The First Step: What happens on a pre-sale renovation consult

Pre-Sale Renovations

June 28, 2024

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This blog is where to find articles on real estate, renovations & projects. For more info about Kristen and Wealth House, check out the
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I'm Kristen Jackson

Image of Kristen walking through a home as part of the pre-sale renovation consult process

If you’re considering renovations before selling, you might be feeling overwhelmed right now. The first step is really to schedule a pre-sale renovation consult where we can explore whether renovations will add value.

In this post, I’ll share more about what happens on a consult, the follow-up proposal and more when working with Wealth House.

Schedule a pre-sale renovation consult

Stock image of a laptop to show that you can book a pre-sale renovation consult online

I offer free consultations in the Sydney metro area. Homeowners can schedule directly here.

An in-person consult is the best first step but if you’re more comfortable with a Zoom or phone call, we can do that first. If it sounds like there’s a good potential in your home and working together, then we would do an in-person meeting at your home.

I have a minimum 24 hour notice for consultations so I can do research ahead of time. At the very least, I like to look up your property on CoreLogic’s RP Data for basic information like when you purchased the home and any pictures from the sale.

I also like to do a quick check for comparable sales – what’s currently on the market and what has recently sold. Sometimes this can be tricky if the most recent photos don’t reflect your home’s current condition so I’ll do the best I can. I want to be armed with as much preliminary information as possible when we meet.

Preparing for the pre-sale renovation consult

Image of Kristen straightening up the rug on the bed in the Sandringham pre-sale renovation to show that some homeowners think they need to tidy up before the consult

You don’t need to do much before the consult. Many homeowners will feel the need to clean and will apologise for any mess when I arrive. Honestly, I’ve seen it all and I have a toddler – I definitely don’t live in a show ready home either!

If you have any renovation plans or have met with any other professionals like a real estate agent or interior design, it is helpful to have that information ready. Otherwise, ideally all decision makers will be there on the date we meet.

The in-person pre-sale renovation consult

Photo of the renovated bathroom of 88 Clareville Avenue with a fluted vanity, white above counter basin, and LED mirror
We discussed renovating the bathroom during the pre-sale renovation consult at the Sandringham project. This is the final!

I like to start by walking through the home together. I’ll be looking at your home with fresh eyes and thinking about how a buyer will see your home. It’s helpful for homeowners to point out any repairs they know they need doing or renovation ideas (like “we considered adding a deck but we never got around to it… is it worth it now?”).

Then we’ll sit down and talk about your goals.

I want to know things like:

  • Your ideal selling timeframe (we can work backwards from when you’d like to be moved out)
  • Where you are moving to next
  • What preparation you’ve already done such as meeting with real estate agents, getting quotes from builders, etc.
  • Any repairs you know are needed before selling
  • Any renovation ideas you have

It’s really a chance to get to know more about your home and specific situation so I can make recommendations on what’s going to be best for you. For some, that means a quick renovation to get the home sold quickly. For others, that might mean a longer process where we’re going through a CDC and more extensive work.

This is also your chance to ask me any questions you have.

After that, I’ll take about a week to put together a proposal.

This is where the fun happens!

Preparing for the pre-sale renovation proposal

Photo of Kristen sitting at the desk in the Sandringham NSW pre-sale renovation

A lot actually goes into my proposals – and this is all free!

First, I’ll run comparable sales for your home’s current condition and come up with a valuation. If you’ve received a valuation from a real estate agent, I will take that into account. However, I have found in the past that many valuations are inflated to get the listing (this happened on the Sandringham project).

My proposal will have a minimum of 3 comparable sales and I’ll recommend one number (we need this as a baseline for the renovation costs & post-renovation value).

Post-renovation comparable sales

Then I run comparable sales for the post-renovation.

You might be wondering why I don’t have a list of renovations before this part. I actually think looking at what features / styles other homes in your area have and what has appealed to local buyers is actually more important.

Once I see common trends and features, then I can incorporate items from our list & potentially make changes.

