To get the best possible price for your property, you’ll need to make sure that your place looks good from the street as well as inside. Here are a few hints to help you make your home more appealing to potential buyers.
Make sure the fences are in good condition. Carry out repairs such as straightening loose posts and repairing holes.
Make sure you keep your lawns neatly trimmed, including the edges. It also adds appeal if your lawns are green and weed free.
Paths, driveways and paved areas
Clean up any grease or oil marks. Remove all weeds from any cracks or joins. Keep these areas swept and tidy while your property is on the market.
Keep your garden weed free and make sure your plants look healthy. Put down fresh mulch to make the gardens look well cared for, inhibit weed growth and reduce the amount of watering needed. If you’ve got bare patches, consider picking up some bright flowers. Trim back any climbing plants that may have got out of control.
Trees and shrubs
Trim back any branches that are dead or too ‘leggy’. Remove any limbs that block sun to windows. This will help make your home more appealing inside.
Pools and ponds
Make sure your pool is clean and sparkling. Any fish ponds and birdbaths need to be clean and clear of weeds.
Patios and decks
To make these areas look their best, make sure furniture is in good repair. The area should be clean and free from clutter. A few pot plants can add extra appeal.
The building exterior
Wash the walls, eaves and windows, or hire a professional to do it. If the paintwork is flaking, don’t decide to repaint without discussing it with your agent – it may not be worth the cost involved. Repair any broken windows and replace damaged flyscreens.
The yard – general
Make sure there is no rubbish or junk left lying around. If you have compost heaps, make sure they are neat and not attracting vermin or bugs. Make sure your sprinkler system is in good working order.
Garage or carport
Remove as much clutter as possible to make these areas look larger. Check the garage door moves smoothly and any locks are in working condition.
Drains and guttering
Make sure your guttering and drains are clean and clear of leaves or any other blockages.
Give each room a thorough cleaning and clear away any clutter. Consider having your carpets steam cleaned. Fix any loose or squeaky flooring. Check that all the doors and windows open easily and that all door handles are in good repair. Clean all windows to allow in maximum light. You’ll need to repair any damaged tiling or wallpaper and you should think about painting any chipped walls.
Make sure these are tidy and well arranged to give the impression of more space. This is a good time to get rid of odds and ends.
Plumbing, air-conditioning and fans
Make sure there are no dripping taps or pipes. Consider having air-conditioners serviced before you put your property on the market. All ceiling fans need to be operational, clean and run quietly.
These can add a lot to the appeal of a house. If you haven’t got any, think about buying some to brighten up your property.
Lights and light fittings
Check that all the lights are working and replace any blown globes. The fittings and switches need to be clean and in good condition too.
If you have carpets, you should have them professionally cleaned to make them look their best.
The stove, refrigerator and sink all need to be at their sparkling best to make this room attractive. Clear the benches as much as possible to make it look larger.
Just before inspection
Put clean towels in the bathroom and clean tea towels in the kitchen. If your budget will stretch to it, buy new towels in a colour that complements your bathroom and put them out during inspections. Make sure the house smells good. You could put a few drops of vanilla essence in a hot oven, brew some coffee or light an oil burner. Open all the curtains and blinds and switch on inside lights to make the house look light and airy.
Restrain any pets – unfortunately not everyone is an animal lover. Switch off the television. You might want to put some quiet background music on. Finally, leave the house before inspection time. If the current owner is there, buyers may not take the time to look through a house properly because they feel they are intruding on the owners’ territory.