How can you help your vendors work out what to spend to prepare their property for market?

As an agent you have to wear many hats when working with vendors and walking them through the process of listing and selling their property.

Here are some tips to help them to work out the best approach and budget for that. Before we talk about a magic figure, think about suggesting that they split it into three sections:

  • Money for the maintenance jobs they should have spent money on every year – ‘catch up money’.
  • Money for items they can re-fresh, upgrade and take with them – ‘take with you money’.
  • Everything else should be for the items required purely for presentation – ‘pre-sale presentation costs’.
As home owners, we always have a list in the back of our minds of ‘things I should have done around my house’. I believe that any owner we stop to ask could recite that list instantly! Homes absorb money every month of every year and if your vendors haven’t kept up with regular maintenance there will be a requirement to budget for catch up money.
This would normally go towards things like painting, general home repairs, replacement of cracked windows and the like. At BG Property Styling our owners can spend anything from nothing towards painting and just some man hours of maintenance, to hundreds of thousands of dollars – as an agent you will be well versed on what is required for the state the home is currently in and can help educate your clients towards fixing things up.
There are certain items we would always recommend that vendors buy and take with them. There are things that can be purchased with a professional’s help, which may save hire costs and look fantastic in their next home. 

There are things that can be purchased with a professional's help, which may save hire costs and look fantastic in your vendor's next home. 

Usually, these are things like fresh linen, a front door mat, items of furniture and new feature plant pots and plants. You can suggest that they enlist a professional to get some help with selections before purchasing. 
If they do purchase items, they need to ensure the new items works with their colour scheme and hire selections and a makeover specialist can save them time and money in getting it right. For example it would not be unusual to update beds and linen etc. so dollars for this could be in the region of $500 to $10,000.
Finally, their budget for pre-sale presentation is an investment in getting the best icing on the cake, for marketing and presentation once the other work is done. For example; fresh mulch, fresh flowers and hire of props and furniture. If furniture hire is required, it is not unusual to spend at least $5000 on that, then add the additional requirements.
Of course, this all works together with your recommendations and guidance to your vendors to help you list and sell their home in a timely and financially rewarding way. Seeking professional help may result in them making much more money back than their initial investment in taking their property to market. Now I'm preaching to the converted as I know most of you would love for your vendors to hire a property presentation specialist to help you get the best result for them.

About Belinda Grundy

Belinda Grundy is an Author, Speaker, and the Founder of BG Property Styling. She published her first book, Rightsize Your Home: The Empty Nester's Guide for a Stress-Free Downsize, in 2014. For her work on BG Property Styling, she was chosen as a finalist under the Business Leader category through the NSW Business Chamber Business Awards 2015. Currently, Belinda manages operations in the Northern region of Sydney and in the Southern Highlands. You can contact Belinda on T + 61 2 9986 0524 or via email here.

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