If there was ever a lesson that renovating is a mugs’ game – it was in the bitter disappointment of Mark and Duncan at The Block All Stars auction.
Nanjing Night Net

Despite six weeks of hard work – and stress – the buyers just didn’t fall in love with the fellas’ quirky ideas.

There was the fish tank (beautiful but requiring effort to maintain it) in the fireplace. The kid’s bedroom – a great idea, well-executed but limiting the buyer pool to someone with children (boys in particular), or a purchaser prepared to redecorate or rip out the room and start again.

And the “silent” talking birds in the backyard – although admittedly you could easily remove the bird cage if it wasn’t your thing.

There were plenty of elements that those on the hunt for a property could either love – or hate – at Mark and Duncan’s.

Even the animal-print splashback in the kitchen was different enough to potentially divide the market.

And while the backyard was gorgeous, its multiple levels and fish pond almost certainly would have put off families with babies and toddlers who wanted a safe, easy garden (like Phil and Amity’s) and investors desiring a property that had broad appeal to renters. The boys’ garden design was also somewhat at odds with the kids’ room inside (although admittedly the bedroom was designed for older kids).

Is the lesson that when you’re renovating with the intention of selling you should keep it safe, go mainstream and some might even say, a little boring?

In some ways, yes.

“If it is a bit quirky and it isn’t going to appeal to mainstream, we say to clients ‘you will get a discount to a comparable property without those quirks’,” says Lisa Bradley of Finders Keepers Buyers Agents.

“However, you will be giving that same discount away when you sell. So it’s not like you will be getting a bargain … unless you can change it.”

McGrath Estate Agent’s chief auctioneer Scott Kennedy-Green, who auctioned Dan and Dani’s property, says renovating for sale is not so much about avoiding the quirks as knowing your market.

“It was a house that was very specific [and] didn’t cater to the mainstream Bondi Beach taste,” he says of Mark and Duncan’s property.

“If you’re going to renovate and you’re going to pick a market, you have to identify with that market and make sure that you’re not leaving yourself short on prospective purchasers by anything that might narrow your buyer percentages.

“That backyard was a little bit challenging for utilisation on a day-to-day to basis. But there were also other areas in the house that were less than mainstream for the Bondi purchaser – it had a kids’ bedroom and it didn’t have a backyard so … it had many different themes to it, which were quite pleasant and appealing to look at but functionality and usability … for that sort of purchaser just wasn’t there.”

Did you love Mark and Duncan’s quirky property? Or do you think they would have been better off going for a more plain-vanilla approach?

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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