It’s a new year and you may be thinking it’s time for new pastures. Looking round your home, you could be wondering how you can improve it so you can get top dollar when it goes on the market.

A common myth people believe is every renovation adds value. The truth of the matter is, they don’t. Putting a granite workbench in a regular two-bedroomed unit probably won’t affect what a buyer is prepared to pay. Put it into a luxury 2-bedroomed apartment and it may just catch the buyer’s eye but will it be enough for them to pay the extra to more than cover the cost of the renovation?

Major renovations are costly and time consuming so you need to be sure you are going to get your money back and more.

If you’re thinking of renovating your property for sale, here are a few renovations which simply aren’t true:

Everyone wants a swimming pool

We Australians love the water, but when it comes to having a pool in our own back yard, it seems we’re not so keen. Keeping them maintained can be a chore and costly, and investors are often put off buying properties with pools because of the additional costs associated with insurance and safety regulations. Pools are expensive to install and if you are selling, you’ll also need to show a Swimming Pool Certificate of Compliance to prove it meets the safety requirements.

In our experience, installing a pool doesn’t add a lot of value and in some cases, can put buyers off.

Adding a room adds value

There is no black and white on additional rooms adding value to the house as it depends on the property. For instance, converting the garage to a bedroom might be detrimental if parking is a premium in that area.

Buyers like new amenities

Most buyers will expect amenities such as electricity, air-conditioning and plumbing to be in working order. While you probably won’t increase the value of your house by installing new air conditioning throughout, you can bet your bottom dollar prospective buyers will reduce their offer if they think they’ve got to do this themselves.

Upgrade the kitchen to up the price

Some studies have indicated you can increase the value of your property by as much as 6 per cent if you upgrade the kitchen. However, if the rest of the house looks dated, or the renovation isn’t in keeping with the property or looks cheap, you may find the upgrade isn’t adding as much as you hoped. It might be more prudent to look at minor, less costly upgrades to the kitchen, such as changing the handles and painting cupboards.

When you’re looking at renovating your property to sell, have a realistic think about who you’re selling to and what their likely budget is. The reality is a splash of paint here and a few maintenance jobs there might be all your property needs. We’re always happy to have an informal chat about what we believe you can realistically do to get your property ready for top-dollar sale.

If you want to know some budget renovations to maximise the value of your house, our FREE booklet, 101 ways to maintain and prepare your home for profit, is packed full of tips and ideas. Simply text the word ‘PROFIT’ to 0416 906 799 and we will instantly send you a link so can download the booklet direct.

Drop into the Cardiff office or give us a call on 02 4954 8833. Or send us an email to: mail@apnewcastle.com.au – we’d love to hear from you.

And don’t forget to check out our Facebook page for handy tips on selling your property or what to look for when buying a property.