Getting a property ready for sale is no small task! We have created a complete guide that we’ve titled “101 Tips” which goes through all the jobs you need to consider when getting your property ready to sell. We won’t go through all 101 tips now, but here are a few key items to consider.
The rule of thumb is – if something needs repair – fix it! There may be several things in your house that you have simply become accustomed to over time - things that you have been promising yourself to attend to. Well NOW is the time! Buyers will mentally add up their perceived costs of repairing all those minor flaws and end up with an amount that is generally much higher than your actual costs will be. You might be saying to yourself “these repairs aren’t any big deal,” but the buyer is thinking, “if the owner didn’t take care of these little items, then what about the roof or plumbing or air conditioner?” Necessary, non-critical minor repairs and perceived owner neglect will either lower the price or lengthen the time to sell.
The large, expensive repairs need to be done too – 95% of buyers get a building inspection done, so it’s going to get picked up – you can’t hope to hide anything.
Your objective is to make your house appeal to the largest possible buying segment. Ask yourself, “how many of the available buyers would feel able to move into your house with their own furniture and not want to replace the carpet or repaint the walls?” Position your house on the market to be as liveable as possible to as many people as possible. Select a neutral colour scheme that will make it easy for the buyer to mentally picture the house as theirs.
SORRY - but you will have to put your personal taste on hold. The market is always driven by buyer demand. The average buyer will have a hard time looking beyond the blue carpeting and bold wallpapers. Consider replacing unusual or bold colours with neutral tones. Two coats of off-white paint may be one of the best investments you will ever make.
SPACE MANAGEMENT (CREATING THE ILLUSION OF MORE SPACE)
Declutter! Declutter! Declutter! Pack up your collectibles - both to protect them and to give the room a more spacious feel. Leave out just enough accessories to give the house a personal touch.
Arrange furniture to give the rooms a spacious feeling. Consider removing some furniture from any room that may seem over crowded. If necessary, put large items in storage or hide in a shed or garage.
Empty cupboards of un-used items and wardrobes of off-season clothing and pack them away for the move. Organise cupboards to demonstrate the most efficient use of space. Cupboards should look as though there is room to put more. Leave as few items as possible on floors and shelves.
EXTERIOR & FRONTAGE
Don’t forget the outside! Make it look welcoming and visually appealing – add some potted colour where you can as a simple spruce up.
The front yard is so important – this is the first thing people will see when they do the “drive-by” to check out your location. One thing we recommend is taking a photo of your house (just on your phone is fine) from the road in front of your house. Can you see the front door and windows or are they blocked by bushes and trees? People put in plants for privacy and shade, but it makes for an awful photo when all you can see is a driveway and some bushes. Consider cutting back or even removing some of the larger plants in the front yard. Again, use some potted colour to brighten up the front of the house too.
In the backyard, an outdoor entertaining area is very important to most buyers. If you don’t have one and can’t afford the expense of putting up a pergola or veranda, look to put in some high quality, waterproof shade sails. They’re not cheap, but less expensive than a pergola or veranda – and it should make a difference to your end sale price.
CLEANING & ATMOSPHERE
Just prior to your open inspections (and any private inspections you may have) you need to clean your house thoroughly from top to bottom – include all windows, all flooring (consider professional cleaning of carpets, tile grout, etc), light fixtures, ceiling fans, exhaust fans, basically all those things you wouldn’t normally do too often.
Create a welcoming atmosphere in your home by considering some of the 5 senses:
• See - use lighting, open up all the windows for maximum sunlight and ensure you’ve decluttered and cleaned everything you can
• Smell - don’t forget we get used to the smell of our own home. Try to think from a buyers’ point of view (or get an honest friend or family member to help you!). Eliminate animal smells, cigarette smells, cooking smells and infuse each room with good smells using scented candles, air fresheners or fresh flowers
• Hear - make sure the neighbours aren’t having a party, doing major construction or have a noisy dog (politely ask them to keep the dog inside or take it for a walk for half an hour if they do). Have some gentle music playing in the background (although the Smith Partners Sales Team will bring their own music).
• Touch - make sure buyers feel comfortable. On a hot day (or even just a really warm day), turn the air-conditioning on, have the heater on if it’s a cooler day and if you have a wood-burning fire, combustion heater or gas log fire definitely have it burning, it creates a lovely atmosphere.
There are plenty of other jobs to do, but this will get you started. If you would like a copy of our 101 Tips booklet, please do not hesitate to contact us.
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