The makeover secrets that move your home faster

Written by Barry Du Bois

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First let me say, there is a massive difference between buying a property to quickly flip it and trying to sell the home you have lived in for 10 or 15 years. Obviously when flipping a property it’s vital you paid the right price to begin with. The common theory is not to spend any more than 10% of the purchase price on non-structural renovations. Give it a coat of paint, open it up, make it as appealing as possible and dress it for sale. If you are selling your home then the golden rule is to spend as little as possible. This is about clearing and styling. You have, no doubt, changed in the years you have lived there and you have probably made some changes to the home as well.

Patch any cracks or gaps in walls, sand and fill with a flexible sealant. Be sure to choose a sealant that can be painted over.

Repaint walls: so much can be done with paint, but don’t go crazy with colour. Buyers don’t care if you love purple or British racing green and if you paint your bedroom wall red you may need your head read! Choose neutral shades. Allow potential buyers to visualise their own colour themes, paintings and furnishings in the space. Paving paint can transform concrete pathways, pool surrounds, even garage floors and it’s a lot cheaper than tiles.


In the bathroom it’s a pretty simple job with the products available these days to replace the silicone around the bath and refresh the tile grout. Get a new toilet seat and make sure the bathroom is spotless and fresh.


Cupboards and bench tops can be painted and splash backs can be replaced by a DIYer with minimal skills but if you’re not up to that just make sure the inside of the cupboards and draws are clean and not over packed. Remove all the clutter from bench tops and always have flowers and a fresh bowl of fruit in the kitchen. Remove all personal notes, photos and magnets from the fridge, give all appliances a good clean, and make sure the kitchen blinds are open. If you have an offensive vista change it. Use large potted plants just outside the window to block an unsightly vista but have natural light and ventilation streaming in when possible.

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Living areas

My pet hate these days is TV cabinets. When presenting a property to market you want potential buyers to see as much floor space as possible. Use the vertical space rather than floor space. Floating shelves and a TV wall bracket will get everything required off the ground and give a sense of volume to a loungeroom. Anything other than a TV and Fox box is really just personal clutter.


Worn carpet always leaves a bad impression. It may not be a DIY job, but where possible polished floors are always a great option. Floating floors are also another way to lift the feel and give a home a fresh new look. You may be a pet lover but not everyone is, so if you have a dog kennel, make sure it is not against the house. And make sure Rover is out with you when people are inspecting the home.

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Floor space and flow is key in a bedroom. Remove half of whatever is in your cupboards and drawers, clear and clean any surfaces. Remove toys and personal items. Old curtains and blinds should be removed, clean glass thoroughly and install roller blinds. These only require a few screws and make a world of difference.

Have any broken glass repaired, make sure all light globes are working and new light shades make a huge difference. I am a greenie and have a compost bin, but if you don’t intend to take items like the old BBQ, compost bin, worm farm etc to your next home get rid of them before you present your home to the market.

Replace missing fence palings and make sure the grass has been mown. Cleaning roof gutters, unblocking drains and removing cobwebs make a huge difference to the overall look. Don’t move all this stuff to the garage either! Completely declutter the garage and if possible paint the floor in a light grey.