Understanding Property Preparation Services

Renovations

July 14, 2023

Sandringham
Renovations
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A Guide for Homeowners

Stock image of a woman styling a bookcase to illustrate a property preparation service.

If you’ve met with a real estate agent recently to discuss selling your home, they may have told you about their agency’s property preparation service.

If you’ve never heard of this, you’re not alone. This seems to be a fairly new service to emerge in the real estate industry in the last few years.

In this comprehensive guide, I’ll delve into the world of property preparation services, demystifying the process and equipping homeowners with the knowledge you need to make an informed decision. From defining property preparation services to exploring the benefits, you’ll walk away with a clear understanding what exactly they are.

But first, why focus on property preparation? Well, studies show that properly prepared homes sell faster and often at higher prices than their unprepared counterparts. So if you’re thinking about using a service like this to get a higher sales price, you’re in the right place.

What are property preparation services?

First, let’s define what exactly is a property preparation service, or sometimes called a property concierge.

As the name suggests, it’s a service to help homeowners ready their property for sale.

In the past, many real estate agents would provide recommendations of repairs to be made or remodels that add value when they first meet with the homeowner. Some times the professional property stylist would also make recommendations.

However, recently many real estate agencies have employed one person – separate to your real estate agent – whose sole job is to provide recommendations to potential sellers. This a good thing because not all real estate agents are designers (after all their main job is to market homes and find suitable buyers!)

However, it’s also really important to know what’s included (and not included) in the service.

What a property preparation service entails

Typically, this consultant will walk through the home with the homeowner and make suggestions on repairs, how to enhance visual appeal and optimize the home to the market. This could be anything from removing family photos and other personal items, getting a fresh coat of paint, or to more extensive renovations like a new kitchen.

They will be going through the home with the buyer in mind – what buyers in today’s market are looking for and whether it will improve the value of your home.

This is an important distinction from hiring other professionals like an interior designer or even going straight to a builder, without considering the return on investment. While these professionals are great, they don’t necessarily have the pulse on the current market and also aren’t considering whether it will improve the sale.

After the consultant offers their suggestions, this is where many services differ.

For example, some will leave the rest for the seller to do. It can be a lot of work on the seller’s plate – such as arranging quotes, engaging trades, picking finishes, and being onsite when the work is done.

That’s why it’s so important to ask these questions upfront. Otherwise, you might be opening yourself up to a lot more work than you signed up for.

Every agency is different so here are some more services that might be included:

Design and Concept Development

Often times, this consultant has a background in design and can help create a concept for any cosmetic renovations you want to make.

In a concept design, they’ll likely show you some inspiration photos and make material suggestions. If any drafting or permits are required, that’s likely outside their scope of work. Same as sourcing materials.

Financing Options

Here’s another big one to consider.

Can you afford the repairs & renovations?

It’s all good to make suggestions of what could be and the value you can increase… but what if you simply don’t have the money?

In the United States, there are real estate agencies offering a renovate now, pay at settlement program but I haven’t seen it too much in Australia. It’s still worth the question.

And if the answer is no and cash it tight, you may want to talk to a mortgage broker for options – like a construction loan.

Project Management

Here’s another really important question to ask – who’s doing the project management?

Many times, these agencies are only employing one person, who is consulting on pretty much every listing. So they likely don’t have time to project manage for you, and certainly not on-site.

So if you’re concerned about time – like maybe you have a 9-5 job and can’t be home when the trades are there. Or maybe you don’t want to be getting calls throughout the day with every little decision that needs to be made. Understand if this service is included, or whether they have a project manager they recommend.

And if you do decide to do it yourself, really understand all that’s involved and whether you have the time (and the sanity) to take it on.

What’s NOT included in property preparation services

Just like it’s important to know what it is, it’s also important to know what property preparations services are not.

  • An architect / a draftsperson / a builder / a licenced trade – if any of these professionals are required, you’ll need to hire them as well.
  • Property styling (furniture and decor) – It is still very highly recommended to hire a professional styling company. They can add to existing pieces you already have, or can completely furnish an empty space.
  • Marketing, photography, etc. While your home will look great, you’ll still have out-of-pocket costs for the real estate photos and marketing (most agents charge the vendor for this).

Before you sign up for anything, make sure you really understand everything that is included, as well as anything you’ll need on top of the service.

How Wealth House differentiates itself

Kristen Jackson, founder of Wealth House, walking through a property to determine what should be done to ready it for sale

Wealth House is a company that does full service property preparation. It’s independent of real estate agencies so anyone can hire me.

I started this company because I saw a need in Australia for homeowners to get assistance readying their home for sale. However, there are a lot of issues sellers face. Such as lack of capital, overwhelm, lack of expertise or no time.

So when I was putting together my company, I thought through all these issues and worked on solutions so every homeowner could use my service.

And while I’m essentially offering the same thing as these real estate agency’s in-house property preparation services, I’m going so far beyond what they offer.

Consultations

I walk through the property with the homeowner to make suggestions on what to repair and where we can add value. As I’m walking through, I’m thinking like a buyer and how they will first experience your home. What we don’t change is just as important as what we do – there’s an art to this.

Design

I’ll create a design concept for the home. I like to draw inspiration from the local real estate market – what buyers are currently looking for and what’s selling really well. I also want to create emotional appeal. Homes sell best when buyers are emotionally invested and want to win at auction.

After the concept, I’ll select and order all the fixtures and fittings. There’s no need for the homeowner to source any materials or visit any suppliers to find the best prices.

Project Management

I’ll get at least 3 quotes for all projects to determine the best & fair priced tradie for the job. If any permits are required by the local council, I’ll assist in the process.

Then once work commences, I’ll be onsite to oversee the trades.

Financing

I offer a renovate now, pay at settlement program. This means there are no fees until you have the money.

This also allows you to not be constricted to your budget. If the value is in the home, we can increase the budget so that you can get the maximum profit possible.

There is no interest, all costs are simply deferred.

Styling & Marketing

My work doesn’t end when the renovations end. I’ll oversee the professional styling and the photography – so your home looks the best it possibly can. Plus, I have my own marketing campaign including social media and potential brand partnerships.

Flexibility

Have any other issues that could prevent you from completing work to increase the value of your home? Let’s discuss. I’m open to finding any and all solutions I can to solve problems so that you can build as much wealth in the sale of your home. My goal is to create a hassle-free experience.

Conclusion

Congratulations! You’ve reached the end of this guide on property preparation services. I hope that you now have a solid understanding of what property preparation entails. By now, you recognize the significance of property preparation in maximising your home’s appeal, attracting buyers, and expediting the selling process.

Remember, property preparation services offer a range of benefits that can make a substantial difference in your selling experience.

However, it’s important to know what exactly is include in your real estate agency’s service. While it may sound great, it might also be creating a lot more work for you.

Wealth House offers full-service property preparation. I’ve addressed all potential issues homeowners may face before doing needed repairs or renovations to raise the value. With a renovate now, pay at settlement program and design, project management and marketing approach, I fill a huge gap in the market.

By choosing Wealth House, you can enjoy a stress-free experience as I take care of every aspect of the property preparation process, ensuring that your property shines in the competitive real estate market.

So, if you’re planning to sell your home or considering it for the future, remember the power of property preparation. By investing in this crucial step, you can elevate your property’s appeal, attract more potential buyers, and potentially command a higher selling price.

Thank you for joining me on this journey to understand property preparation services. I hope this guide has been informative and helpful in your real estate endeavors.

If you’re interested in chatting about how I can help you, you can schedule a free consult here.

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Learn how property preparation services enhance your home's appeal, attract buyers, and expedite the selling process.

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