Connect with us


Renovating Your Property to Sell

Renovating to sell. A very different proposition than renovating a property to live in yourself or rent out to tenants. There are a couple of main differences – namely the actual changes you should be making to the property (areas you renovate, products and materials you use) and the amount of money you spend on making those changes.




Renovating to sell. A very different proposition than renovating a property to live in yourself or rent out to tenants. There are a couple of main differences – namely the actual changes you should be making to the property (areas you renovate, products and materials you use) and the amount of money you spend on making those changes.

Work out the feasibility of the project

Before embarking on a renovation project, work out the feasibility of it. If you’re renovating just before you sell (or buying a property to renovate and then ‘flick’) then you will need to start by figuring out your potential sell price.

To get the ball rolling, I recommend looking at a few real estate websites. Have a look to see what other properties similar yours are selling for. Look for properties that are already renovated, are a similar building style to yours, have the same number of bedrooms and sit on a similar size piece of land. You can also talk to local real estate agents and go to open homes to work this out.

Then do a reverse feasibility study on your proposed renovation. This is where you take your potential sale price and subtract your expenses and expected profit in order to work out your renovation budget. Or subtract your renovation costs (if known) and expenses from your potential sale price to work out your expected profit. Note: I usually recommend spending between 5% and 7% of your property’s pre-renovation value on renovating the entire property (less if you can manage it). Let’s look at an example:

Property values
Value of other renovated properties in the area $480,000
Your property’s current value $400,000

Potential increase in your property value $80,000
Renovation cost (in this case 7%) $28,000
Holding costs (mortgage) for duration of reno (5 weeks) $3,000
Agents fees/advertising etc $13,000
Legal fees $1,000

Total costs $45,000
Expected profit
Potential increase in your property value $80,000
Total costs $45,000

Expected profit $35,000

So now you have an idea of what profit you’re expecting to make – are you going to go ahead with your renovation? If your expected profit is $10,000 – $20,000, is it really worth the risk?

If you’re happy with the profit you’ve calculated, then the next step is to look at your proposed budget and work out how you are best to spend it.

This of course is the tricky bit. It is a fun process working out the ins and outs of a renovation, but all too often the heart takes over from the head and renovations become an emotional process. Making the property look great is an important factor, but keeping to your budget is even more so. Every dollar you spend over your pre-determined budget is money out of your back pocket and your profit can take a slippery slide downwards from your expectation.

If renovating your property to sell, then you are essentially carrying out a business transaction. Put your business-persons hat on and have it on every time you see or discuss the property until it sells.



You don’t need to spend a lot of money to create a great looking property – believe me I have renovated the worst of the worst properties. You just need to spend your money doing just the right things in just the right way. It’s great to get ideas from TV shows and magazines, but make sure if you take on their tips, they are relevant to your property. So often I see people renovating parts of their property that simply don’t need it – because they saw this show or that magazine article of someone else’s property who needed that particular sort of renovation. Or they renovate their property using colours, materials and products that are just not appropriate. Researching all the types of materials and products for your reno is essential. And using the right ones for your property style, area, location and value of your property is what makes the difference between a profitable reno and one you just learnt a lot of lessons from.

The trick is in renovating your property so that it offers value to your purchaser. If your property has what they want at a fair price, then your property will be the one they buy. If you over-spend on your renovation (and need to ask more for the property as a result) or if you renovate it in a way that doesn’t appeal to buyers, then they will end up buying another property down the road – not yours.

What parts of the property will you renovate?

My rule is to first and foremost renovate or ‘trick up’ the exterior of the house including the garden and fences. Why, I wonder, do people spend tens of thousands of dollars on renovating their kitchen and bathroom areas but then do almost nothing to the outside? It’s completely natural for people to judge a book by its cover – in this case judging the house from the road – so why not give them the best first impression you can. When selling a property, you generally have only one chance to impress potential buyers. The interior photos on the advert only do half the job. If a potential buyer turns up to a property that does not reflect on the outside what the photos say is going on inside, then they are very likely to drive on by. Again, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to create a more appealing exterior. Renovating just a few key areas can often totally transform it – so make this a priority if you’re planning on selling the property at some stage.

The next most important areas are the entry (or the first area you see on entry to the house) followed by the kitchen and lounge areas, then the bathrooms and bedrooms.

Again you don’t need to spend an arm and a leg to get a really great result. Spend a bit more on the kitchen and bathrooms (say .75% – 1.5% of the property value for each area) to trick it up whenever possible. Giving an overall cleaner, fresher appearance will create a very appealing property so using clean colours and crisp looking products is essential.



Who is your target market?

