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Transforming ordinary homes into extraordinary sales

John Thistleton 17 July 2019
The light, bright and welcoming interior which lifts the lovely home.

The light, bright and welcoming interior which lifts the lovely home.

Canberra residential property specialists Jonny Warren and Fiona Murray understand the stark difference between living in a home and selling one. Working as a duo, they take the hard work – and risk – out of transforming a home into a sales success.

The Independent Inner North and City sales team appraise their clients’ property, advise on how to maximise its value and set out a schedule of work to bring the home to its maximum sales potential in the Canberra market.

They then project manage renovations to completion. They engage a stylist to furnish the home which they can then confidently open for inspection, and take it to the final sale.

One such project is 26 Larakia Street, Waramanga. Jonny recalls that for over 40 years the vendors had hoarded and piled up belongings to a point of being unable to manage a way forward. The garden had grown into a little jungle, in which people could barely find the house on the 746-square metre block. A big, sinister-looking shed dominated the yard.

The backyard ‘’jungle’’ at 26 Larakia Street, Waramanga, before Jonny Warren and Fiona Murray arrived.

The backyard ‘’jungle’’ at 26 Larakia Street, Waramanga, before Jonny Warren and Fiona Murray arrived.

Jonny and Fiona’s trusted tradies of painters, landscapers, electricians, Bobcat operator and plumbers swung into action. “Everyone knows, deep down what needs to be done,” Fiona says. “It just comes down to money, it just takes a little bit of convincing.”

Jonny adds: “When we go through we want to make sure that for every dollar they spend on improvements we want about a $3 return at the sale.”

The shed was taken away creating more space outside. New garden beds were established, turf was brought in and a pergola roof was replaced with laser light sheeting.

The backyard after the Independent Inner North and City specialists had done their work.

The backyard after the Independent Inner North and City specialists had done their work.

The $45,000 makeover included fresh painting, moving interior walls, taking out a bookshelf and installing LED lighting. A fresh coat of natural white paint replaced the forlorn, dark grey interior walls.

“There are probably three colours on the Dulux range people go for – either natural white, which has a little yellow in it, or vivid white which is really crisp, or Lexicon quarter-strength which is the middle ground,” Fiona says. “They are the three number one whites that everyone uses.”

De-cluttering was critical. Jonny says this creates an open space and good energy when potential buyers walk through inspecting an open home.

“If you have a lot of stuff in the house and buyers are looking at it, they cannot get that good feel for what the house can actually offer. De-cluttering and putting the furniture in the right place creates better opportunities to maximise the outcome of the sale on the house.”

More than six weeks on from their first visit, this three-bedroom brick- and- tile duplex is on the market, transformed from un-inviting to a light-filled magnet for potential buyers ahead of an auction on July 20.

“You don’t live the way you sell,” Fiona says. “You need to take away everyone’s clutter – easy in theory, hard in practice.”

The dreary interior before Jonny and Fiona had transformed 26 Larakia Street.

The dreary interior before Jonny and Fiona had transformed 26 Larakia Street.

She says soft furnishings like throw rugs, cushions and an inexpensive print can make a world of difference. “Taking out photographs of family members de-personalises it and makes it easier for a buyer to think of the house as their home, rather than walking into a room and seeing some family portrait on the wall,” Fiona says.

Jonny and Fiona engage a specialist stylist who chooses furniture, and for the Waramanga duplex, she has furnished the entire home, inside and out. The preliminary preparation can take from two to six weeks depending on what needs to be done. The project at 26 Larakia Street took six weeks.

Selling your home? Expert tips for transforming it into a sales success

You only get one shot at selling your home, so it’s important to get it right and avoid making common mistakes. Dynamic duo Jonny Warren and Fiona Murray pride themselves on their fresh, innovative approach to real estate and have the know-how to help sellers get the best price they can. Click play to hear Jonny and Fiona talk about their roles, their point of difference, and how they add value by going above and beyond.

Posted by The RiotACT on Monday, 15 July 2019

The Independent agents say the first showing with online photos needs to be perfect.

Potential buyers thoroughly research homes online, and by the time they arrive for their first open home they are very interested in buying.

Jonny says at this point he and Fiona have eliminated all the things that a buyer might find to deduct from the amount of money they are willing to pay. Eyesores, a cracked wall or anything else looking dated or in need of repair. At Larakia Street, switching to clear laser light roofing on the pergola was perhaps the most significant. Throughout the home and garden, the difference is dramatic and uplifting.

26 Larakia Street goes to auction on 20 July at 3 pm. Contact Jonny Warren on 0431 797 891 or click here for more information.


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