Case Study 1

The Results

Listing Price: Offers over $549,000
Sale Price: $550,000
Days on market: Sold at first open house

About the property

This house was built in the early 1970’s and no modernisation had been undertaken. The original kitchen and bathrooms were still in place.

As per the Real Estate agents advice, the tenants were left in place. The property was on the market for three months @ offers over $549,000 and the only offer was from the tenants of $515,000.

The property was taken off the market for two weeks while the tenants moved out. A further four days of work and a little over $11,000 was spent to completely transform the house.

The result was the house was sold within three days. The property again was listed at offers over $549,000 and an offer came after the first open house of $550,000 which was the target price.

What work was done


  • The lawn was weeded by hand, fertilised and watered every day
  • The exterior was professionally pressure cleaned, the brickwork, driveway, paths, pool surrounds etc.
  • The blue front door, garage door surrounds, trim above the windows and mailbox were repainted in a modern dark grey colour which was on trend at the time. n.b. Only the trim at the front of the house was painted. The sides and rear was left blue to keep the costs down as the objective was to maximise street appeal.
  • The fixed curtains were removed from inside the glass on either side of the front door (they were not required as the entry hall was private). This made the approach to the front door more welcoming and appealing. Also by opening up all the curtains throughout the house for the photo shoot made the glass was more reflective and gleaming in the pictures. A small detail that had a huge impact on the overall appeal.
  • The gardens where minimal so it was easy to remove the existing cottage style plants and replace with more structural modern plants, such as the yukka in mail box planter and rhoeo’s throughout the rest of the gardens. Weeding and fresh mulch was applied . Shrubs were pruned and shaped.
  • Six black glazed terracotta pots were used in the front of the house. Three on the upstairs balcony and three downstairs. A mix of golden cane palms for a big impact large yukka’s on either side of the front door. An additional eight large cream plastic pots (to mimimise costs) with golden cane palms, were used around the sparse pool area.
  • A small and inexpensive three piece bistro setting was placed next to the front door to add splash of colour and ambience.
  • A new shinny chrome lock and door handle to replace the corroding and dated gold lock and handle.
  • One last and very important aspect here, was the professional photography. A combination of the right angle, the right time of day and enhanced colours which brought this house to life.
  • We must not forget the new “Welcome” door mat.

Interior Work completed

The Lounge Room

Lounge_room_before                                   lounge_room_after
The Lounge Room before was dull and lifeless.                                           The Lounge Room after.

Works included:

  • The Interior work undertaken:
  • The interior was repainted in a neutral colour as each room of the house was themed in different colours, with some having wall paper.
  • The curtains which were also a variety of different colours throughout the house, were replaced with neutral curtains. They were purchased, on sale, ready- made and very inexpensive for the impact they made.
  • The big WOW for the interior of this house was the furniture staging. It was beautifully decorated throughout.
  • Cleaning and a few maintenance issues were also taken care of.

The Master Bedroom

master_bedroom_before                                     master_bedroom_after
The Master Bedroom before                                                                                The Master Bedroom after

Works included:

  • The wallpaper was in good condition, therefore, it could be painted straight over the top.
  • The furniture staging is simple yet dramatic at the same time.

The Bathroom

The Bathroom after. This is the original 1970’s bathroom.

Works included:

  • The corroded and dated tap ware and plastic towel rails where replaced with inexpensive chrome sets.
  • The grout in the shower was replaced.
  • The silicone in the shower, the bath and vanity surround was replaced.
  • The drawers in the vanity were stained and discoloured, so they were lined with a non slip rubber (which is usually used to line kitchen drawers) giving it a new and clean feel.
  • New chrome handles on the vanity drawers and cupboard doors.
  • The towels and accessories on the vanity were in a dark plumb shade which was complimentary to the existing tiles and a colour that was very on trend. Two large floor mats were used to distract the eye from the dated floor tiles and a pop of green foliage which is essential when staging a bathroom.
  • There is no denying this bathroom is from the 70’s and will require a renovation soon. But because it was presented immaculately clean and in excellent condition, it doesn’t need to be a priority for a buyer.

The Kitchen

The Kitchen after. This is the original 1970’s kitchen.

Works included:

  • The kitchen was repainted. It was originally bright yellow.
  • The curtains were replace in the meals areas as they were a faded, multi-colour, floral print.
  • The taps were replaced with a modern mixer tap.
  • The sink was polished.
  • The silicone around the benchtop was replaced.
  • Some door hinges needed tightening and some were replaced.
  • Inside the discoloured and chipped drawers were lined with non slip rubber.
  • The oven and every square inch of the kitchen was scrubbed.
  • Once again, some simple staging gave the room some style and personality.
  • The work made the kitchen spotlessly clean and functional until such time as a buyer was ready to renovate.
  • Professional photographs also injected light and life into the room.
  • Note, the dated cafe curtains should have been replaced with inexpensive roller blinds. You would be surprised what a difference this would have made to help modernise the room.

The Office

The Office after

The office was a subterranean room with no windows and the only natural light shone through from the front entry way. The walls were also clad in a dark timber panelling as seen on the accordion doors in this picture.

Works completed:

  • The timber cladding was painted over in a light neutral colour, the same as the upstairs of the house. Time and money did not allow for the accordion doors to be replace, however, their impact was minimised.
  • Additional lighting was used to brighten the space.
  • Beautiful furniture staging, including an amazing funky office chair, added real WOW to this room.
  • The rear wall of the room (behind the chair) was brick which should have been painted. The room was strategically photographed to exclude the brick wall and bring in life and light by photographing looking from the back wall towards the front door. Something that only a professional photographer would think about.

Summary of total makeover costs

Painters $4,950
Pressure cleaners $ 360
Curtains $ 610
Furniture hire $3,190
Hardware items $2,275:

  • Pots & Plants
  • Mulch & fertiliser
  • Tapware
  • Hinges
  • Silicone & grout
  • Curtain hooks
  • All other maintenance


Notes: A further $1,600 was spent on a four week newspaper campaign and included the professional photography.

Contact Julie today if you want to get the best result for your property!