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A Case Study: Renovate Before You Sell? If You Can Afford It, It’s Worth It

Often we are asked by clients whether it is best to renovate before they sell or not. The answer is definitely yes, but there are a number of factors to consider.

Here is a case study of a 4 bedroom Edwardian home in the Inner Northern Melbourne suburb of Ascot Vale.

We were thrilled when a previous client of ours called us up and told us she had been advised by local agents Nelson Alexander that her home would be much more marketable if it had an ensuite accessible from the master bedroom.

“Walk in robes and a master ensuite will make the home more attractive to buyers” says Nelson Alexander’s agent Andrew Johnston. “People are wanting an ensuite in their homes now,” Johnston continues, and, “it will push up the potential value of the home when it goes to sale.”

Johnston estimated in its previous state the home was worth approximately $1.3M. This is especially true in today’s “hot” market where it seems the sky is the limit when it comes to sale prices of inner city homes.

Smarter were contacted to design a new walk-in robe space, ensuite bathroom, and home office in a redundant bedroom. In addition the client wanted to refresh the home’s main bathroom as part of the renovation. The Smarter Design Team took one look at the space and came up with this refreshingly simple, yet clever design to make the best use of the available space.

Robes were cleverly integrated as a concealed walk-through opening onto a spacious ensuite. In addition, The Smarter Team were able to squeeze in a functional home office between the new ensuite and the existing main bathroom.

Smarter advised the vendors not to underestimate the value a buyer places on quality when it comes to getting a return on your investment, and to maximise appeal through the use of simple colours, bringing in natural light where possible, and making functional use of space.

The project cost in the region of $100,000 to complete. Prior to the works commencing, Johnston was confident: “For this quality of home, once the renovation is complete, a sale price of $1.5M is not out of the question at all.”. This is a return of up to $200,000 on a $100,000 investment.


Come auction day both the vendors and agent went in feeling confident with the newly renovated home.

A SOLD sticker was placed on the board on the day with bidders fighting for the property to the value of $1,520,000.

Just a shabby 120% return on the vendor’s investment!!

Johnston’s advice is: “if you can afford the renovation prior to selling, it’s worth it.”

The Smarter Bathrooms & Kitchens team can renovate your home within a matter of weeks. We are a specialised business and can work to your deadlines.

Call us on 1300 662 838 to speak with our award winning team or book your free in-home consultation today.


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