Prepping the plans
If you never got around to that extra bedroom, en-suite, double garage or sleep-out, and now it’s time to sell, there could still be benefits to doing some paperwork to help make your property more attractive to buyers.
However, before you do anything, it’s important to think carefully about what these might add to your listing and whether it’s worth the effort. If the project needs building or resource consent, then it will take time and money (time frames and costs vary between councils), and the same goes for any architect plans you might get drawn up.
When weighing up the options, it is essential to consider whether the renovation will appeal to a likely buyer. If it’s an extra bedroom or bathroom, and your home will be popular with young families, the answer might be a resounding yes, and the paperwork already being done could be a real bonus for buyers. However, if the plans are for your dream triple garage that will take up most of the yard, it may not appeal to those same buyers looking for outdoor space.
Plans and consent could equally add value if they address a negative feature of the house – for example, the lack of an outdoor deck – by showing buyers that the addition can be done and allowing them to cross that particular ‘black mark’ off their list.
Having these things in place will only appeal to some buyers though, and the time, cost and energy of securing consents and plans may not add anything for the majority of people who don’t wish to do the work, want to come up with their own ideas, or are happy with the property as is.
Doing the work
If the renovation or add-on is really going to add value by making the property more attractive, remedying a very negative feature, or adding a potential income stream, then it could be a better idea to simply forge ahead with the work before you put the house on the market, and potentially reap the rewards in your sale price.
However, it’s important to discuss such plans beforehand with a reputable real estate agent who can advise on whether it will pay off in the long run, and crucial that you keep the build costs within set limits to ensure you make the best possible profit.