Get the best price, fast with these essential tips for selling your house
How to prepare your house for sale: a checklist
Know your buyer
As you work through this list, bear in mind what sort of buyer your home appeals to. Seniors, young families and singles all have different priorities so talk to your agent about who’s in your target market and think about preparing your home accordingly. If moving in seems effortless to potential buyers, they may be prepared to spend more.
Make an entrance
First impressions can make that vital emotional connection, sending your home to the top of a buyer’s wishlist. Take time to style your entryway and make arrangements – landscaping, painting fences, a clean driveway – to maximise curbside appeal.
Clean up and clear out
Most of us aren’t perfect housekeepers but everyone wants to live in a spotless home, so that’s what you need to present. Getting reliable professional cleaners in is recommended, unless you’ve got enough time and patience to take care of every nook and cranny yourself.
No matter how house proud you are, make yourself scarce during the home inspection. Buyers will feel more at ease without you there – let the estate agent field questions and accept compliments on your pristine home.
No pets please
Pay particular attention to banishing odours from pets or damp spaces during the clean-up. Opening windows and cupboard doors and a good clean should be enough – no need to overdo it by baking cookies or brewing coffee. And your pets and vehicles should also be off the premises during inspections too.
Try and organise inspection times to make the most of natural light. If you’re unlucky enough to have an open on a dark and stormy day, use mood lighting, dimmers, and floor and table lamps to make spaces bright without being over lit.
Tidy but comfortable
It’s definitely worth clearing the clutter from surfaces but don’t stuff everything behind cupboard doors. Buyers love storage and they’ll get the impression of more space if cupboards and drawers are tidy and organised. However, make your home styling too minimal and it won’t seem inviting or comfortable – so don’t go overboard on banishing everything in sight. Try to get a balance between an uncluttered space and subtle, neutral styling.
The next level: home staging tips
Following the checklist will involve a modest spend on maintenance and cleaning from professionals which could make for a higher price tag and quicker sale. But if you want to take the next step and find out how to stage your home for sale, be prepared to spend a few thousand dollars on a professional home staging service, with furniture hire and possible storage costs for your own possessions.
Home staging has a reputation for being a worthwhile investment in many locations and markets, but it’s not for everyone – and if you’re enterprising, you can have a crack at it yourself. A good estate agent will have contacts and ballpark pricing information for home staging consultants. If you’re planning on a significant investment in styling your home, check with your estate agent if it will make an impact with your target market and how much extra you can expect to make from the sale price.
What’s top of your property inspection checklist? Tell us about your experiences in the comments below.