Avoid a Flop With These 15 House-Flipping Tips

Every investor knows that house-flipping or renovating for profit can be incredibly profitable. But, if you’re not prepared, you could end up with a flop on your hands instead. Mishaps can happen, even to some experienced renovators.

So, to help you avoid any costly or time-consuming missteps, look no further.

Here are things you’ll discover:

  • The benefits of flipping a house
  • House-flipping tips to avoid a flop and get the most profit
  • Why use Project Profit Calculator when flipping houses

Scroll down for some advice on how to avoid a renovation flop!

Tip #1: Know your market.
Tip #2: Consider the location.
Tip #3: Know the cost associated.
Tip #4: Get funding lined up before you start work.
Tip #5: Have contingency funds available.
Tip #6: Pay attention to detail.
Tip #7: Create a timeline for the flip and stick to it.
Tip #8: Get insurance.
Tip #9: Don’t forget about permits.
Tip #10: Do your due diligence.
Tip #11: Keep good records throughout the process.
Tip #12: Work with a qualified team.
Tip #13: Sell at the right time.
Tip #14: Be patient.
Tip #15: Have fun!
Final Thoughts

Tip #1: Know your market.

There are factors to consider when flipping a house, and you need to ensure you have a solid understanding of the market and the area you’re interested in investing in.

  • What are home prices like?
  • What’s the average time it takes to market and sell a property?
  • What kind of repairs do most homes need?
  • How does your styling fit with market expectations?
  • How much stock is there?
  • Are you focusing on an area with high demand?
  • Is this an area that will pay for the renovations you create? 

The more you know going into renovating for profit or house flipping, the better prepared you’ll be when unexpected things crop up. 

Knowing the market also (and most importantly) means knowing and understanding your numbers and the feasibility of a project! Without this, you are just taking a punt instead of investing in a property to flip! (We use the above ‘Free Project Profit Calculator’ to work through your numbers!

Tip #2: Consider the location.

Location is one of, if not the, most important aspects of flipping. After all, no matter how beautiful or well-built a property is, it will be hard to sell if it’s located in an undesirable location neighbourhood.

On the other hand, a renovator’s delight or a fixer-upper in a good location can still have more appeal and fetch a higher price than a move-in-ready home in a  compromised location.  

Think about where your ideal market might like to live. Is this a good spot for a family home, or is this the more desirable or less desirable area in your suburb? There can be a huge range of prices within a single suburb and a lot of sub-markets. Make sure you do your homework on the location that you are looking to buy in and understand that the uplift will, in fact, be there for your finished home. 

Of course, there’s more than just whether or not the neighbourhood and location is “good.” You’ll also want to consider proximity to schools, public transportation, and local amenities. Families with young children, for example, will likely look for homes close to good schools and not love living on the main road – this should factor into how you value a home and what type of renovations you will be looking to undertake.

Tip #3: Know the cost associated.

In real estate investing, you need to take a lot of things into account to be successful. One of the most important things is your budget. More specifically, you need to have a good estimate of the costs associated with flipping a house. 

Let’s go over some of the common costs you need in flipping.

Acquisition costs 

This is the amount of money you’ll need to purchase the property. This will include the purchase price of the property, as well as any fees associated with the purchase – like stamp duty and conveyancing. 

You need to make sure that you’re paying a fair price for the property to make a profit when you sell it. Be sure to do your own research as well as work with a trusted real estate agent who knows the market well. Just remember, when you are getting advice and figures from professionals, they might have a different outlook on you – but if you are investing, you need to verify the information they are giving you. 

 Renovation and Remediation costs 

Once you’ve purchased the property, you’ll need to do a renovation that adds value. Remember there may be remediation costs that the purchaser can’t see and won’t value, like re-stumping or structural improvements. 

Be sure to understand the true cost of the renovation works, including the professional fees and any other hidden costs, like site drainage or upgrading power. We would always recommend getting multiple quotes, and be sure to factor in any contingencies so that you don’t go over budget.

Holding costs 

While you’re making repairs and waiting for the property to sell, you’ll need to pay for ongoing expenses such as your mortgage, insurance, property taxes, and utilities. You’ll also need to factor in the opportunity cost of not having your money invested elsewhere during this period. 

