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The Block's winning kitchen: how an agent's advice pays off.

Making changes to your home with the goal to sell? It pays to check-in with your local sales agent. And that's exactly what the couple from South Australia, Daniel and Jade from House No. 3, learnt during kitchen reveal week on The Block.

Stunning the judges with a kitchen design deserving of a luxurious Brighton home, the couple won their first room reveal. But rewind several weeks earlier. If Daniel and Jade had not listened to their selling agent, David Wood of Belle Property Albert Park, then this could have been a very different story.

"When it comes to building, renovating or even making cosmetic changes to a property, sellers often make the mistake of focusing on what appeals to them. Not what their target market is looking for," explains Belle Property CEO, Peter Hanscomb. "Any real estate professional will tell you that this could be disastrous come auction day."

Seeking the advice of a sales agent during a new build is one thing. But, when you are looking to make changes to your existing home with the goal to sell, the advice of a local sales agent is invaluable. They take the emotion a seller might have out of the equation, and they will give you practical advice on where you should invest for a bigger return.

Often, changes a sales agent recommends can be cosmetic fixes, such as a fresh coat of paint. They could also recommend investing in re-doing the flooring, converting closed-off kitchens into open-plan or creating an outdoor living space. All of which will drive up the sale of your property.

When Daniel and Jade revealed their plans for their kitchen, living and dining space, David, a Block veteran, and his co sales agent, Stephanie Evans, weren't exactly on board with the new design, which was a 4.1-metre-long island bench that doubled as a dining area. David didn't like the curve, but he also didn't like how Daniel and Jade switched the floor plan around.

"I have never seen an extended island bench quasi dining space ever work. I've never had buyers coming in saying that they really love the space," David says

Not convinced that he could sell a property in the new layout that Daniel and Jade had put together, David recommended switching back to the architect's original floorplan. By completely reconfiguring the kitchen layout while retaining the same amount of bench space, Daniel and Jade gave themselves a generous butler's pantry, and a house their agent was confident he could sell.

"We need to think practically about what the buyer's want. We have seen what works and what doesn't," says Stephanie.

Real estate agents specialise in specific suburbs and areas, meaning they become familiar with what buyers are looking for, and what aspects of a home will and won't sell. Drawing on their local market insight and knowledge of buyer behaviour, sales agents will always advise on what will achieve top tier results.

"David literally said, I don't think I am going to be able to sell this for you, which was really concerning," explains Daniel. "To hear David and Stephanie's expert opinion and say, no this has to go, it needs to be changed, then that's what we had to do."

By listening to your sales agent, it can save you money from making unnecessary changes. It will also help you invest in areas that will help push your final sale price up. Or in this case, David’s years of experience and understanding of what buyer’s want in the Brighton area helped get Daniel and Jade a win during kitchen week, and an extra $10k into their renovation kitty.