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Thinking about doing up your home before selling it? Great idea – you could significantly raise your sale price without much investment from your end.

But beware of these five common mistakes people make!

Renovations: What NOT to do!

Here’s a common scenario – a homeowner is thinking about selling, and has decided to do some renovations before listing the property.

They invest in a new kitchen, some new paint, a repaired roof… all the things that you’d expect to add a little extra into the profit column when selling.

But then, when sale time comes around, shock horror! No one wants to pay the higher asking price despite all the work that’s been done!

How could this happen?!

If this sounds familiar (or if it sounds like something you’d like to avoid) then keep reading for our top 5 mistakes not to make when renovating!

  1. Forgetting to strategise

This isn’t the most glamorous or interesting point to start with, but it’s probably the most important. As they say, failing to plan is planning to fail.

The whole point of renovating before selling is to boost your profits: you want the maximum returns for the minimum investment.

You won’t achieve real results unless you strategise. Actually you might if you’re incredibly lucky, but it’s never a good idea to leave things to chance!

What’s the best way to strategise? Market research, tradie research, pricing research, regulation research… you get the idea. Find out what to do, then do it. Not the other way around. This will help you to budget, and it’ll also prevent costs from blowing out once you get started.

Find out what the market wants, find out what it’ll cost, find out what you’re looking to gain from each option, and then make a decision accordingly – and stick to it!

  1. Thinking you’re the customer

There’s no nice way to put this, but here goes.

If you’re selling, your tastes and décor ideas don’t matter. This is all about the market, not about you.

When renovating for yourself, it’s ok to go nuts with the personal touches. But when renovating before selling, you need to remember that you aren’t the customer.

Like mistake #1, this comes down to research. Know your buyers and tailor your renovations to what they’re likely to want. Are gas cHicks Real Estates the new big thing? Do you have inbuilt home networking? Solar panels? LED lighting?

Keep the renovations simple and neutral so they appeal to the biggest proportion of potential buyers, and remember: if someone hates your interior décor, they’ll probably minus the cost of redoing everything when they make an offer (if at all).

As an added bonus, the simpler and more neutral you go, the less it’ll probably cost too.

  1. Doing it yourself

If you’re not qualified or experienced enough to do the work, don’t try it. Mistakes cost time and money to fix, and it’s always better to avoid them outright rather than having to learn the hard way.

Unless your buyers already want to gut the property and start with a clean slate, you’re going to want to present your home as a ready-to-move-in offering. No one wants to have to finish re-tiling the bathroom or fixing dodgy kitchen cabinets.

Most of the time, buyers will be able to tell if the work is done professionally or not – and so will the council. It may cost more to get tradies in, but in the long run you’ll get a better price and avoid costly re-repairs later on.

5 renovation mistakes to avoid

  1. Focusing on the little things

Sometimes it’s easy to get sidetracked by the little things. Try not to get too fixated on that colour-coded splashback or imported vanity mirror. More than likely, it’s not going to swing the sale either way.

Start with the major things that need attention, and then (time and cost permitting) look at the smaller things.

It’s common for renovators to get caught up debating which door knobs or tap fittings are the most appealing, when really they should be booking the gutter repairers or floor polishers.

Labour is one of the most expensive parts of any renovation, so make sure you’re getting the most work done in the shortest amount of time possible.

  1. Forgetting regulations exist

This is somewhat related to point #3, but it deserves its own entry. Building and reno regulations exist for a reason, so forgetting to get things certified and/or approved can be a very costly mistake.

If you’re planning on renovating, get a professional inspection done before starting, as this will tell you exactly what needs to be repaired (and what can and can’t be done in future).

If you’ve already done your renovations, don’t forget to make sure everything has been signed off and given the tick of approval. If you don’t, you could end up with a hefty fine, and it could make the home unsellable.

These are just some of the pitfalls that you could fall into if you don’t do your homework before deciding to renovate (and during and after the process). For extra advice and pointers on how to renovate before selling, get in touch with the Hicks Real Estate team on 07 3355 6845!

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Hicks Real Estate is a Brisbane based, full-service real estate agency supporting buyers and sell as well as renters and property investors. With almost 20 years experience in the local market, we are the real estate experts you can rely upon.