Why intricate local knowledge and a good insight into the Lower North Shore market facilitated an amazing result for a unique and enchanting home.
The well-known phrase ‘spend money to make money’ certainly rang true for the sale of this historic Cremorne Point home. With a well thought out strategy for repairs and improvements and clever marketing campaign, the property sold for $1.2 million over the price guide.
What did the property offer?
Set on 1,144 square metres of lush, established gardens, the circa 1893 Victorian sandstone home 'Arden' was just moments to the shores of Sydney Harbour. With five sun-drenched bedrooms, a French provincial kitchen leading to a large travertine conservatory and attractive wrap around veranda, the property oozed charm and tradition.
Well-established local agent, Piers van Hamburg, explained, ‘The property was left in a bad state by tenants. Damp throughout the house was left unchecked, water was leaking in from outside, the tenants had left rubbish everywhere and the gardens were out of control.’
If left in the current state the property could have reached around $7,000,000 at auction. Piers convinced the vendor that spending $100,000 to fix up many of the obvious problems could see them achieve a much higher result.
The price guide for ‘Arden’ was $7,500,000 and sold under the hammer for $8,700,000. Well worth the expense of investing a bit of money up front.
What improvements were focused on?
Working with his team from DiJones and external tradespeople, a raft of improvements and repairs were undertaken to give the property a wide appeal.
- The gardens were out of control due to years of neglect, so an arborist was engaged to tidy up the well-established trees and a gardener to get the grounds under control.
- Existing paint was shabby and tired so a large percentage of the pre auction outlay was focussed on new paint to freshen up the entire property.
- New carpet was installed to create a full floor to ceiling makeover.
- A number of building works were carried out including ceiling repairs, outdoor pergola maintenance and the removal of a damaged awning.
A styling company was bought in and given a brief to find furnishings that complemented the home’s heritage features. Piers’ team got the stylists to specifically source a farmhouse table for the glass atrium that made the room an appealing space during inspections.
Who were the ideal buyers?
‘Historic homes in Cremorne Point only come up every five years, so the sale of this property was a once in five-year opportunity,’ said Piers. The ideal buyers were someone with the vision to see what it could be, so a broad marketing campaign was run through newspapers, online presence, and the use of the extensive DiJones database. There were buyers from all over Sydney interested in this magnificent property.
Piers and his team delved into a significant amount of research on the history of the home, which was a point of interest for additional editorial opportunities and also prospective bidders.
How was 'the dream home' sold?
From 1903 to 1920 the property was Arden College, an all-girls private school, the college then expanded and moved to larger grounds. In 1970 the home was restored and used as a private home and remains as one today.
Using his local knowledge, Piers knew the right experts to contact and engaged a local architect specialising in luxury homes. Phil Corben of Corben Architects helped sell the dream to interested parties by clearly presenting and explaining opportunities for further renovation and expansion, subject to council approval.
What advice would you give to homeowners looking to sell?
Provide as much information on the property to buyers as possible to help them visualise themselves living in the house. Explain how the property sets itself apart from others in the same area and offer expert advice on how changes and improvements could be implemented.
The broad range of detail provided to interested buyers armed them with a sense of what could be, what had been and what a unique piece of real estate this splendid home provided.
Other Lower North Shore articles and resources
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