Things people add to their property that really don’t add value

Posted by on Jun 7, 2016 in Selling | 0 comments

Many people fall into the trap of doing too many renovations or fix-ups on their property with the desire to add value to their property before sale. More often than not, these additions never add value to a property but rather make it harder for you to recoup your costs.

front-of-house2-afterWfront-of-house2-beforehile many of these additions will make sense for you if this was your personal residence, you should not expect buyers to pay a premium for them. Even though some additions are known to add value, if they are not already a part of the property you will likely spend more on adding them, than you can recoup for having added them.

When selling, we’ve found that doing the basics of getting the property up to par with the rest of the neighbourhood and maybe adding some curb appeal (fresh lawn, clean garden and floors) will typically be enough to sell at your expected price.

Let’s take a look at the typical things people add in hope of increasing property value that really don’t add value:

Additions that you cannot see

Buyers will not be willing to pay more for a property just because you recently upgraded to a bigger hot water system. As a private dweller you may have noticed a difference with this upgrade but a buyer will just see this as typical maintenance of the property and not as a value add.

We find a similar thing with installing air conditioning systems. Even though in our hot climate here in Australia we’d place air conditioning in the must have category, they still fail to add value to a property. No matter how much sellers try to justify it, a $1,000 split-system air conditioner never adds $5,000 to a property.

Swimming Pools

Apart from eliminating a large portion of buyers i.e. first home buyers, the elderly and property investors, pools are usually a deterrent to sale, mostly because of maintenance time and cost.

Many real estate agents agree; whether a potential buyer sees it as a hassle, a danger or an expense, a buyer will turn down a property for these reasons more often than they choose a property because it has a pool.

Over-investing in a property

Out of the norm investments or major additions to properties that are not typical for the neighbourhood are risky. Whether it’s whole room remodeling or a second story addition, major overbuilding can make it hard to recoup costs unless other houses in the neighbourhood follow suit. This is mainly because buyers are not willing to buy a $750,000 house in a neighbourhood that has an average house price of $400,000, they risk purchasing an overpriced house and reduce their resale value.

front-of-house-before Beforefront-of-house-after After

 Curb appeal: They added 3 plants, watered the grass and painted the gutters and brick feature.  That’s all!

For the best return on investment we rarely see any reason to overbuild past the norm for the neighbourhood. This also goes for fancy fixtures inside the house. Even though those fancy lights may look good (to you) they do not ‘add’ value and you will be pushed to even break even on these types of inclusions.

Beyond basic safety fixes and simple curb appeal, property fix-ups and additions rarely add value. Be smart and choose your properties and the work you do on them wisely.

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When selling a house…what do you fix up?

Posted by on Sep 28, 2015 in Selling | 0 comments

When selling a house…what do you fix up?

how much is ‘buyer beware’?

Do you replace broken light bulbs?

Dodgy electrical outlets?

Small finicky problems you never got around to fixing?

Or is it just part of the package for the buyer?

Broken electrical outlet Sydney

We think you should always replace blown light bulbs. It’s also just good presentation to replace dodgy electrical outlets, not only are they unsafe but they are unsightly and will make people question the integrity of other things in your property. WARNING: Please have a licensed electrician replace anything electrical in your house; doing it yourself is not only against the law but unsafe and can result in death from electrical shock.

As for small finicky problems you never got around to fixing? Depends what they are and how involved the job is or how long they have needed doing .

Whenever we sell any of our places we make sure to touch up any paint work in the main rooms and be sure the front and back gardens are as tidy as possible at all times.

Ensuring all lights and electrical outlets work, including replacing dodgy wiring or cracked outlets, will ensure your house will be sold quicker. Anything to reduce the number of home opens and inspections that will not cost you too much will pay you back with a quicker sale – We follow these tips to sell our house privately.

Another tip for those painting the exterior of their house is to give it a wash with a high pressure cleaner prior to breaking out any paint tins. You will be surprised at the amount of dust and dirt the exterior picks up over the years and having a clean prepared surface will ensure your paint will bond properly to the houses exterior – It will look much cleaner and fresher as a result.

