By Greville Pabst
This season of The Block is about to come to an end, but we still have one main event left before we say goodbye to the beautiful houses on Regent Street in Elsternwick. The contestants have been working very hard for three months to save five houses from demolition and transforming them into dream properties.
If you are thinking about selling your home, there are a few things you can do to make sure you get the best possible outcome on auction day. Here are 10 tips and tricks you should consider before putting your home on the market:
Restore the old: The front part of the houses on The Block are old period homes and the contestants have done a great job in restoring these original details that have a charm that can’t be replaced, such as fireplaces and crown moulding. Hannah and Clint have even kept the bulky old-fashioned light fittings, but given them a modern touch that ties in well with the period charm.
Add more light: Many of the contestants have done this really well by making the most of the natural light. I was impressed by the large cathedral ceiling and skylight that Sarah and Jason added in their hallway, as it gives you that wow factor and also creates a bright welcoming feeling as soon as you step through the front door.
Fresh curtains and blinds: The sun can easily make the colour fade and it is a quick DIY job to install some new modern ones.
Replace outdated fixtures: A quick, easy and cost-effective fix that will make a huge difference to the look of the house, is to replace old doorknobs and handles. Such a simple change in the kitchen and bathroom can make a massive difference.
Light zones: In four of the five houses, the kitchen, living and dining area is one large open space. Ronnie and Georgia took their open area and created a different mood in each zone by using clever lighting. Carefully planned lighting creates space and purpose to an area.
Bathroom updates: Whitening the grout between bathroom tiles will make a noticeable difference and instantly make the bathroom feel more fresh and clean.
Refresh and repaint all doors: It is particularly important to pay attention to the front door, as this is one of the first thing a potential buyer will see when walking up towards your house. You can make an impressive entrance just by repainting the door and updating the door handle. Jason and Sarah added a beautiful double door, while Hannah and Clint painted their door in a light pink. Have a look around the street you’re in and see what is suitable for the street appeal.
Replace old yellowing electrical covers: While you’re at the hardware store, pick up some fresh, bright new covers for your light switch and power point covers – throw out the old yellowing ones covered in dust and the kids’ fingerprints. Again, this is quick, easy and cost effective, and will make the house look fresh and modern.
High pressure clean: Make sure to clean the house properly before inspection. And remember, it’s not just the inside that matters — a high-pressure clean of the driveway/paved outdoor area can make a huge difference.
Landscaping improvements: More often than not, an auction is held out the front of the property. This is where first and final impressions happen. Make sure you have trimmed the trees and bushes and cut the grass to make the property inviting. All the contestants restored the period features of the front properties, except Ronnie and Georgia, who gave it a more modern look by painting their house black and adding tiles to the veranda.
With the auction only a few days away, I am sure the contestants are getting really excited (and nervous) about the outcome. There is nothing like The Block auctions — anything can happen!
–Greville is CEO and executive chairman of WBP Group and one of the buyer’s advocates on The Block. He is a regular commentator on Sky News and the daily papers such as Herald Sun, the AFR and The Australian, helping everyday Australians make better property decisions.
The Block auction is on Sunday night at 7pm on Nine. We’d love to know who you think will win and why? Please comment below!