We often see people forget to factor in the holding costs and value their money appropriately! 

Selling costs 

You’ll incur selling costs such as real estate commissions and capital gains taxes when it’s time to sell the property. You may also need a fee to undertake marketing which might include items like staging, hiring a professional photographer and advertising. There are areas that you must invest in to get the best returns, so do not leave them out of your budget!

Miscellaneous costs 

Other miscellaneous costs may come up during flipping a property. For example, you may need to pay for permits or inspections. There may also be legal fees if there are any disputed claims against the property or title realignment or even issues with neighbours that can see you land in mediation. 

Remember, you’ll have to put money into fixing up your project, but sometimes a smaller, quicker project will be more desirable than a big development with the added complications that these end up with and the longer timeframes too!

Working on a good and realistic budget from the outset is so important, as is adding a contingency to cover other expenses. Make sure you are truly adding value and not banking on a rising market – as this is not really adding any value, and you will need to purchase at the increased buy-in rate the next time you do a flip!

Tip #4: Get funding lined up before you start work.

If you’re not paying cash for the property, you’ll need to finance it. You don’t want to get halfway through the project only to find out you don’t have enough money to finish it. That means paying interest on the loan as well as any other fees associated with getting the loan.

Be sure to look around for the best rate and terms so you don’t spend more than necessary on financing costs. Talk to a lender or bank, and get pre-approved for a loan before you do anything else.

Work out your backstops and understand which loan might be the best for you and how they will work – for example, a construction loan might work well for you, but you might need to tip in your contribution before the bank will pay, and you may need to hire a builder and sign a standard building contract. 

Tip #5: Have contingency funds available.

Most experienced real estate investors know it’s always important to set aside some contingency funds. Why? Because the truth is, things don’t always go as planned when you’re flipping houses.

Maybe the repairs end up costing more than you thought they would. Perhaps you run into some unforeseen delays. Whatever the case, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and have some extra money set aside just in case.

If you’re looking for a feasibility tool to help you in your next big renovation, our Project Profitability Calculator can help you work out to be profitable. You’ll want to use this before investing in a property so that there aren’t any surprises down the line!

Tip #6: Pay attention to detail.

When making big renovations, there are usually three main areas that you need to focus on: the exterior, the interior, and the mechanical systems. Each of these areas has its own details that need to be considered for the renovation to succeed. 


The first thing you need to consider when renovating the exterior of a property is curb appeal. This is the first impression most prospects will have of your property, so you want to ensure that it looks good.

Pay attention to detail when painting or staining the exterior of your property. You also want to make sure that the landscaping is well-maintained. 


Kitchens and bathrooms are always a great place to start. These are two of the most important rooms in the house, so it’s important to ensure they’re in good condition. Also, adding a bedroom, bathroom, and living area can significantly increase your home’s value.

Mechanical Systems: 

Finally, you want to pay attention to detail when dealing with mechanical systems such as plumbing, electrical, and HVAC. These are intricate systems that need to be installed correctly for your property to function properly – the overall liveability and feeling inside your home will affect how well your home performs when it does go back on the market. 

Tip #7: Create a timeline for the flip and stick to it.

If you are looking at getting into the business of flipping houses or renovating for profit, you really need to have a timeline worked out from the outset and then try your best to stick to it. Otherwise, you could spend more years working on the house without ever seeing any return on your investment, and it doesn’t really serve the purpose you intended when you set out!

Being efficient will help keep costs down, too. Just be realistic about what you can accomplish in your time frame, and this will mean having a good understanding of who will complete the work and how this will be organised! 

Tip #8: Get insurance.

Insurance protects your investment in case of fire, wind damage, theft, or other covered hazards. When flipping, it’s important to have this type of protection in place in case something unexpected happens. 

There are three main types of insurance to consider:

  • Building Insurance helps protect the physical structure of the house. 
  • Construction Insurance is important while you are building. 
  • Contents insurance which covers all the items within the building. 

When building and renovating, you might also require contract works insurance and/or homeowners warranties. The work you are completing and how you complete it will determine what insurance you will require. 

Tip #9: Don’t forget about permits.

As you become one of the house flippers, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of finding an investment property, negotiating a good price, and getting started on the renovation work. But before you tear down walls and put in new floors, there’s one very important step you need to take—obtaining the necessary permits.

