Home improvements that will pay big bucks when it comes time to sell


Renovating your home? If you’re wondering what you should be spending your money on to deliver the best sales price when you ultimately come to sell, the Real Estate gurus at Savills have expert knowledge about what buyers are looking for and what they’re willing to pay more for. Some renovation projects return more than others, so try these projects to maximise your sale price on auction day.

We’ve all been inspired by those extravagant bathroom and kitchen makeovers on Selling Houses Australia and The Block, but can you make small changes to your home that will significantly increase the price of your property?

Kitchens and bathrooms really do sell houses

Director of Savills Residential, Charles Caravousanos says, “consider the kitchen and bathroom first, these really are what buyers are looking for. Spruce up a tired kitchen with a new benchtop, coat of paint on the cupboards, new appliances and some shiny new tapware. If the kitchen’s falling apart, consider a cost-effective modular kitchen from Bunnings or Ikea.”

Buyers need to imagine themselves living in your space and the kitchen is the heart of the home, so don’t add those purple and gold polka dot splashback tiles if you’re considering selling in the near future. Be aware that your choices may not be what everyone is looking for, so try to renovate for a wider market, even if you’re not quite ready to sell.

Roll up your sleeves for a DIY weekend or call in the professionals to reglaze that old pink bathtub. Replace old shower screens with sleek frameless glass, Stegbar even has screens with Nanotechnology that repels dirt and grime, minimising cleaning time!

Spruce up a tired kitchen with a new benchtop or coat of paint on the cupboards

Light it up

James Levy, Office Manager and Licensed Real Estate Agent at Savills St Ives says, “you must acknowledge your property’s position and consider the amount of light inside at different times of the day. Buyers are always looking for properties with the backyard facing north to make the most out of our glorious sun. If your property feels dark inside, consider adding skylights to brighten dark hallways or internal bathrooms.”

Add downlights for direct light in high-function areas like the kitchen and bathroom. Use ambient and accent lighting to illuminate a general area with pendant lights, up lights and wall washers, which also draw your eyes to visual statement pieces in the room.

Illuminate a general area with pendant lights

Out with the old and in with the new

Melissa Stafford, Office Manager and Licensed Real Estate Agent at Savills Turramurra says, “as a buyer enters the home one of the first things they notice are the floors. If your carpet is stained, faded or worn out, replace it with new carpet, or consider taking it up and polishing the floorboards in the living areas if possible as buyers often prefer this. There are so many options of inexpensive flooring available now, like tongue-and-groove floating floorboards that you can click into place yourself.”

As with the flooring, consider the house as a whole and repaint the interior walls in neutral colours. Not only does a new coat of paint change the colour of the walls, but it will make the property brighter, cleaner and give off a fresh appeal. 

If your carpet is stained, faded or worn out, consider taking it up and polishing the floorboards

First impressions do count

Craig Marshall, Office Manager and Licensed Real Estate Agent at Savills Gordon says, “you want to draw people into the house all the way from the road. Lay a stone path that leads through the garden up to the front door. Consider installing a new, modern front door or paint the existing door a new colour. Buyers are looking for homes with street appeal; that means homes that look inviting from the road, so cut down those overgrown trees, add colourful flowers, replace the old brown garage door and freshen up the yard for instant appeal.”

If you don’t have any liveable outdoor space, consider installing a deck. This is a fairly large project but one that certainly pays off when it comes time to sell, plus your family will certainly enjoy the occasional BBQ outdoors!

If you don’t have a green thumb, visit a garden centre like Eden Gardens in North Ryde or Bonds/Flower Power in Terrey Hills as they offer friendly and free advice on how to quickly and inexpensively jazz up your garden.


Since the beginning of 2018, Savills has sold over $100 million of property on the North Shore. The team consistently sells more property on the North Shore than any other agency year after year, getting exceptional results for vendors and purchasers.

If you’re looking to sell this year, Savill’s team of award-winning agents offers an extensive database of qualified buyers, tailored marketing strategies, superior negotiation skills and unparalleled local knowledge, backed by the world’s largest property advisory team.

Request a free property appraisal and their team can discuss your renovation plans and advise whether they will add significant value to your home in the current market.


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