For example, on the Sandringham project I noticed in my local market research that nearly every home that was the same size had a walk in pantry, outdoor kitchen and dedicated study.

Had I not done this research, the home probably would not have those features. By adding those features, the home attracted 8 bidders and sold in our ideal timeframe. We had exactly what they were looking for.

By starting at the potential post-renovation value, this also allows me to see what your maximum potential is without overcapitalising.

For example, if new construction homes are selling at a certain price, an internal renovation of your home won’t likely hit that price.

Again, I like to have at least 3 comparable sales.

After that, I come up with a list of recommended renovations & repairs, estimated budget and timeline.

I’ll calculate the profit and make adjustments from there. You need to see a return on investment – otherwise I’ll let you know it’s better to sell as-is.

The pre-sale renovation proposal

Kristen smiling at a computer to show that a Zoom call is where I'll present the proposal as the next step after the pre-sale renovation consult

We’ll meet over Zoom for about an hour to walk through the proposal.

You’ll have a chance to ask questions throughout and give feedback. You’ll also get a link to the presentation so you can revisit.

After we’ve talked numbers, I’ll tell you how I can help you make this a reality, as well as my fees. If you’re interested in the renovate now, pay later program we’ll do a profit share (percentage of the net profit of the added value, due at settlement). Or if you are able to pay for the renovations upfront, we can discuss a fee.

Sample proposal

Here’s some of the proposal from the Sandringham project so you can get an idea of what it all entails.

This was one of the comparable sales for its pre-renovation value. I go through each comp with the homeowner and point out how it compares and differs. After all, no two houses are exactly the same.

The three comparable sales ranged from $2.8-3.3 million. We ended up splitting the difference with a valuation of $3.05 million.

Then we looked at post-renovation comparable sales.

I made sure to point out features the home had that we didn’t have pre-renovation, styles and design choices.

I find it helpful to show what’s sold well in the area and to include photos to give visuals of what your home could look like post-renovation.

Image from the Sandringham pre-sale renovation proposal showing that the projected post-renovation sales price was $3.4-3.6 million

Then I give a range for your home’s estimated post-renovation value.

You may notice that one of the comparable sales sold for $3.7 million. I stopped my recommended range lower because that home had a 6 car underground garage. That’s a valuable feature that we’d never be able to achieve.

We ended up selling for $3.42 million. From my proposal (back in January), I was clear that I thought we could hit $3.4 million. We would aim for higher but to also keep in mind that some of those homes selling for $3.6 million were new construction.

Design Concept

Next we’ll discuss my recommended renovations and share some initial designs.

For this project, the family bathroom renovation was one of the larger projects. I shared images of local homes to give the homeowner an idea of common features, colours and styles in the area. This helped determine that features like niches and LED lighting were a worthwhile spend.


Then we talk numbers – budget, timeline and estimated net profit.

For the Sandringham project, the design phase ended up being slightly longer as we waited for our preferred builder’s availability. Then construction was spot on at 8 weeks and we were on the market for 3 weeks.

As for budget, we came in under budget at around $92,500. Sale price was $3.42 million which meant a profit of $277,500.

From my proposal back in January, all my estimations were pretty spot on. This gave the seller a lot of peace of mind that everything was going according to plan and they’d get their desired result.

Next steps

I’ll put together my services and fees. Every home & project is different, so it varies.

For example, the Sandringham project was a deceased estate so I offered to clean out the home, make donations and sell furniture on Facebook Marketplace. That might be a service you need or maybe I can help you with something else!

Again, all of this is free as part of my consultation & proposal. We may choose to work together or decide it’s not a good fit and you can take my recommendations.


Kristen smiling at a computer to show that scheduling a free consultation is the next step to get started

The pre-sale renovation consult is the first step you can take to discovering whether renovations will increase the value of your home.

I aim to provide as much value as possible during this free process before we decide to officially work together.

If this sounds like something you could benefit from & you’re in the Sydney area, please schedule a free consult here.

I look forward to meeting you and helping you maximise your home’s potential!

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