For many people, selling your home is the only tax-free money you will ever receive, other than winning lotto. For this reason, and because most buyers can’t see beyond what they see, it is crucial to prepare your home or former investment property the right way. We can give advice as the Christine Shaw Properties team have extensive experiences in renovating and improving our own properties. Whether you want to sell “as is” and leave the opportunity to the new buyer to improve the property, or renovate to move to the next price bracket, or anything in between, is fine with us. Any improvements naturally have to be balanced with measuring expenditure against the possible future sale price, and not overspending.
Here are some tips to help you prepare your property for Sale.
Remove the clutter
It’s only when you move house that you realise how much “stuff” you have. The first step in preparing your house for sale, should be to go through each room and remove everything you don’t need. Not only will this help make your property look neater and the rooms bigger but it will also make packing easier. We’ve had clients able to donate items to MARSS or Havelock House so please think about this option when you’re decluttering.
Patch and paint the walls
It’s amazing how much a paint job can improve the look of your property both in your eyes and also for potential buyers. Depending on your budget, you should start off by marking down which walls have cracks and major scuffs which require urgent attention and then any other walls you think could do with a freshen up. This is also a good chance to paint any feature walls a more neutral colour. Also consider any windows, doors or parts of the outside of the house that require attention.
Give the property a heavy duty clean
Before any potential buyers come through your property, you will need to give you property a good clean from top to bottom. Keep an eye out for dirty vents, flies in light shades, sneaky cobwebs and anything else that could make potential buyers think the property wasn’t well maintained.
Steam clean or replace carpets
If you have old or badly stained carpets, have them cleaned or if heavily stained, think about replacement. In one home, we had carpets ripped up to reveal amazing floorboards which we had clear stained.
Maintenance and repairs
When a buyer finds something wrong, they then start looking for the next hiccup. Usually buyer comments are about the smallest things – cracked power points, broken heating ducts, loose door handles etc. As you’re going through each of the rooms, make a list of all these little things so we can have our tradespeople visit to help you out.
Don’t forget outside
If you have an outdoor area that needs a bit of love, it could be worth spending a bit of time on some gardening or getting your deck polished. Planting some flowers can be a cost effective strategy to add some colour to a property.
Neutral colour scheme
It is almost impossible to match paint colours, so patch painting of ceilings or walls usually just highlights what you’ve painted. Although you may like a certain colour scheme while you’re living in a property, it’s important to make your property appeal to as many potential buyers as possible and that may require adopting a more neutral colour scheme throughout.
Upgrade your door handles
Replacing the door handles on both interior and exterior doors as well as any cupboards throughout your home can make a big difference for a relatively low price.
Make each room look its best
If you’ve seen any home renovation shows, you would have noticed that they focus on one room at a time. This is how you should approach preparing your home for Sale. Focus on each room making it look it’s very best and as spacious as possible. Aim to leave a lot of open space and remove any unnecessary furniture.
Consistent colour scheme throughout
From your walls to your furniture and furnishings, try to keep the colour scheme flowing throughout the property. Keeping the colour scheme consistent will make it easier for potential buyers to imagine themselves moving into your property.
Configure your property properly
Even though you may use a room as a study, at Sale time it may be best as a bedroom. Please remember how you live in your home is not how it needs to be presented to the widest audience. A client converted their third bedroom as a reading / music room and opened up the walls. It was perfect for them for over a decade. They were not able to sell their home as a two bedroom with another agency, but once they listed with Christine, the room was returned as bedroom three and the home sold at Auction for a great price.
Add some fresh flowers and plants
Fresh flowers are a great way to fill a house with lovely fragrances and colour. They add ‘life’ to the property. Easy to maintain pot plants around the property also receive lots of attention during our open for inspections.
Professionally stage your property
Having your property staged for the sale is a great way to present your property at its very best without buying new furniture and artwork etc. We use a professional property stylist, who’ll come through your property and recommend a full or partial staging package to make sure your property presents its very best for all of your advertising and throughout the sale campaign. If this is not an option, we can also organise virtual styling.
Fresh, new, clean towels
If you’re still living in your property while it’s being sold, you may want to invest in some ‘show’ towels. These are your display towels which are displayed during inspections. Make sure you don’t have old, stained towels on display, it’s just not a good look.
If you have young children, you’ll probably need to find a solution for the mountain of toys that they have. Try to remove any toys they no longer play with and it would be a good idea to hide any of the messy toys while the sale campaign is running (eg. Lego, Play Doh, Paints etc)
Make sure that anything you don’t want anyone to see is either removed from your property or well out of the way of prying eyes.
Keep your cupboards and drawers clean
If there’s a door that opens in your property, you can be sure that it will be opened by potential buyers at an inspection. So take the time to make sure that everything’s neat and tidy inside.
It goes without saying that all beds should be made and looking good before any inspection. If you think that your bedsheets could do with an upgrade, then you can pick up some great looking new sheets quite cost effectively online.
Pre Inspection cleaning
If you’re still living in the property during the sale, you may find yourself cleaning a lot. There’s no need to vacuum and dust every day but make sure that the property is looking good. Keep an eye out for dirty dishes in the sink or dishwasher, try to keep the laundry hampers empty, wipe down benchtops and mirrors in kitchens and bathrooms and any spot vacuuming prior to inspections.
Keep curtains and blinds open
Before every open for inspection, you’ll want to make sure to keep all of your blinds and curtains open to let in as much natural light as possible.
Make sure all of your lights work
If you don’t get a lot of natural light, make sure all of your lights are working. Changing the globes to bright white instead of warm yellow lights can help.
Odours! Dog or Cats ….
There’s nothing more off-putting for potential buyers than bad smells. It’s a good idea to make sure you have plenty of air fresheners and aides to make your house smell nice. Try to avoid cooking any foods with a strong smell and make sure you stay on top of any pet odours throughout the Sale campaign.