You don’t get a second chance to make a good impression.
When attempting to sell your home to prospective buyers, do not forget to make your home look as attractive and inviting as possible. Make sure everything functions and looks presentable. A poorly kept home in need of repairs will often lower the selling price of your property and will even turn away some buyers. Simple projects, like de-cluttering and cleaning cost pratically nothing except your time and effort.
The following are some hints and tips to make sure your home is presented in the best possible light to any prospective purchasers.
- People collect an amazing amount of ‘stuff’. Consider this: if you haven’t used it in over a year, you probably don’t need it.
- Pack up your personal photos and family heirlooms. Buyers often can’t see past personal belongings, and you don’t want them to be distracted. You want them to imagine their own photos on the walls and to say, “I can see myself living here.”
- Remove all books from bookcases.
- Pack up your knickknacks.
- Remove everything from kitchen counters.
- Put items that are used daily in a small box that can be stored away in a cupboard when not being used.
- Think of this as a head-start on the packing you will eventually be doing anyway!
- Rearrange Bedroom Wardrobes and Kitchen Cabinets – Buyers love to snoop and will open wardrobe and cupboard doors. Imagine what you would think if you looked in someone’s cupboards and everything fell out. Now what would you think if you saw everything organized?
Less is More!
- Almost every home shows better with less furniture. Remove pieces of furniture that block or obstruct paths and walkways and put them in storage.
- Remove extra seats from your dining room table to make the space appear larger. Leave enough furniture in each room to show the room’s purpose and plenty of room to move around.
- Examine carefully how furniture is arranged and move pieces around until it makes sense.
Remove/Replace Favourite Items
If you want to take window coverings, built-in appliances or fixtures with you, remove them now. Pack those items and replace them, if necessary. If the chandelier has a special significance, take it down. If a buyer never sees it, they won’t want it.
Make Minor Repairs
- Replace cracked floor or counter tiles.
- Patch holes in walls.
- Give your bathroom a face-lift if needed: fresh paint, decorative mouldings, tile grout, new designer faucets are all attractive eye catchers.
- Fix doors that don’t close properly and kitchen drawers that jam.
- Repair any major paint damage or marks on walls.
- Consider painting your walls neutral colours, especially if you have grown accustomed to loud coloured walls.
- Replace blown light bulbs.
- Make sure window coverings hang level.
Clean, Clean, Clean!
- Wash windows inside and out.
- High pressure hosing of paths and pergolas can often make the world of difference – beg, borrow or hire one!
- Clean out cobwebs.
- Re-silicone tubs, showers and sinks.
- Polish chrome taps and mirrors.
- Clean out the refrigerator.
- Vacuum daily.
- Wax floors.
- Dust furniture, ceiling fan blades and light fixtures.
- Bleach discoloured grout.
- Hang up fresh towels.
- Get carpets professionally cleaned. For a rather small investment you’ll be amazed at the difference this can make.
- Clean windows and sills.
Make sure your home smells nice
Though some people don’t like to admit it, everyone’s home has a certain smell to it. We just never notice it because we live with it day in, day out. Strategically placing fresh scent devices throughout the home will be pleasant to the nose of any potential buyer.
Check Street Appeal
- If a buyer won’t get out of the agent’s car because they don’t like the outside of your home, you’ll never get them inside.
- Keep the footpaths cleared.
- Mow the lawn.
- Paint faded or weathered window trims.
- Trim your trees and bushes.
- Make sure your house number is clearly visible. If someone happens to see your house when out for a drive, you want them to know EXACTLY what number it was!
How to help your agent
- Whenever possible, the home should be vacant during an inspection. When owners are present it can keep buyers from feeling at ease.
- Keep the pets outside – you may love them but buyers may not!
- Turn on all the lights when weather is dull or overcast.
- Draw back curtains and blinds to “brighten” your home
- Strong cooking or smoking odours can ruin a sale. Make sure your home is fresh for showing.
- Have the television off and play soft music on the stereo.
- And most importantly – unless requested, please don’t offer assistance – your agents know their buyers and you could adversely affect the sale by being “too helpful” in discussions with buyers.