You will be surprised at what a little fresh paint on your walls, gutters and eaves will have to your presentation at home open – every little bit helps for a faster sale.

garage_door_lubeIf you have a garage door make sure it is in working order. A little WD40 or bearing grease on the runners can make your garage door glide smooth and quite, just like new”. Having 2 remote is always a plus so if you can provide that you’ll be ahead.

Having a RCD switch on the electrics and smoke detectors are almost always law for all properties. Swap the batteries in the smoke detectors so they don’t beep if you are showing a house with the power disconnected.

All in all it is just good business to ensure everything in the house is in good working order. If the prospective buyers don’t check something their property inspector will.

I would suggest putting some serious effort into your front garden and tidy up the back yard. A lot of people will do a drive by and decide by the front of your house whether they will even come to a home open.


Our last house had a pretty crappy front yard, so we spent about $1,000 on turf (we did it ourselves) and a few new plants, and the improvement to the street appeal was huge. Anyway, the house sold in under 3 weeks in a very slow moving area.

Also check the reticulation is working and fix any leaky taps.

I would also make sure that your hot water system is working and has been serviced. We’ve had prospective buyers request us to service the hot water system if it we weren’t able to prove it had been done in the last 12 months.


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How to Sell Your Property

Posted by on Nov 5, 2014 in Selling | 0 comments

You may be thinking that selling your own property will present many problems but it does not have to be that difficult. If you are willing to spend some time and put in a little effort then you will achieve good results. Every year there are many people exactly like you who have the satisfaction of selling their own home; you just need to know how to do it.

Here are the six steps you should follow to sell your own home:

Determine Your Price:

The first thing to do when selling your own home is to determine the price that you want. This also has to be a realistic price because the majority of home buyers will have a specific price range in mind when they begin looking for a new house.

In order to achieve a realistic price you should take a look at similar homes for sale in your local neighbourhood. It’s no use overpricing or you will not get anyone interested bit if you price too low then you may be missing out. If economic conditions happen to change, be sure to adjust your asking price accordingly.

Get Your Home Ready for Sale:

First impressions are so important so your property must be looking good when people come to inspect it. A home with strong street appeal will entice buyers while a rundown exterior may not encourage potential buyers. Don’t forget to tidy up the backyard too.

Take a look through all the rooms and remove any junk and personal items to enable buyers to visualise their own item in the space. Think about the best features of your home so that you can emphasise these when talking to buyers.

Showing Your Home:

As people see your house advertised they will begin making enquiries. When you receive a call always take their name and contact number and arrange a suitable time for them to visit. It is a good idea to have one potential buyer at a time so that they have plenty of time to walk around and ask questions. You will still be able to fit in several people in one day. Don’t be too pushy but let them know the unique features of your home, after all you know it best.

Negotiating The Sale:

If you have not sold your own property before, it’s a good idea to ensure you know the terminology that will be used such as deposits, conditions, settlement or example. While it is possible to conduct your own settlement it is usual to engage a settlement agent or solicitor to act on your behalf.

When you receive an offer it can be accepted, rejected or negotiated. You are in control of the negotiations and you alone know what your bottom line is. Do not be disheartened if the offers are not what you want. If you have priced your house correctly there will be someone who is looking for it and it will sell.

Reaching an Agreement:

When negotiations have been completed and the offer accepted it must be in written form to be a binding contract. Any conditions should be initialled by both parties. Once this is done it is considered to be official and both sides are committed.


A date for settlement will have been agreed in the contract and the settlement agent will undertake a number of tasks to facilitate this. Some of these tasks include titles searches, liaising with councils and government departments, preparing statements and collecting monies.
You will need to vacate the property by settlement and have the house ready for the new owners to move in. The buyers will have already done a final inspection to ensure everything is in good working order.

Now you can


You have done it, sold your own house and made more money by not having to pay agents commission. Good luck in your next venture.

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