The next thing to consider when working out which parts of the property you’ll renovate, is what your target market wants. Who is your target market and what do they place value on?

Look at the area your property is located in and make sure it fits with the needs and wants of the sorts of people who live there (for example, retirees, young families, students, young professionals etc…). If it doesn’t currently suit your target buying market, then do whatever you can within your budget to create that.

For instance, a retired couple will see value in a low care garden that they can nurture and add to. They will probably want a decent amount of storage to keep their life time of treasures in and perhaps a shed for gardening gear and hobbies.

Young families will see real value in (among other things) a fenced off yard for children to play in, so consider creating a secure yard area if that is possible. They’ll also want a bath for bathing the children and perhaps a suitable ‘play’ area near the lounge or kitchen areas.

Young professionals will value low maintenance properties, so at least simplify fussy, high maintenance garden areas. They’ll no doubt want all the mod cons too – so in the kitchen, make sure there is space for a dishwasher and microwave (and probably a coffee machine too!).

Students will value study spaces in their bedrooms and locks on their doors, so buyers of investment properties for student accommodation will look for these types of things. Create a property that is especially user friendly and your buyer will see that downtime during holiday periods will be minimized – tenants will be reluctant to ‘give up’ the property for fear of not finding anything as good when they come back from their break.

So spend a bit of time thinking about who these people are and what they place value on before you begin your renovation. Also do some research on what else is on offer. Again, look on the internet and visit as many open homes as you can in your suburb and those surrounding it to see what your competition is. You may find that there are 10 other properties similar to yours – and this is when you really have to think about what your point of difference is going to be. Why will someone buy your house and not the one down the road? Partially the reason will be price, but like in business, price is lower down the list when it comes to the reasons people buy. If it suits their needs, they are likely to spend more money and buy more quickly.

Do your research first. You should be able to justify absolutely every thing you do and every decision you make during your renovating project. Don’t make it up as you go along and don’t just do something because it will ‘look nice’. Aesthetics are very important, but you must aim for a perfect balance between good looks, practicality, reasonable cost and availability of products.

Keeping to your budget

So you know that your renovation is feasible from a profit-making perspective. You’ve worked out your approximate renovation budget in order to make the profit you want. You know who your target market is – and generally what you’re going to do to your property in order to meet their needs and wants. Now you come to the crunch – the exact details of what you will do to the property in order to meet those criteria (profit, budget, needs and wants of your target market).

The most common question I am asked at this point is – how can I possibly renovate my entire property for under (say) $28,000? The most important thing to know is that it IS possible to renovate your property for such a small amount of money – even if you don’t have all the freebies they get on the TV shows or the ‘behind the scenes’ trades-people carrying out all the work. I have many clients who have renovated entire properties for between $10,000 and $15,000.

It’s a matter of identifying and changing just the components within each area of the property that really need it. Don’t paint the entire house exterior if just painting the trims and tidying the garden will improve it ‘enough’. Don’t replace the entire kitchen if just replacing the bench-top, door handles and splash-back is ‘enough’. And don’t go reconfiguring your bathroom if you can get away with replacing the shower screen, vanity, splashback, toilet and towel rails.

See the idea? Look at the areas in the property and note the best bits. And then leave these as they are. Work around these things when replacing or renovating the other components so that everything ties in together once the renovation is completed.

When selecting the products and materials to renovate or replace the components within your soon-to-be-sold property, you can generally afford to go for a lower quality than if it were a property you were going to live in yourself or hold onto for years to come. You still want a good quality finish but if you have to choose between a $500 toilet and a $150 toilet, you will still get a good enough quality with the latter.

You will get a much better result from your renovation, and a much bigger profit when you sell (or re-value etc…) if you are prepared to do your research and plan your renovation well. Minimise your risk by spending the time up front to plan your renovation based on the facts. Keep your business head on at all times and reap the rewards of your successful renovation.


Five easy steps to boost the appeal of your home



painting tools

It is not an uncommon fact that a well styled and well maintained house is sold easier and quicker in comparison to the one which is dirty and not looked after. Supplementing the resale value of your property may sound like a difficult task, but in fact it is a very easy thing to do. We have highlighted some of the most effective tips that will help you in improving the value of your home.

1. Proper planning

It will get a lot more easier for you if you do things in a planned and organised manner. Make a list of all those things you want to change or upgrade. Go through the list and evaluate how much are the renovating and repairing services going to cost you and plan accordingly.

When you have made an arrangement, conduct a thorough research and converse with the companies that provide renovation services in Auckland to perceive what kind of return those enhancements may bring. A few changes will enhance your home pretty effectively.

