Every seller wants their home to sell fast and bring a good price, but it is more than just chance that makes that happen. With careful planning and knowing how to add simple touches to your home you can send home buyers scrambling to buy it. Here are some tips on how to get your house ready as a truly marketable home.
Clean marks off walls with a mild household detergent (sugar soap is great) and a soft cloth. Don’t rub too hard or the paint will rub off. Avoid repainting walls unless the entire house is to be painted. If you choose to paint, use soft, neutral tones such as creams, or beiges that will appeal to most people. Dark colours make rooms look smaller, light colours open up areas. Touch up skirting boards, architraves and doorframes. It is surprising how much cleaner the rooms will look if an hour is spent going around the house with a pot of paint.
- It seems obvious, but trim your lawns, including nature strips, flower beds, flower pots and keep the yard tidy.
- Pick up papers and rubbish in the street, to give the impression of a tidy neighbourhood.
- Don’t leave junk mail hanging out of the letter box, prune hedges and cut back overhanging shrubbery.
- Sweep and hose down cobbled or paved drives and patio areas.
- Remove oil stains in carports, drives or garages and tidy the garage by making sure the tools and equipment are neatly stacked.
- Be security conscious and don’t leave things around for strangers to knock into or trip over. No matter how much someone likes the house, they will be less appreciative of its attractions if they sprain an ankle by accidentally stepping on a rake.
Outdoor furniture gives a look of leisure and enjoyment of a house. If you don’t have any – borrow it and arrange some attractively.
- Keep the swimming pool at its sparkling best.
- Make sure garden gates open easily and quietly.
- Don’t leave clothes on the clothesline.
- Make sure the barbecue is cleaned.
- Wash down the outside walls.
- Clean all outside blinds and awnings.
- Clear the gutters.
- Clean all the windows.
- Make sure the front door bell works.
A few quick repair jobs done on the weekend will make all the difference to giving the house a cared for appearance.
- Oil squeaking doors.
- Plane doors that stick.
- Re-paste peeling wallpaper.
- Repair dripping taps and remove water stains from tubs and basins.
- Fix broken or loose tiles and clean dirty grouting and bathroom and kitchen tiling.
Take down exhaust fans and clean them. Nothing looks worse than grease and dust caked fans. All buyers instinctively look up at ceilings.
Before The Open Inspection
- Clean all light fittings and put in bright, 100-watt bulbs.
- Position all furniture to make rooms look big and easy to walk around, but don’t do this at the last moment or there will be marks left on the carpet.
Turn on central heater or other heating in winter, air-conditioning in summer. People will stay to look longer if they feel comfortable.
- Get rid of kitty litter trays and dog bowls.
- Take pets away with you when leaving the house for inspections.
- Polish taps, display a large bowl of fruit and clean all chrome appliances to a good shine – shiny items give a sparkle to a room.
- It goes without saying not to leave dishes in the sink or even on the drain board.
- Do not cook curry, onions or fish the previous night. If necessary spray kitchen with room freshener.
- Unless a child is a future Michelangelo, take the kindergarten painting off the fridge door. Delightful as the are, they won’t help sell the house.
- Put healthy green plants in the kitchen, bathroom and anywhere else they will look attractive, such as the veranda.
- Green, leafy plants always improve and interior environment. Rent, beg or borrow enough plants to do a good job. Put fresh flowers around the house as for a special occasion.
- Lock away any valuable china, books, silver collections or other important items.
- Leave all connecting doors wide open to give a feeling of space.
- If the rooms of teenagers are full of slogans and signs, perhaps it is best to take down those, which might be considered offensive or controversial so as not to offend a potential buyer.
- Remove ashtrays, as most people visiting a house on display will be polite enough not to smoke, while non-smokers are less likely to buy a smoker’s house.
- If you have a good stereo system, soft background music playing is pleasant and appealing.
- Toss a few up to date home maker magazines on the coffee table. It gives the impression that the current owners care about their home.
- Show your home in its best light. A house situated on the eastern side may be bathed in light in the morning and shrouded in darkness in the afternoon.
- Similarly, if heavy traffic or trains pass by the property at certain times of the day, work inspections around then.
If possible, it is best if the owners leave during inspection times. Few prospective buyers can relax with the owners standing around or looking expectantly hopeful.
The house should be presented as attractively as possible. If all the above can’t be done, do as many as time, money and energy will allow.
Then you can walk out the door with the knowledge you’ve done everything you can and hope for the best.
Should you require assistance with repairs etc, please contact us. We can provide a short list of reliable and reasonably priced tradesmen who will be able to help.
Place all cosmetics, razors and toiletries into a drawer. Hang towels neatly.
Family Living Area
Clear away the day to day mess of family living, but at the same time give a homely, lived in look. Turn off the TV.
Keep this area as uncluttered as possible. Remember, there will be many more people in the house at one time than usual in a family house.
People shouldering past each other will give the impression of lack of space, unless as many obstacles as possible are removed from major walkways.
Sometimes money has to be spent to make money. Don’t begrudge steam-cleaning carpets if needed.