Preparing for the Market - Flip or Flop?

In this article I am specifically targeting home owners who are considering the route of doing a quick renovation to spruce up the property before placing it for sale. It is often true that we seem motivated to get those pesky jobs, such as fixing the leaky facet or nailing that fence paling back into place, just in time for sale. (I’ve have been guilty of this a few times myself).

Budget Renovation vs Return On The Sale

Prior to having a spending splurge at your local handyman store, buying the latest trend in paint colors and brushes, hold off. Consider doing a renovation paper cost assessment first. Especially if the aim is to get the biggest return on your property investment.

Create a list of the items you feel that you would like to have done. Make sure that they are categorized into must do items and nice to do items. Place a budget down for what you feel you can afford to spend. Factor in which items are one’s that you are able to do vs items that a qualified laborer needs to complete. Finally, map out your timeframe to have all these things done.

Example: You could have a target to have the property on the market at the start of Spring, which means you would need to have all the work completed at least two weeks prior to the start of season. 

There is a need to be mindful of not overcapitalizing a property. In essence this means that you need to be aware of what cost is being invested into the renovation vs the estimate of potential value that might be returned.

Summary List

  1. Create a list of all the items you feel must be fixed and the items you want to improve / freshen up.
  2. Identify which of those you can do vs the one’s you need to get someone else to do.
  3. Work out the timeline that all the items would need to be done.
  4. Understand what you can afford. This becomes your budget.
  5. Get quotes on labor, materials, council fees & approvals (if any) etc to work out what each of the items on the list will cost.
  6. Consult with your agent about your plans and get access to some insight on the best way forward.


Seek Local Advice 

Engaging a real estate agent early is certainly advisable. A reputable agent will have a wealth of knowledge about the suburb and surrounding areas. An agent should be able to quickly convey what seems to sell well in your area and how your home compares.

It’s best to have an idea of what the comparable surrounding properties for sale are fetching on the market. Understand how they were presented and what they are selling for. Once again, the agent you sign up with should be able to provide you with all this information.

Consult your real estate agent about the renovation items you have called out on your list. They can provide you an opinion on whether or not it is worth investing the time, energy and money in fixing things up. 

Helpful Hint

There are a lot of online services out there that offer you a chance to get centralized, cost competitive pricing in your local area by local businesses. If you have a smart phone you can download an app called HiPages or go to their website. They are a top rated Australia wide platform that allows you to post a job for your local area and have tradie’s provide you an expression of interest and a quote for service. 

HiPages is one of many service provider sites out there on the market. My suggestion is to try them out.  It really can be a cost competitive, efficient way to get jobs done quickly and professionally.

Author: Sherrie Lee

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