is to avoid the companies that have big fancy show rooms and lots of staff…..big overheads are expensive and it reflects in their prices!

5. Fix up the façade

This one seems like a no-brainer. There is a saying that a person will decide whether they like another person within the first three seconds of meeting them. We believe that this is very similar with a property. If a potential buyer pulls up to your house and they see a beautifully manicured lawn and a clean home in good condition they will immediately like the property before they even see the inside.

On the other hand if they arrive for the open home and there are more weeds than grass, the dogs have left some presents on the lawn and some trash you put out for the local rubbish pick up is sitting on the curb it will be a much harder task to make them fall in love with the house, no matter how great it is inside. When it comes to the façade of your property there is no need to go fancy and expensive. The key is to make sure everything is clean and tidy. If you have grass make sure it is mowed and is good condition (if you are thinking about selling it might be worth getting a gardener in to treat the turf a month or two before you sell).

Make sure any plants or bushes are trimmed and tidy and finally make sure the house is clean (gurney the driveway, clean the walls and windows, make sure there is no rubbish in the gutters). The goal is to make the house look as inviting as possible so that the first impression of your property is one people don't forget….for the right reasons!

Now for a few key things you should avoid.

1. Don’t spend too much money!

This is the biggest issue people have when they start planning a renovation project. We see it so often when people undertake big expensive projects that don’t really add any value to the home or when they go with a certain style or finish that they love and is very expensive but when it comes to the sale it alienates a whole group of potential buyers. Make sure you always work out how much value your planned renovations will add and if you have any doubt then touch base with a local real-estate agent and get their advice. Once you decide to go ahead with a project make sure to look for the lowest cost options for getting it done!

2. Don’t take on too much advice

We touched on this point above but when you are getting into a renovation project it is really important to be aware that everyone will try to give you advice and a lot of this advice will be negative. If you listen to everyone that wants to tell you about property you will never get started on anything and you will constantly be in doubt of your abilities and your project. Like-wise when it comes to advice from professionals there can be great advice and poor advice. All trades have their own opinion and their own way of doing things and you will get conflicting views from almost all of them. It is important, before you have developed your own trusted team of trades, that you get advice from multiple professionals. If there is an issue you can’t solve you can even call bodies such as QBCC to get further confirmation.

3. Don’t try to do it all yourself

DIY seems like a really great way to renovate a property and keep the costs low and this can be the case. More often than not we find DIY creates more work, takes longer and puts far more stress on you than if you had decided to use a qualified trade. DIY can also create huge issues if a task is not done properly or if you do not have the relevant forms when you are trying to sell a house. We have approached all of our projects with the mentality of project managers where we co-ordinate everything but we use qualified trades to ensure the job is done quickly and to the best possible standard. This approach has allowed use to complete projects in 4-6 week timeframes and without causing too much stress on our lives. Thanks for reading! We hope these do’s and don’ts can help you increase your property value as much as possible and can help you avoid making some of the costly mistakes we made at the start of our journey.

Thanks so much for reading this week!

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