How to maximise the sale of your home

Once you’ve made the (often difficult) decision to sell your home; it is important to do the right things to ensure that you get the best sale price you can!

Presentation of your property is extremely important and can make a substantial difference to the price you achieve. I have personally seen a very poorly presented home in which the owner was not in a position to tidy it up because they were overseas, they didn’t have surplus available funds, and then also decided not to borrow money to pay someone to spruce it up a little. As soon as it ‘hit’ the market this property sold to someone who buys and on-sells properties. They moved the tenant out prior to settlement and did a quick tidy up spending less than $1,000, then arranged for the property to be staged with nice furniture throughout ($850 inclusive GST) and sold it for an additional $35,000. I have seen many profits like this, when sadly some of this money could have been in the original owners pocket!

Below are a few tips which truly can make a world of difference and help keep that money in your pocket. If you can’t do the work yourself, students are often a good resource, if you belong to a club – ask around, many people know of someone who does these sorts of things for a bit of spare cash.

First impressions are extremely important. Many people ‘drive-by’ before taking the time to go in – if it doesn’t look like something they want or has a bad first impression – they drive off. I’ve been at many open homes where people have taken the time to drive to the property, pull up outside for a second or two and then leave.

1) Believe it or not - a tidy letterbox can indicate whether or not you are someone who maintains things. Paint your letterbox, weed around it – if it’s rusty, replace it. If your letterbox looks old and run down, then a drive by may give the impression that the house may be like that inside. If your fence needs painting, paint it or hire someone who can. Make your gardens look tidy and prune things back away from the house if it shades it in any way. Mow your lawns on a medium setting - a lush lawn is always inviting.

2) Clean the house. If there is mould anywhere, get rid of it as it gives the perception that the house is damp – neat bleach is a great solution. If you can’t reach it safely, ask someone to help. It doesn’t take long. Make the bathroom clean and inviting. Don’t cook anything with strong odours if you know you have viewings. Buying something simple like a plug-in vanilla air freshener can mask strong smells and creates an 'inviting' aroma.

3) De-clutter! Clutter always makes a house look smaller. Keep surplus items boxed in a shed….(or someone else’s shed). Remove your personal photos. A few photos are ok, but too much personal matter like ribbons, medals, family photos are all very personal memories - you want this to be someone else’s home, so help them to envision it as their home, not someone elses.

4) Let there be light! This is so important. Always have as much natural light as you can. If you have one room in particular where nettings are appropriate then speak to your agent. Having a light home is more important than obscuring something in most cases.

5) Tackle the dreaded ‘to do list’. If you know notice it, then a viewer may see the uncompleted tasks also. However do ask your agent, because sometimes things may not be as important as you may think. An agent deals with viewers on a daily basis – they know the most common objections, and whether or not it is worth the money to attend to them.

Please feel free to give either Jess or myself a call if you would like any further advice. We are always happy to talk!