Brisbane home owners reap rewards of renovating before selling

Slick pre-sale makeovers are helping savvy Brisbane sellers fetch record-smashing property prices from time-poor buyers who are now forking out hundreds of thousands more for a polished home with a fresh coat of paint.

Buoyed by the burgeoning market, vendors are making back up to three times the cost of the makeover, said luxury home specialist Jason Adcock, of Adcock Prestige, leading a growing number of high-end home owners to spend as much as $80,000 on renovations that could tack $300,000 onto the sale price.

“Most buyers who move into these properties are drawn to the fact that they don’t have to lift a finger once they move in,” Mr Adcock said.

“Many of our buyers are (particularly) after well-designed home offices.”

Everything from a lick of paint to a landscaped garden or a re-done kitchen had the potential to reap major financial rewards for sellers, said Mr Adcock, who is now referring roughly five clients per week to local renovation company Titan 360.


Landscaped gardens are hot property. Photo: Adcock Prestige 

While the trend is paying dividends for vendors and building firms alike, McGrath Paddington prestige property agent Alex Jordan said the flip-side was sky-high construction costs, with material prices in Brisbane rising upwards of 40 per cent in recent months.

“This is making it very expensive to do big-ticket items like the kitchen … so the biggest money-maker when selling a property – whether it’s high-end or mid-range – right now is landscaping and improving that front facade,” Mr Jordan said.

“Number two is painting as it has the biggest visual impact to the naked eye … I would say carpets are another area … and anyone that does those things gets a better outcome.”

Mr Jordan said a smart makeover – which was sometimes as simple as replacing the taps in the bathroom – was worth its weight in gold, especially in the midst of a real estate boom.

“In a fast-changing market sellers are recognising the opportunity of getting a premium result and they’re willing to invest in that … in a soft market everyone is reluctant on the other hand because the market is underperforming,” he said.

“And right now, in my view, value staging is the biggest money-maker in the business with five times (returned) on the investment spend. I find it adds $50,000 to $100,000 to the end price.”

The meticulous renovation of a classic Queenslander at 26 Thorn Street, Red Hill, helped Ray White Paddington agent Judi O’Dea recently crack the street house price record after it sold under the hammer for $2.112 million.


26 Thorn Street, Red Hill QLD 4059 

s O’Dea said the ground-breaking auction not only set a new precedent for Red Hill homes, but revealed the value of a smart makeover in the current market.

“This renovation was immaculately done by Kodiak Projects …  and that renovation got paid back in full. The buyer paid a Paddington price and it has raised the bar in Red Hill,” Ms O’Dea said.

“If you’re selling you really have to present your property to its best and my advice to all sellers is it must be very polished and that means painted and fixed up … buyers don’t want to come in and have to pick up the phone and call a tradesperson because it’s a real problem getting them right now.

“And if it costs you $20,000, a buyer will pay you $40,000 to $50,000 for your effort.

“Interstate buyers especially want to walk into that polished home … they want to start their jobs and get their kids settled as quickly as possible.”

Joanna Gianniotis, of Place Estate Agents Bulimba, said that buyer desperation to bag an abode that was liveable right off the bat was now being further fuelled by a storm of home hunters hoping to find and move into a new property by Christmas.


1 Vickers Street, Carina Heights fetched a massive price despite its humble facade. Photo: Place Bulimba 

“A lot of people are working from home as well so they definitely don’t want to do it themselves,” she said.

“A great example is a home I sold at 1 Vickers Street in Carina Heights. It’s a three-bedroom, one-bathroom home that was cleverly renovated and opened up … with a big back deck put on and it attracted so many young couples and families that I don’t think would have been there otherwise.

“In the end we achieved more than $200,000 over the reserve because of that demand.”


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