• A buyer’s agent can help you renovate

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    If you’re looking to purchase a home to renovate, consider hiring a REIWA buyer’s agent.

    Emma Everett, Chairperson of REIWA's Buyer's Agent Network, said there are many variables to consider when renovating and a lot of room for error if correct due diligence is not carried out.

    “A buyer’s agent can help you research the end value and define what features are most sought after in an area, connect you to other professionals like interior designers and tradespeople, and help you avoid properties unsuited to renovations,” Ms Everett said.

    Research

    The key to ensuring a successful renovation is conducting thorough research.

    “First and foremost, we look to understand what your strategy is. Are you renovating to increase equity or to improve rental income? This will have a big impact on the style of renovation and also the property selection,” Ms Everett said.

    Other variables a buyer’s agent will factor in include:

    • Is the location right? Will buyers pay more to buy or rent a renovated property in this area? Is the price gap big enough to warrant taking on the cost and time?

    • What features and standard of renovation are expected by buyers in the area? For example, would laminate bench tops suffice or is a higher quality product needed?

    • Is the house layout suited to a renovation? Construction work is much more expensive than cosmetic work. In most cases, homes with open plan living areas, large rooms and high ceilings will perform better once renovated. If the rooms are too small or the house is poorly laid out, paint and carpet won’t have much impact.

    • What is the likely cost? Can the agent get fixed quotes or do they need to work from a budget?

    • Are there any big issues with the building, electrical, roofing etc that might make a renovation impractical?

    Professional contacts

    As experts in the area of buying and renovating, buyer’s agents have a wealth of industry contacts that can help you with your renovations.

    “Generally it takes ongoing networking to meet the right contacts like professional builders, tradespeople, interior designers and renovation companies – which can be hard to do if you’re only getting quotes for one job.

    "As real estate professionals, buyer’s agents are regularly meeting and working with a variety of tradespeople and suppliers. They will not only be able to recommend suppliers based on quality but also who is the right match in style, quality, price and scale for your particular renovation project.

    “We also recommend utilising the services of a depreciation expert before and after the renovation project. In many cases you can write off materials you are throwing away during a renovation, which is a tax benefit often missed by renovators,” Ms Everett said.

    Common mistakes

    Renovations are large projects, so mistakes are easily made. Ms Everett said a buyer’s agent will have extensive knowledge in this area and can help you avoid mistakes.

    “Renovation plans based on unrealistic numbers is a common mistake we encounter, with some buyers under-estimating costs or over-estimating returns. A REIWA buyer’s agent can conduct thorough research for you to help outline realistic parameters for your project.

    “We can also help you avoid nasty surprises in the building and property standards by completing thorough due diligence on your behalf to ensure all is satisfactory prior to settlement,” Ms Everett said.