9 June 2023

The real estate agent providing a one-stop, stress-free way to renovate your home for sale

| Katrina Condie
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Jonathan Charles’ building team completed a knock-down rebuild project at 4 Willcock Place in Curtin, which he then sold for $2.875 million in February. Photo: Independent.

So, you’re selling your home and want to give it a bit of a spruce up. Where do you start and, more importantly, where do you stop? How much should you spend to ensure you don’t over-capitalise?

One Canberra real estate agent knows all the tricks of the trade to maximise profit when selling your home.

Independent Property Group (IPG) sales agent Jonathan Charles co-owns a building company with a team of tradies that will make your home look its best ahead of auction day.

“Renovating a property for sale can end up costing homeowners bucket loads of time and money and, if it’s not done right, they can end up very disappointed when the hammer falls,” he said.

“In the current buyers’ market, we need to make sure what we’re offering is the best it can be.”

As a director at Complete Property Projects, Jonathan coordinates a team of tradespeople to ensure pre-sale renos are carried out on time, on budget and to the highest standard – before the home hits the market.

Deciding what work to do and how much to spend on a renovation are questions every seller contemplates and, without the right advice, many makeover attempts end in disaster.

More than 15 years of real estate experience combined with running his building company for eight years puts Jonathan in a unique position to identify where improvements can and should be made and which are not worth the cost.

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Before listing a home for sale, Jonathan works closely with his vendors to compile a thorough list of jobs to be completed and facilitates his expert tradespeople getting on site and completing the work.

From a quick garden makeover or a lick of paint all the way through to a full renovation of flooring, bathrooms and kitchens, the team is onsite quickly getting everything done before the property is listed.

“We sit down with the vendor and make a detailed list of renovations or updates we think will give them the best return on their investment,” he said.

“We forecast what the investment will be for the potential return and also put a timeline in place so the work is carried out before we start marketing the property.”

Once the owners have agreed on the scope of works, the budget and the sales strategy, Jonathan sets his team to work.

“The owner pretty much leaves everything in our hands to manage the trades and get the property to market,” he explained.

“It’s a complete package that takes the stress and hassle out of chasing tradies, working out budgets and coordinating the timing of work. It can be overwhelming for homeowners managing 20 trades, which is why people often shy away from doing it themselves.”

He says many homeowners spend money on things that won’t increase the sale price of their home or attempt makeovers themselves that may not suit the current trend or market.

“People often inject big dollars into projects that won’t impact the final result,” he said.

“Sometimes just little things can make a big difference, and if you’ve gone and put in an expensive new kitchen that isn’t what buyers want, you might not get that money back.”

Multiple award-winning Complete Property Projects can carry out knock-down rebuilds, custom builds and they have a renovation arm that works hand-in-hand with Jonathan’s real estate clients.

“We employ eight full-time tradespeople who work on renovations, which enables me to do all the work on our timeframe at a really reasonable cost for the client,” he said.

“At a minimum, we make sure the properties have a great street appeal with beautiful gardens, painting the outside of the home and making sure there are no defects that could put a buyer off.

“We can replace flooring and carpets, paint inside and out, refresh bathrooms and kitchens and window treatments, all the way up to a full renovation.

“Outdoor entertaining is popular, especially in spring and summer, so if the home lends itself to it, we can add a deck or landscaped area with a fire pit in the backyard which always boosts the value.”

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Jonathan says working in real estate provides invaluable insight into what buyers are looking for, as well as on-trend looks and property styling.

“In this day and age, it’s important to take advice from stylists about colours and materials and to have home styling as part of your gameplan,” he explained.

“We work with the best stylists to ensure a home looks its best, and potential buyers are excited about the prospect of living there.”

Depending on their situation, Jonathan offers clients flexible payment options and is transparent throughout the process.

Jonathan is based in Woden but compiles his home maintenance and marketing packages for clients all over Canberra, from full custom homes to one-bedroom apartments. He says most of his work comes from repeat clients who appreciate being able to step back and let someone else manage the entire process.

If you’re thinking of selling and would like advice about renovating before sale, contact Jonathan at Independent Property Group (IPG).


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