5 Easy Steps to Prepare your Home for Sale
Freshening your home with a few simple DIY tricks can add instant buyer appeal, and transition your house from a maybe to a must-have.
So, what are the easiest ways to make sure your home seals the deal for a premium sale price?
1. Cleanliness is King.
Buyers want to believe the home they are purchasing has been well maintained and cared for. So it’s time to roll up the sleeves and banish the cobwebs. Give each room a good polish, until it sparkles. Remember to wash windows and screens so lots of natural light flows through the house. Wash and air out linen, curtains and other soft furnishings. Attend to any pest control issues and pay particular attention to the cleanliness in the kitchen and bathrooms – these rooms are important on a buyers list.
2. Dramatic Declutter.
Buyers need to easily envision themselves in your home – but that becomes difficult if the house is filled with personal memento’s, too-large furniture and copious knick-knacks and collectibles. Decluttering is about making your home feel larger, showing off your storage capacity, and to achieve a balance of de-personalised comfort with your decor. Your end goal is to entice buyers to linger in each room, so they can see the features and benefit of your home.
READ MORE: 8 Top Tips to Declutter your Home for Sale.
3. A Fresh Approach.
After you’ve finished your big clean and curbed the clutter, attend to all the odd jobs that you’ve been “meaning to get to”. Any home improvement projects should be finished and repairs sorted. Attend to:
- any damp or moisture problems in the walls
- replace discoloured or cracked power points
- repair or paint grout in bathrooms, kitchens and laundries
- replace any blown light bulbs
- polish any tapware, metal/mirrored surfaces
- fix doors and drawers that jam or don’t close properly
- patch any holes in the walls
- fix leaky taps, and remove any discolouration it has caused in the sink
A lick of new paint in a neutral colour also does wonders to revive a home. If you’re on a budget, just be sure to paint over any potentially polarising feature walls. When painting close to inspection dates, opt for a low-odour paint so it doesn’t appear like you are masking any issues by painting over them.
If your budget permits replace light fixtures (in the main living areas), bathroom taps and shower heads and kitchen cabinet hardware to ramp up the visual appeal throughout the house. Also consider how your furniture works within each room, and try to position it to maximise feelings of space and light in your home. For those with the financial means, hiring professionals to stage your home for sale can really boost sell price and reduce time on the market.
On the day of showing, open windows to let natural light in and add floor or table lamps to areas that are dim – a bright, cheery house is much more welcoming and inviting. If some windows open onto unpleasant views, keep the curtains drawn or blinds raised only slightly. In winter, if you have a fireplace, use it, and likewise in summer with air-conditioning. Make sure pets are well contained and won’t cause issues. Additionally, ensure there are no buyer booby traps, like extension cords in walkways, slippery throw rugs or odd placed furniture which blocks the natural flow through the house or presents a tripping hazard.
4. Banish Odours.
Masking household odours with air fresheners just won’t cut it on open day – especially if the scent is overwhelming or causes allergies in a potential buyer. It’s best to ensure you’ve done a good spring clean to eliminate major sources of odour. If you have pets living inside, you may need to include a good carpet clean to remove the animal smells. Walls should also be washed down. Once you’re done, try to keep pets outside as much as possible. If your pets need to stay inside, attempt to contain them to one area, rather than the whole house. For smokers, cleaning the carpet is also a good move, and then refrain from smoking inside the house. Pet and cigarette smells in a home are both huge turn-offs for buyers – so do everything in your power to ensure your house doesn’t present with these issues.
On the day of open, be sure to empty any bins, clean toilets, contain smelly shoes in a shoebox so they don’t foul whole cupboards, and refrain from cooking anything with an odour that will linger, like bacon for breakfast. Place vases of fresh flowers or potted plants (in good health) around your home, open windows to allow for fresh air-flow, and opt for a couple of natural, low-scented candles in strategic locations like the bathroom.
5. Primp for Curb Appeal.
House hunters will often drive-by listings to check the neighbourhood and outside appeal of a home before attending an open for inspection. This is the first chance you have to make a good impression. Make a to-do list with the following:
- Tidy and weed gardens, trim hedges and trees, mow the lawn.
- Fix any broken fences or gates, and ensure any stairs and handrails to the entrance are in good condition with no rough paint or wood. Re-paint stairs and fences if required.
- Repaint your front door in a colour that will draw focus and attention. Replace any worn hardware on or near the front door, such as a door knocker, handle etc. Ensure the doorbell works!
- Clear any garden paths of clutter, toys and gardening equipment.
- Make sure your house number is clearly visible.
- Replace any cracked or broken windows, and torn screens.
- Ensure the roof, gutters and downpipes are all in good condition
- Don’t forget to carry your good work around to the back yard. Entertaining areas should be inviting spaces, and a pool needs to be crystal clear with no cleaning equipment in sight.