2. Paint the walls again

Painting the walls of your property using neutral colours such as beige, tan, grey etc can instantaneously enhance the overall look of your home and thus its resale value. Newly painted walls will add vibrance and exuberance to your room and make it smell fresher.

Keep in mind about outside paint, especially if your current paint is chipped, peeling or worn out. An excessive number of colours could make the home to seem uneven as opposed to coordinated by a typical sense of taste. Pick not more than three shades for the exterior of your house.

3. Keep it clean

Think from the perspective of a buyer, if your home is available for purchasing, a brilliant and sparkly home can draw in purchasers like a magnet.

A perfect spic and span property can offer a lot of benefits at once. To begin with, you don’t have to worry about maintenance issues, it becomes easier to identify potential issues before they transform into costly expenses. Also, you don’t allow dirt and garbage to develop if you keep the cleanliness of your property up to date.

Think past your standard vacuuming schedule. Contract a company that can offer profound cleaning services. You may need to contract a different company to steam-clean the carpets, as not every single home cleaner offers this service.

4. Modernize your kitchen

On the off chance that your cupboards are in great condition however obsolete, you can enhance their appearance by applying a new coat of fresh white paint and replacing the pivots and handles. You could also procure contractual workers to replace the cabinets, while leaving the cupboards themselves intact.

Use Stainless Steel. The frosty feel of steel is a hot ticket for purchasers. Replace your equipment as it becomes outdated and pick a similar metallic look in your light switches.

Replace your countertop with granite, for it will supplement the overall look of the kitchen greatly.

5. Update your washrooms

Of all the rooms in your home, the washroom is the most used one. There is a lot of wear and tear and damage involved, so you need to keep it well maintained and make attractive updates if required.

Keep it clean. Dirt and grime can end up accumulating on washroom surfaces rapidly. Spruce it up with new grout.

Exchange your standard showerhead with a more noteworthy looking choice. Include a builder grade granite or marble ledge to your shower vanity at a moderately minimal effort point, as the material expenses won’t be too high.

In the event that your washroom is in good working order, these updates aren’t important. In any case, if your washroom is outdated with obsolete ledge with dings, chips and stains, replacing this could enable you to draw in a purchaser.

Last but not the least, it is advisable to take a proactive approach towards renovating your house by hiring a reputed company that provides professional builders who will do the job for you in a more efficient manner. There are a number of renovating companies in Auckland like Your Builder Ltd who provide such services at very reasonable prices.

Continue Reading


Maximising your outdoor living for year round use

Properties which are orientated to maximise sunlight are at the top of priority list for home buyers, according to So investing in an attractive, liveable outdoor space, with good flow between indoors and outdoors, is money well spent. Not only will it make your home feel more expansive, but it will also pay dividends should you decide to sell.




Properties which are orientated to maximise sunlight are at the top of priority list for home buyers, according to So investing in an attractive, liveable outdoor space, with good flow between indoors and outdoors, is money well spent. Not only will it make your home feel more expansive, but it will also pay dividends should you decide to sell.

What do I need to consider when creating indoor/outdoor flow?

Depending on the current layout of your property and how you intend to use your outdoor space, considerations will vary. However the consistent factor with all outdoor living areas in NZ is climate. While the summer months lend themselves to socialising outdoors, our inconsistent weather and varying temperatures throughout the middle of the year means your outdoor living space needs to work to combat these elements and minimise their effect.

Incorporate shade & shelter

It’s hard for a Kiwi to catch a break when we are trying to enjoy ourselves outdoors. We are either being roasted by our harsh sunshine, rained on by a passing shower, or blown away by random wind gusts. No matter what the weather – your outdoor space needs shelter. Fortunately you have a lot of options – including awnings, umbrellas, gazebos, pergolas and sails – depending on your budget.

Outdoor Heating Solutions

Outdoor heating allows you to get the greatest value out of your investment in an outdoor living space as it lets you utilise the area all year round. While there are many options the most cost-effective, energy efficient solution is roof mounted, electric heaters.  Auckland based outdoor heater manufacturer, Kelray Heaters produce a range of outdoor infrared heaters which are specifically designed for NZ’s salt-laden air.

Unlike traditional gas powered heat lamps which simply heat surrounding air, infrared heaters act similarly to the Sun’s rays, with heat waves being absorbed only by solid objects.  This makes them the most efficient patio heating solution.

Lighting your outdoor space

Outdoor lighting needs to be practical as well as decorative. By illuminating certain features of your yard such as paths, plants, ornaments and seating, you create an aesthetically pleasing night time environment.  The two main options for landscape lighting are 12V and solar powered each of which can be LED or halogen.  The solution you select will be based on the intended use of your outdoor area as well as any limitations.

