Getting Your Home Ready For Sale
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.
De-clutter & Furniture Placement:
The aim is to create an atmosphere of your home as a shelter, a place that is warm and safe, and in good condition. We are happy to give you tips on presenting the home for sale, “de-cluttering” or furniture placement to give the illusion of more space and improve traffic flow, as well as leaving just enough accessories to give your home a personal touch. Apart from the physical requirements, people buy on how they think they will feel in your home.
We also use the services of “stylists” who hire furniture and accessories to create maximum visual & “wow” appeal. This service can be utilised if your property is unfurnished or needs additional furniture or accessories. Alternatively, we can use “virtual furniture” where an empty house is “furnished” using photos with digitally enhanced furniture. These enhanced photos are then used for marketing on the internet, brochures, letter-box drops, etc.
If your home has been renovated, has a historic background or has been owned by an important local identity, you might like to display a photo(s) of the original house with the history of the home to give buyers an insight into the background of the home.
Remove any personal fixtures that you are wanting to take from your home eg antique chandeliers. Replace with another fitting so they won’t need to be listed as exclusions on the contract of sale. Buyers often feel they are missing out on something if you state that you want to take a fitting with you. They will also want to know what you are going to replace it with. Easier to have it changed before showing your home.
Give your whole house a good spring clean giving special attention to your home’s front entry and door. Clean and paint the door if necessary. The first impression is likely to colour the remainder of the inspection of your home. Check ceiling and light fittings to make sure that they are clean and there are no cobwebs. Remove any rubbish that is around the yard or downstairs. Clear out the garage. Hire a skip if necessary. Tidy up the laundry, wipe down washing machine and store all dirty laundry in a closed container. Have the carpets cleaned and give your home a good airing. The best strategy is to remove any offensive odours rather than try to cover them up. Once offensive odours are removed, consider adding delightful ones by lighting scented candles, using a diffuser or air-freshener during inspections.
Kitchen & Bathrooms:
Pay particular attention to these rooms as they are always high on buyers’ priority lists and are rooms that buyers will scrutinise closely. Give these rooms a good clean so that everything sparkles. Don’t forget to wash the curtains and clean the windows. Replace old silicone around bath and sink areas. Re-grout tiles if some of the grout has fallen out. Buy new shower curtains and toilet seats. Clear off the top of the refrigerator. If you must use it for storage, use baskets or bowls to camouflage the items kept there. Remove magnets or stickers off the front of the refrigerator. Prior to inspections put fresh matching towels in the bathroom and close toilet seats. Have the kitchen stovetop clean, the sink sparkling and the benchtops de-cluttered to make the kitchen look as large as possible.
Get a handyman in to fix all those “little” jobs that never seem to get done. Fix all leaking taps, those kitchen cupboards that don’t close properly or hair-line cracks in plaster walls, etc. A buyer will mentally add up the cost of repairing all the minor flaws and will end up with an amount that is generally much higher than what it would cost you to do the repairs. Small repairs that need to be done can be perceived as owner neglect and they will also lead to the buyers questioning the level of maintenance on the rest of the home eg the roof, stumps. As a result, minor flaws can lead to either a lower purchase price or lengthen the time it takes to sell the property. Get everything done before your first showing.
If major work needs doing eg painting the outside of the home or putting in a new ensuite, discuss this with us. We will give you advice on whether it needs to be done. Often buyers like to put their own stamp on their new home and you also need to be sure you will get your money back when you sell if you decide to do the work. Always disclose anything that you know about the property when you decide to sell. Having been a consumer yourself, you know that a buyer will more readily make a purchase decision with someone they trust.
Lawns & Gardens:
Keep the lawns neat and tidy while the house is on the market. Weed and mulch gardens and put in some new plants to “freshen” up the garden. Trim overhanging tree branches, bushes and vines. Top up gravel stones around pavers or in other areas. Gravel stones are a quick and reasonably cheap option to tidy up areas rather than having soil showing eg area of yard that grass won’t grow in or under stairs. Pay particular attention to the front entrance of the home as first impressions count.
Sweep and wash the driveway to remove any leaves, debris, dirt and stains. Remove oil marks if there are any on the driveway or in the garage. Repair any cracks, edge the sides and pull up any weeds. An electric blower is great for a quick tidy-up.
As buyers are always looking for storage space, it is a good idea to tidy up any storage areas as neatly as possible so it is easy to see what room there is. If your cabinets, drawers and wardrobes are overflowing, buyers assume that your storage space is inadequate. Give away items you don’t use, store seldom-used items elsewhere, and reorganise shelves. Neat, organised shelves and drawers look larger and more adequate for the prospective buyer’s needs.
Queenslanders love outdoor living and decks can be a key selling feature of your home. Re-oil the deck so it looks fresh and keep clean while your home is on the market. An attractive outdoor setting will make the deck more appealing. Decks are always under scrutiny and the majority of buyers are now enquiring as to whether a deck structure has been certified and has Council approval. If your deck is not certified then it would be prudent to contact Council to see whether a certification can be done on your deck before your home is put on the market.
Remove scatter rugs that could be a trip hazard. Store chemicals out of the reach of children. Highlight areas with low head room by attaching a notice “Beware of Your Head” eg entrance to under home. Make sure the Hills clothes hoist is high enough for people to comfortably walk under.
Boundaries of your Property:
If you do not have fences erected, mark the corners of the boundary of your property with stakes. This is especially useful with large or irregular lots to prevent misunderstandings about your representation of the boundary lines. If you have had a survey of the land and have surveyor pegs in place, even better.
Have a Pool Safety Inspection done. It is noted on a Contract if a property has a pool and whether a Certificate is in place. Having a Certificate will allow the buyer to buy with the confidence that there is the Certificate is in place and you are not trying to hide anything. Keep the pool clean and sparkling while your home is on the market so it looks inviting.
Wash the House:
Give your house a wash or get it done professionally (low-pressure or hand-washed). Have the gutters cleared so your home looks its best during inspections.
Lights & Window Dressings:
Check to see if all lights work, the fittings are clean and there are no cobwebs. Add a battery operated light to walk-in robes if lighting is inadequate. The lights throughout your home will be put on during inspections and the blinds and curtains opened to allow your home to look light and airy.
During inspections it is preferable for you to leave the property. Buyers like to feel free to have a look at the property and if you are present, they usually feel uncomfortable and won’t take the time to do a thorough inspection or ask questions as they feel as though they are intruding. They also find it more difficult to imagine your home as theirs. During the summer months, have the air-conditioner running on a cool setting during inspections.
Create a game plan to have your home ready for inspections. Write out a list of delegated tasks for each member of your family. It is especially important for children to be part of the inspection process. They can be encouraged to pick up clothing, shoes and personal possessions and do other chores to have your home ready for inspections.
If you have a pet, be aware that not all people like animals or birds. During inspections please organise to have any dogs out of the house. Cats usually will hide somewhere and sometimes it can be easier to leave them in the house but it is preferable for them to be also out of the house during inspections. If you have a bird, make sure the cage is kept clean. Other pets… let us know and we can work out what needs to happen when inspections take place. Ensure pet droppings are cleaned up. Prospects will want to walk around your yard, especially during the home inspection.
Source: 90 Ways to Sell your Home Faster and For More Money by Robyn Witzke