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Renovating Your Home Before Selling, Is It Worth It?

April 5, 2018

Even if it has been kept in pristine condition since Day One, it’s likely that your home needs a makeover for it to look presentable to potential buyers. Yet, renovating for sale isn’t always the most valid strategy because of the costs involved. Here, we show you the reasons why it works and doesn’t work in Singapore.

Why You Shouldn’t Renovate Just To Sell

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Interior Designer: akiHAUS

A home renovation generally serves two purposes: to beautify a home, and to make it useful. But what if the new owners don’t share your needs or wants?

Assuming that is the case, the inside of your (painstakingly-renovated) home will be torn down and re-built to suit their requirements.

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Interior Designer: TAB Gallery

“Personally, I don’t believe anyone will buy a new flat without having renovation plans at the back of their minds, they will want something of their own,” says Chris Huang of Bowerman Interior Planner. “Also, bear in mind that style can be subjective; what seems appealing to you, may not look good in the eyes of a new homeowner.”

From a functional standpoint, the same can be said about building ambitious, new home features. A luxurious walk-in wardrobe in the bedroom may be an interior must-have for a fashionista, but for a young family that needs the space for their infant’s crib? Not so much.

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Interior Designer: Briey Interior

Another factor that will make you think twice about renovating is the additional cost that it poses. (Let’s be frank, money makes the world go round).

The average price of a full-scale renovation is about $50,000, and it's a sum that you will have to pay on top of legal fees and your property agent’s commission (usually 2% of the total sale price, according to local property portal If your home is sold within 4 years of ownership, the Seller’s Stamp Duty (4 – 12% of your home’s actual price or market value) also applies.

Long story short? If you are keen on embarking on a pre-sale renovation, think about how it will impact your returns.

Why You Should Renovate Before Selling

On the flip side, some form of work has to done before you can take a house from drab to fab.

In such cases, what Chris recommends is a no-frills renovation that focuses less on space reconfiguration, but more on touching up minor, but observable flaws.

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Interior Designer: Absolook

“Most of your makeover budget should go into styling your home. But if it’s necessary, like in the case of older homes in mature estates, you may want to replace old or chipped wall and/or floor tiles or give your rooms a new paint job,” he says. “These are the little things that potential buyers and new homeowners will appreciate.”

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Interior Designer: Imago Dei 3

In particular, you may want to focus on two areas: the kitchen and the bathroom. Because of their importance in everyday life, upgrading both spaces can help raise the perceived value of a house and the price it commands.

There’s also the option of home styling, which is the art of jazzing up a space with vibrant prints, striking colours and other visually-pleasing elements. However, bear in mind that it doesn't solve problems that only a renovation can fix, such as faulty and/or worn-out fixtures.

The Final Verdict

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Interior Designer: Cozy Ideas Interior Design

Unless it looks like the inside of an abandoned asylum (we hope not), don’t overhaul your home just to sell it. Instead, renovate your fixer-upper in the right places to leave a better impression on potential buyers.

Looking For A Simple, Fuss-Free Renovation?

Whether it’s a simple restoration or a top-to-bottom makeover, if you are looking to renovate your home, let us help! Simply request for renovation quotes here, and we will match you with 5 interior designers, based on your budget and style.

And while you are at it, also check out our Products directory where you can discover a range of home products, furniture and appliances in Singapore!

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