When it comes to creating an attractive, liveable outdoor space in NZ the items highlighted above – shelter, heating and lighting, are really the bare minimum. When it comes to other considerations such as outdoor furniture and appliances, this really depends on what you intend to use this space for. Be sure to closely define what you want to get out of your newly created space, before undertaking any significant project.

Continue Reading


The Most Cost-Effective Renovations for Improving Property Values

No matter what they want to tell you, it’s not just ‘location, location, location’ anymore. People looking for new homes are actually looking at the home itself these days, not just where it’s located. The term ‘curb appeal’ took off in the 80s, and we all know about it, and yet particularly among new owners, using the concept is a challenge.



Location, Curb Appeal, Value for Dollar, Location. That’s more like it.
No matter what they want to tell you, it’s not just ‘location, location, location’ anymore. People looking for new homes are actually looking at the home itself these days, not just where it’s located. The term ‘curb appeal’ took off in the 80s, and we all know about it, and yet particularly among new owners, using the concept is a challenge. We’re going to make that a little easier — only we’re not stopping there, because prospects walk through a house, too. We need to add a little value inside the home as well with these cost-effective renovations.

Curb Appeal

Clean Up
We’re hoping that this is a no brainer for most of you, but just in case there’s someone out there who intends to rent out a property that’s exterior has junk laying around and the interior is cluttered with crap…don’t unless your goal is to be a slumlord. We’re not talking about construction materials, we mean whatever previous tenants left behind. If we can’t fit the debris in the back of a truck or the garbage men won’t take it, we’ll rent a dumpster. Now we have shown properties to tenants that we’re eager beavers to see them when they weren’t ready & on the market, and there are exceptions to every “rule”, but our goal is not to market a property until it’s cleaned up.

You don’t have to have an actual landscape to do some landscaping. Cut & trim the grass, add a few pavers or garden logs to define (empty) ‘planting beds’, and maybe some planters under the kitchen windows will do the job. The point, however, is that if you don’t take care of these basics, it looks like you don’t care about the house — and if you don’t, why would they?

This is the real ‘first impression’ — literal curb appeal is good, but the prospect is going to start looking critically at the home as they walk up. A fresh coat of paint on the front door and frame, some new address numbers, and (if relevant) some solid, good-looking stairs go a long way.


Now You’re Cooking
The kitchen is the heart and soul of the American home; most modern kitchens are designed to be used while hosting, with guests seated within sight and earshot. That means that some clean & matching appliances (no white fridge and stainless steel oven), scrubbed kitchen cabinets and counters, and no burnt out lightbulbs are the minimum. Be sure the paint on walls & ceiling, especially around the stovetop (where grease splatters), looks good. For a few hundred bucks you may want to put down a new floor – if you use peel & stick tiles don’t use the cheapest ugly stuff and be sure to use specific floor contact cement so they stay down and your new tenant isn’t calling and complaining after a month that the floor tiles are coming up! Make sure the kitchen is bright and inviting with light fixtures that aren’t just the cheapest you can find. Find a Habitat Restore or other resale shop for inexpensive, nice-looking used ones. Also be sure to address the area under the sink – if it looks crappy and dirty what’s a potential tenant going to think? For $20 we install a rubber mat that looks good, is easy to keep clean and protects the particle board base.

…and Giggles
The next area that draws an excessive amount of consumer concern is the bathroom. Like the kitchen, a few small changes can really turn a bathroom from a dingy place where you wouldn’t want to touch anything to a place you wouldn’t mind doing a crossword puzzle. A new toilet seat, fresh tub surround caulk and the cabinet mat we mentioned for the kitchen are easy to do. Going further, an updated vanity, light fixture and mirror shouldn’t cost more than a couple of Benjamins, but the value they add is huge.

Let There Be Light
The last great (cheap) home upgrade that will get your rental filled quick is brightening up the living areas. If you don’t have a massive window, add lights with daylight bulbs. Tip: don’t show a property with all the blinds/shades closed (unless you need to hide an eyesore next door). If the carpet is dingy, replace it with something light-toned (but not so light that it will make dirt stand out). A coat of paint slightly less ‘off’ and slightly more ‘white’ can help quite a bit, too. Some contrast is also good, so don’t paint the ceiling & trim the same color as the walls! Bright rooms feel like big rooms, and you can completely change the feeling of the living space for less than a hundred bucks if you play your cards right.

With these cost-effective renovations in place, you can make almost any home feel like a place you’d want to live — and if you want someone to live there, you should strongly consider doing just that.

This article has been contributed by RoyalRoseProperties – and found in a discussion on

Continue Reading


Copyright © 2019 PropertyBlogs