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  • jetnelson

Renovate BEFORE you engage an Agent

Updated: May 7, 2022

If you have decided to sell your most valuable asset, contacting a real estate agent seems the likely next step....though engaging them BEFORE your property is ready is one thing that many sellers unknowingly get wrong.

Now, we do need the agent to sell the property....just at the right time. When the property looks its absolute best. Not before. A purposeful, well-planned cosmetic renovation will set your property apart from the competition and leave buyers with a lasting impression as they compare your property with others on the market at the same time. Whilst many people think real estate agents are also good sources of how to prepare your home, they are primarily there to sell it. Taking their advice on how to modernise your home for sale is like asking your personal trainer to advise what clothes to wear once you have lost all that weight. You wouldn't.


The agent's goal is for you to sign their agency agreement giving them exclusive right to list & market the property. Their objective is to list the property quickly, sell quickly and get their commission quickly. This means less work for them. If you were paid only at the end of a process, wouldn't you want to shorten that process as much as possible?

Therefore, their advice on preparing your property for sale is not always in your best interests, unless QUICK is what you want.

If the work required to get your property ready for sale appears it might take longer than the agent is prepared to wait, their guidance may only be one or more of the following:

  • Clean & declutter

  • Tidy the front & back gardens

  • Touch up paint where needed.

Why do they only suggest these things?... because it doesn't take very long to do.

What they usually avoid are the 2 key areas that all experts agree sells the property, kitchens and bathrooms. In addition, blinds, light fittings and flooring all need to work together to provide a consistent look. This all may take additional time though with a well planned design and experienced team, the duration can be streamlined. These cosmetic renovation changes can make a huge difference in your pocket come sale time. From the agents perspective though, it doesn't really equate to much of a difference to their commission which is THE reason for their reluctance to suggest or wait for these renovations. For an agent earning 2% on the sale price, a $100k difference to you equates to a $2k difference to them. Of which, 50% goes to the company they work for.


On the other hand, if you want to MAXIMISE the sale price and capitalise on the single chance you have to get the most you can, QUICK and MAXIMISE rarely go together.

Preparing your property for sale requires addressing all the areas where buyers will have an objection and doing everything possible to minimise those objections. A cosmetic renovation that includes the kitchen and bathroom will transform your property into an attractive, sophisticated, consistent-looking product whilst reducing the opportunity for buyer objections. The more objections, the fewer buyers or the more reasons they collect to make low offers. And at that point, it's too late to do anything about those objections.

Renovating BEFORE you contact an agent is THE best way to ensure your property is prepared in the right way, stands out from your competition, and attracts high-paying buyers. Not the opposite.


If you have decided to sell, now is the time to contact me (before you contact a real estate agent) to find out how I can help get you on the right path.


Although the guidance of 4 real estate agents was to sell "as is", see how the 10 week presale renovation of a house untouched for 30 years achieved $250k over the reserve in 2019.

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