How do you make your home enticing to buyers and show it off in its best possible light? Spending time on the presentation of your home is of utmost importance during the sale campaign, because you just don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. The aim is to make it easy for a potential buyer to envision themselves residing in your home and showcase its liveability. So make sure you add value to your home by checking the following things off your to-do list.
Always Be Ready for Inspection
You may not get much notice of an inspection so it’s important to be ready at all times. If your house is normally immaculate, this may simply mean ensuring beds are made daily and there are no piles of dirty dishes in the sink. But for most of us, it will be necessary to do a deep clean of the property to ensure it is perfectly presented. There will inevitably be a good deal of decluttering which needs to be done in the average home prior to a sale, too.
Begin with Repairs and Renovations
Things like cracked power points or holes in walls detract from the polished look of your home. Little improvements often make a big difference to the overall appeal of a property, so start by making a list of all the tiny things requiring fixing and have your handyperson get them all done.
Your agent might recommend other changes that could improve your selling price, but whether you implement them will depend on your budget and your timeframe. If any major changes are needed, such as having the carpets replaced or repainting rooms, consider whether the expense will genuinely affect the sale price.
The next step in preparing your house for sale is to go through all rooms and remove anything not absolutely necessary, with the aim of creating open spaces where possible. Put your excess stuff in the garage—better a cluttered garage than a cluttered living room.
Remove Excess Furniture
Too much furniture inevitably looks cluttered and can make a room seem smaller than it actually is. Removing furniture is an easy way to make the room more spacious. You can temporarily store your furniture in the garage or preferably, put it in storage for the duration.
Remove Personalised Objects
Items such as framed photos, memorabilia, collectibles, heirlooms and keepsakes can interfere with the buyer’s ability to imagine their own world in your home, so gather them up and store them during the sale campaign.
Cull the Cupboards/Built Ins
All buyers love storage, but in order for your home to appear that it has ample storage rather than being chockful to the brim everywhere, you may need to remove half your items so that you can beautifully organise the rest.
Remove items for the benchtops in the kitchen. Remove knick-knacks and ornaments and leave only a single item on each surface, which gives a neat minimalist look.
Posters, decals, wall stickers and even framed artworks or photos can clutter up the wall space, and are best removed.
Remove objects and clutter. Add a potted plant near the front door to make the home seem that much more inviting.
After decluttering and before any potential buyers come through your property, you will need to give the entire property a thorough clean so it appears well-maintained. Don’t forget to:
- Clean floors.
- Shampoo the carpets.
- Clean the walls.
- Wipe-down counters and surfaces.
- Wash windows.
- Clean dirty vents.
- Clean and dust blinds.
- Clean curtains.
- Tidy bathrooms.
- Empty laundry hampers.
- Clean mirrors.
- Dust all skirting boards.
- Wipe down light switches.
- Clean the oven.
- Clean the dishwasher.
- Clear cobwebs from interior and exterior.
- Clear leaves out of the guttering.
- Check paint is not peeling. Touch up paintwork where required.
- Remove random messes.
- Clear our sheds. Storage space is a key selling point in most homes.
- Clean insect screens.
- Replace any light bulbs.
- Clean cupboards and drawers (you can be sure that buyers will open all doors in the house, so make sure everything is clean inside-out).
You want the home to have a fresh scent, with no unpleasant odours—there’s nothing more off-putting for buyers! Apart from giving the house a deep clean and opening up all the windows, you may wish to throw some orange peel in the oven on inspection day, which is an easy way to create an inviting aroma throughout the house. Alternatively, light a delicately scented candle in the entrance way.
Neutral Colour Scheme
A neutral colour scheme throughout will appeal to more potential buyers. Linen, couch cushions and throws should be neutral tones, to avoid bright colour pops distracting the buyer from their visualisation process.
Whatever the colour scheme, try to keep it consistent throughout the home, which will improve the home’s appearance than having a jumble of different colours.
Removing the food bowls and the litter box before an inspection is important, to avoid odours. You will probably also want to remove your pets during the time your house is being inspected, to avoid knowledge of animals living there potentially affecting the sale. Have a friend come over and confirm your home does not smell of pets beforehand.
Add Little Styling Touches
- Keep the home bright by opening blinds and curtains.
- Make visitors feel welcome with a vase of fresh, fragrant flowers and mood lighting.
- Enhance the appearance of your home with new mirrors and cushions.
- Regulate the temperature with air-conditioning or heating.
Don't Forget Outdoor Areas
Tidy up gardens, lawns and hedges, clean the decks. Spend a few dollars planting some bright flowers in the garden bed. Alternatively you might wish to invest in a gardener to improve the overall look.
Replace Door Handles
Cupboards as well as interior and exterior house doors can be improved for a fairly low cost simply by replacing their handles.
Invest in “Show Towels”
These are fresh, clean and typically pricier towels that you will use purely for display purposes, allowing you to hide the stained old towels you use daily.
Buy Fresh Bed Linen
Fresh bed linen is an easy, cost-effective way to brighten up the bedrooms.
Hoover Up the Toys
Scoop them up off the floor and throw into storage.
Consider Professional Staging
If you have any completely empty rooms, consider hiring furniture for staging purposes. Empty rooms make it harder for buyers to visualise their own furniture in the space. Professional property stylists can visit your property and advise on a staging package that presents your home beautifully through the sale process.
Your prospective buyers will feel more comfortable in your home if you are not there. Instead of feeling as if you are watching or lurking and that they are snooping, if you remove yourself from the house for the duration, allowing your agent to handle things, this will provide buyers the necessary space. Make sure you remove anything private or high value if you will not be present during the inspection.
Finally, Do a Walk-Through
Begin at the front door and walk through your house as if you are a buyer. This will help you see if you can move easily through the home or whether there are obstructions. If you find it hard to be objective, have a friend do the walk through and give you feedback on anything you’ve overlooked.