What Property Valuers Look For Outside Your Home

A property valuer could determine the price range of your home before they even walk through the front door.

That’s why outdoor renovations should not be overlooked when preparing to sell your home.

Bathroom and kitchen renovations are often prioritised by homeowners wanting to increase the sale price of their property. But improving the exterior of the home could offer greater rewards.

Realestate.com.au reported Cathy Morrissey of The Reno Chick, made a $105,000 profit from a $6,000 cosmetic refresh of the front of her Sydney investment property, in just 35 days.

Proving first impressions really do count, Cathy says it’s the front yard that gets people in the front door, and if sellers don’t capture a potential buyer’s interest in the first ten seconds, they might lose them.

In a highly competitive market, everyone is hoping for the best returns. So what exterior features drive up the value of a property? And where do you begin?

Renovating for Profits’ Cherie Barber says as a general rule of thumb, aim to at least double, or ideally triple, your investment for every dollar you spend.


While having a freshly mowed lawn is a good start, carefully considered and low-maintenance landscaping can give your property greater buyer appeal. Adding concrete pathways, garden beds or a new driveway creates clean borders, giving structure and order to your outdoor space. Elaborate, established gardens can be perceived as a liability and could turn some buyers away, whereas the appearance of low maintenance gardens can help increase property value. Some reports estimate an overall landscape upgrade can provide a 105 percent return on investment.

Painting or Rendering

Dated exteriors can be updated quickly and affordably with fresh paint or cement rendering. Choosing the right paint colours is important, and fresh neutral colours will maximise returns. Outdated red brick or blonde brick walls can be covered with cement rendering, which has been estimated to return $10 for every $1 spent.

Outdoor entertaining area, alfresco or patio

Australians are known for their love of the great Aussie barbecue and entertaining friends and family. Indoor-outdoor living is always in demand, offering potential for greater returns for homes with a dedicated outdoor entertaining area, which Domain describes as an ‘emotional driver’ for buyers. And it doesn’t have to be extravagant. Even a modest patio or alfresco upgrade of $2000 to $8000 can increase property value by providing additional all-year-round living space. State Custodians recommends capping total renovation costs to a maximum of 5 per cent of the total property value, with the aim of increasing property value by at least 10 per cent.

Off Street Parking and Driveway

If you’ve ever paid for parking in a major Australian city, you know how valuable those few square metres of ground can be. In high density urban areas in particular, off-street parking significantly increases property value. Even if there isn’t room for a garage or carport, building a concrete driveway can work in your favour when it comes time to sell. For those with an existing gravel driveway, Inman estimates paving a gravel driveway can earn up to 75 per cent ROI, using material such as decorative concrete.

Finish Renovations

We’ve all seen it – properties listed for sale with unfinished renovations and extensions. The listing proclaims a ‘renovator’s delight’, but it could be more of a nightmare for the potential buyer. Why has the seller abandoned it? Termites? Asbestos? No return on investment? Simply too expensive to fix? Although there is a market for the classic ‘fixer upper’, Mortgage Choice says buyers and valuers look more favourably on completed renovations.

Tidy Up

This may seem obvious, but valuers still report assessing properties with unmowed lawns and untidy backyards. Realestate.com.au says ensuring your property is well presented will benefit the valuation. They recommend clearing the yard of any unkempt plants or structures, and completing a general tidy up prior to your property appraisal.

For more tips on how to add value to your property from the outside, claim your free Geostone e-book.