Where should I spend my renovation budget?

When it comes to selling homes, we all want to get the top price possible, and one of the best ways to do this is to spend a little bit of time and money getting your home prepared for the market.

It may seem obvious that major expenses such as putting in a new kitchen or hiring professional landscapers will give your property the “WOW” factor to bring you in a great price. However, as owners who are in a property day-in day-out, we often stop noticing the small details around our home as they become part of the background of our daily lives; we stop being conscious of the things that made us think “WOW” when we first saw the property like a beautiful tree or unusual tiles, and we also stop seeing the little things that have happened since we moved in – like small marks on the walls, a wet dog smell in the laundry, or a missing handle on a cupboard door.

If there are general maintenance issues – even if they’re really minor – this can be seen by buyers as a sign that there may be bigger underlying problems, whether that is actually the case or not. So if buyers have to walk over a couple of cracked pavers, past a bathroom with a missing drain grate, and under a ceiling with a small water stain before they get to your brand new, sparkling, modern kitchen, it significantly lowers your chances of getting your renovation dollars back in the sale price.

The good news here is that a lot of the fixes to these superficial problems are inexpensive and quick. A short trip to a hardware store and a few minutes of your time at home may be enough to replace the grate or the handle. Some of the fixes may require more time or the hiring of professionals – but are still likely to be cheaper and less time-consuming than a full kitchen renovation!


There’s certainly a time and a place for major renovations. Perhaps your property is in a “renovate or detonate” state and really does need work in all areas. Perhaps your home is well maintained and modern in all but one area, which makes that one spot look desperately in need of a pick-me-up. A beautiful kitchen or bathroom always brings buyer interest.

An experienced, active agent will be able to look at your home with fresh eyes and help you to have a good, objective think about what would excite you or turn you off about your property if you had never seen it before. They also have their finger on the pulse of what buyers right now are looking for and will be able to give you practical advice about where to focus your efforts to get the best bang for your buck on the sale of your property. Most importantly, they will be able to let you know where your house sits in the market now and where it’s likely to sit once your planned work is finished, which will prevent you from investing too much time and money and overcapitalising for little to no reward.

If you are thinking of selling and you’d like advice about what to do before you sell, please give us a call. We would love to hear from you.

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Where should I spend my renovation budget?