So you’re putting your home on the market. Just because it’s your pride and joy, don’t expect others to think that way. Before swinging the door open to potential buyers, there are some things you should know.
Remember first impressions do last and can make or break a sale.
Spring clean the interior of your home
Clearing out the clutter is the best thing you can do when it comes to selling your property. Potential buyers need to be able to see themselves living in your home and that’s hard to do if you have lots of personal objects and items around the place.
Before opening your home:
- Put away family photos (or at least some of them).
- Pack away knick-knacks and ornaments — keep out only a few.
- Remove large pieces of furniture, like coffee tables and desks. This will help to open up the living space.
- Use new bed linen or a throw to make the bedrooms stand out.
- Purchase new coordinating towels for the bathroom.
- If you have children, pack their toys into boxes and stored in the garage on open days.
- Keep bench tops clear in the kitchen. Pack away appliances, other than stylish kettles/coffee machines, to create more space.
- Buy new light fittings, blinds, curtains or floor coverings to add sparkle.
- Have a friend or family member walk through the home offering advice on where things could be changed or cleaned up. The real estate agent can also help you with this.
- The bathroom and kitchen should sparkle as should floorboards, windows and other surfaces. Steam clean carpets, air out rugs and remove dust and cobwebs from hard- to-reach areas. Make sure cupboards and wardrobes are neat and tidy and remove all items from underneath beds.
Spruce up the outdoor areas
The condition of the outside of your home and garden or courtyard will have a big impact on potential buyers. Pay particular attention to the entrance of your home. Gutters should be cleaned out, gardens and hedges kept neat and trim; and gates and fences in perfect working order.
Think about adding new lighting, paving or gates if they look old or outdated. This may seem a large up-front cost but the improved overall impression will increase the sale value of your home.
Fix any outstanding issues
Before you open your home, it’s best to fix any noticeable problems around the property. Patch up cracks in the walls or windows, leaking taps, broken blinds or light fittings, falling-down fences, creaky floorboards or doors, broken tiles, loose doorknobs or cracked steps.
Sometimes a paint job here and there can do wonders when it comes to sprucing up the inside or outside appearance of your home.
Many people consider renovating major parts of their home before listing their property for sale (ie bathrooms, kitchens and outdoor areas). Before you do so, do your research. Look at what similar properties in the area are worth, talk to real estate agents, do your calculations and ask yourself if the cost of renovating be reaped many times over in the sale price.
In some cases, it’s best to leave major renovations to the new owners. If you feel a renovation is the right way to go, make sure it’s done professionally and in a style which will appeal to your potential buyer market.
Open house days
When it comes to open house days, you should at the very least make sure your property is tidy — inside and out. If this is hard for you to manage, consider hiring a professional gardener and cleaner for the weekly opening.
Always spend attention on the following:
Lighting: Always make sure the house is properly lit. A dark home is likely to depress rather than impress buyers. Light up any dark areas such as hallways and poky corners, with lamps.
Garden: Mow the grass, trim the hedges and pick up any rubbish or debris. Sweep or use a blower around garden paths and the outside of the property. If you have a pool or spa, it should always been clean. Make sure outdoor furniture is spotless (remove any old pieces from public eye). Take your washing down from the line and pack away gardening equipment.
Garage/shed: If it’s full of items cleared out from your home, make sure it is not open during inspection.
Pets: Take your dog or cat to your neighbour or nearby friends on the morning of the opening. Clear away their toys, bowls and sleeping quarters.
Visual appeal: Place vases of flowers around your home. Open windows and curtains (unless you live under a flight path or busy road).
Aroma therapy: Many sellers swear by the aroma of freshly bake cakes or brewed coffee when it comes to making a home inviting. If this isn’t your cup of tea, you can add fresh flowers, burn candles or incense or use an oil burner. Just make sure any smell isn’t too overpowering.
Rubbish: Make sure you remove all rubbish, dirty washing, and piles of newspapers and magazines.
And a last word of advice, always keep the tidiness up throughout the campaign.