Which permits you specifically requipe will vary depending on your area. Make sure that any builders or contractors you hire are licensed and insured.

Please understand that this is not an area that you should scrimp or save! The new purchasers will want to see what permits were obtained, and any irregularities here will leave you open to risk. 

Tip #10: Do your due diligence.

If you are not confident in understanding the condition of an existing home, you might want to hire a professional building inspector to understand the current issues.  A good building inspector can help you avoid potential problems down the road and can give you peace of mind.

Here are ways to get a trusted building inspector when flipping.

  • Do your research. Not all home building inspectors are created equal. Some are more experienced, some are more detail-oriented, and some charge more than others.
  • Ask for recommendations. Talk to other real estate investors and see who they use for their inspections. Word-of-mouth referrals can be beneficial in finding a good building inspector.
  • Interview multiple inspectors. This will give you a chance to get to know the inspector and see if they’re a good fit for you.
  • Make sure the inspector is licensed. This is important for protecting yourself if something goes wrong during the inspection process.
  • Ask for a portfolio. You want to ensure the inspector has experience with the type of house you’re flipping, so they can identify any potential problems.
  • “Be there” for the inspection. If possible, try to be present for the inspection so you can ask questions and get clarification on anything that comes up. 
  • Follow up. After you’ve received the report, follow up with the inspector to discuss any items of concern and make a plan for addressing them before making an offer on the property, unless you have a subject-to clause. 

Tip #11: Keep thorough records throughout the process.

Being a real estate investor is a lot of work. Not only do you have to find good properties to invest in, but you also have to renovate and sell them for a profit.

Staying organised may not seem like the most glamorous part of flipping houses, but trust us – it’s important. Keeping good records throughout the flipping process will help you stay on track, avoid costly mistakes, and make the most of your profits. 

Tip #12: Work with a qualified team.

When renovating houses, you’ll need to partner with qualified professionals, from real estate agents to builders, trades and other professionals like conveyancers, mortgage brokers, photographers, stylists and beyond. Knowing who to work with (and who to avoid) can make all the difference in a successful flip!

Renovate with BuildHer Collective

At BuildHer Collective, we are all about helping our clients make the most money possible from their real estate investments.

We offer a range of services, from courses to help you build your dream home, to masterminds on renovating for profit or flipping houses to interior design for developments or renovations. Plus, we have a heap of freebies like the Project Profit Calculator that can help you assess your potential renovation and the potential profit you stand to make.

Tip #13: Sell at the right time.

You’ve researched, found a great property, and worked tirelessly to rehab it. Now it’s time to sell!

But when is the best period to list your newly renovated home? 

To maximise profits on your flip, you need to pay attention to local real estate market conditions. Plus, learn when the best time to sell is to get top dollar for your property.

This is not always as simple as selling in Spring, but more understanding of what is listed on the market at a given time and ensuring your project has the best chance to succeed as possible. 

Tip #14: Be patient.

Flipping houses can be a great way to make money in the local market, but it’s not a quick game; it does require a lot of work

Patience truly is a virtue. The process from start to finish can test even the most experienced flipper’s patience levels. But if you power through and remain patient throughout each stage of the process, you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful home that potential buyers will be eager to snatch up–all while earning a healthy profit in the process.

Tip #15: Have fun!

Let’s be real here… flipping houses can be stressful at times, but it should also be enjoyable. After all, not everyone gets to own their own home renovation business!

Embrace the opportunity and enjoy your investment strategy. We LOVE this game and love having an awesome community of DevelopHers, all working on ensuring their living the lifestyle of their dreams and investing in their future wealth!

If you are interested in having this as a career, please check out our DevelopHer’s course and book a call today!

Final Thoughts

At its core, house flipping is the process of buying a property and undertaking renovations, extensions or new builds to increase its market value. While that may sound simple, there are things you should keep in mind if you’re thinking about trying flipping houses. That’s why we’ve put together these 15 tips to help you avoid any major mistakes and save money.

At BuildHer Collective, we know what buyers are looking for and can help you make strategic renovation decisions that maximise your investment return. Contact us to learn more about making your home renovation project a success!

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