As much as people might talk about property being a wise investment, buying a home is an emotional purchase for most people. Love at first sight can happen.
So think of each inspection like a first date between your home and its suitors. Highlight its good features, camouflage it's not-so good ones and look for ways to tap into the emotions of your potential buyers.
If you don't have the time or energy to clean and preen your place yourself, consider hiring some professionals. There are home makeover experts who know tricks to make a property more saleable. They can bring in furniture, artworks and feature items to ensure that your house is presented 'just right'.
Before the inspections
If you are going to prepare your home yourself, you first need to take a fresh look at it.
On the outside:
- Fix peeling paint.
- Clean away cobwebs.
- Repair doors, windows or gates that stick or don't close properly.
- Rip up weeds from pathways, patios, driveways and garden beds.
- Clear leaves and other debris rubbish from around the house.
If your garden is looking tired spend some money at a nursery, or hire some pot plants and strategically locate them in empty areas.
On the inside:
- Air out or remove any animal or smoking smells.
- Paint over any evidence of damp on the walls.
- Try to cover carpet stains with rugs, furniture or a pot plant.
- Clear out most of your personal clutter.
- Remove some pieces of furniture to add a sense of space - just leave strategic pieces that people consider essential.
If you smoke, don't do it inside during the inspection period and avoid cooking fish or any other strong smelling food during this time.
On the day of the inspection
- Clean everything – bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen, living area - make sure everything is crisp and sparkling.
- Open curtains, blinds and windows to let in as much natural light as possible.
- Turn on lights in dark parts of the home.
- Heat cooler areas and cool down the warmer ones.
- Lock away your valuables.
- Buy some fresh flowers and place them in rooms around the home. Make sure there's a big bunch in view when a person first enters.
- Carelessly drop a newspaper on a sofa in an otherwise perfect lounge room to give it a more "homey" feeling.
- Make your place smell inviting - brew a fresh pot of coffee or pop some of those part- baked loaves in the oven an hour or so before the inspection.
While a pleasant aroma is inviting, don't overdo it with sprays and plug in devices – buyers may wonder if there is something to hide.
And lastly, don't stick around during the inspection. Leave the agents to do what they do best.