David doubled down on the outside

Luke Parker

David Ryan was ready to sell his Browns Bay home but knew in order to maximise its sale price he would need to sort out his front and back yards to get that strong first impression with potential buyers.

“I bought it as an old bach and paid $400,000 for it three-and-a-half years ago which was land value only. I lived in it for nearly a year before deciding to bowl the majority and start renovating as well as adding a second floor to it.”

He said three years on, the interior and exterior of the 250sqm property was in good shape but elements of the outside landscaping were letting its potential down. The section was 800sqm.

“I wanted to present the house in the best possible way for prospective buyers. The plan was to get it to a point where it was pretty much a blank landscape for somebody to come in and create their own unique look and feel.”

David painted the fences and had a landscaper come in to level and re-sow parts of the lawn. That

created three planting areas which used to be clay around the deck and organised rocks and plants to lift the appearance of the front of the house. Some old trees were taken down to open up the view to the sea.

In addition, new concrete paths were put in, a retaining wall was replaced and sections of the driveway that were damaged were tidied up.   

“We also painted the base of the house and put some horizontal trellising around the base of the deck which made a big difference,” David said.

He got the paint from Colour Plus, building supplies and trellising from PlaceMakers and plants from Palmers.

All in all, he estimates the work on the outside cost around $25,000.

His expectation was that the property would sell for around $1m and after 6 weeks on the market it was bought by negotiation for just over $1.06 million.

“I definitely think putting the extra $25,000K into the property to do those things made it easier to sell and would have added $50,000 to the price,” he said. “I think being presented well played a big part in how the house sold.”

Don’t be afraid to take advice

The best advice David got was discussing with the real estate agent what she thought best in presenting the house. A lot of the time their views were quite different but he trusted her judgment on knowing what it took to sell in the area.

“The strategy was that the next owners could move in and it would be perfect to live in but could be enhanced by adding their own touches to the garden and landscaping without having to do any heavy duty stuff. It worked out well,” David said.