Preparing Your Home for Sale

September 2016, By Nicole Langelier.

When it comes to styling for sale, it may take more than just our savvy styling to get your property ready. Often we do a lot of work before we install the furniture. Here are a few pointers on what to look at when selling your property.

Façade & Garden – Kerb appeal is real. If your property looks great from the street it could really increase the value of your property. The first photo people will see when they are looking on-line for a new home will be the outside of the house, so make sure it looks its best. Clean the gutters, get rid of the cobwebs, stain the deck, mow the lawn, mulch and plant flowers and trees where necessary. If you have a trampoline to get rid of or something that may have killed off the grass, make sure you allow yourself plenty of time to plant some more to fill the dead patch. If you have a direct view into your neighbour’s windows consider a little bit of fencing – bamboo screens are cheap and simple to put up. Also consider screening water tanks, sheds, Colourbond sheds, etc. If you live in an apartment consider screening your AC compressor units with plants or furniture, as they can be a real eyesore.

Declutter – (You knew I was going to say that didn’t you?) You want to clean the cupboards, the closets and the garage. Don’t put it all back in the garage if you can avoid it, the punters want to see clean open spaces. Like it or not people will look inside of everything, so don’t leave it to chance and tidy everything up. Since you are already packing, make sure to pack away personal photos (don’t forget the fridge pics) and don’t leave out your personal bathroom products either – you don’t want prospective buyers getting quite that personal. I recommend getting yourself a little box specifically for all your personal care products – pop that stuff in the box just before the opens and tuck it away. Kids toys are another no no – you don’t want people tripping over Lego when they walk through the property. Get yourself another box or two and toss in all the kids toys and tuck them away. Put them in your car if you have to – just make sure they are not on the floor or all over the house. It is OK, even great to have a nicely presented kids room with some toys and stuffed animals out on display, just don’t overdo it. If you can’t store your extra bits and pieces at your mothers, consider getting yourself a Taxi-Box for the length of the campaign.

Damage, mould and rot – Clean that s**t up. No one is interested in buying damaged goods at a premium price or buying a house with potential problems. Check floor boards, ceiling cracks, leaks and water damage, locks and latches throughout the house. Some things can be covered with art and rugs, but if it is potential structural damage it is worth a few bucks to either fix it up properly or discuss with your REA on how to deal with it another way – i.e. leave it exposed so you are seen to not be hiding something and/or get a quote for the repair so your REA has something to work with when talking to a potential buyer.

Bathrooms – clean grout, replace cracked tiles, change toilet seat or the whole toilet if necessary (not expensive), replace rusted/ pitted/ out of date hardware and repaint the tub if necessary. Bathrooms can make or break a sale price, which is why people often renovate their bathrooms before selling. If you don’t have the funds to invest in a reno you need to at least cover the basics to ensure you get yourself top dollar come auction day. Simple re-caulking is not expensive and can make all the difference.

Sensory overload – house hunting is a multi-sensory experience, so make sure all of the senses are treated kindly. Bad smells are probably the biggest turn off a prospective buyer can encounter. You might have gotten used to the way your property smells if you smoke or have a pet or maybe a little plumbing issue, but other people will notice. Make sure you put away any cat litter, dog beds and food bowls. Pick up the poo in the yard – you don’t want a potential buyer walking in it. If you smoke, consider getting the carpet and upholstered furniture steam cleaned. Keep your windows open and let in the fresh air. Don’t cook a big garlicy roast the night before an open. Food smells are off putting too unless they are coffee bread or cake – but that’s an old trick many people no longer fall for. By all means go for some nice scented candles but not to mask a smell. Make sure the bad smells are eliminated before adding any fragrance to the property.

I know it can be overwhelming because there really is a lot to think about when selling your home, but lucky for you we are here to help. Just give us your keys and we will take care of it all. Put your feet up and watch the money roll in.