22 tips to prepare your property for sale.
Selling your home or investment property doesn’t need to be stressful. In fact, real estate sales and property management companies believe that with the right advice and some good planning, you can take control of getting your house ‘sale-ready’. You’ll be happy to know that it doesn’t need to cost a fortune or take loads of time to spruce up your home for sale.
Read our top 22 tips to help you prepare your property for sale.
1. 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, one at a time, 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. You may even make some money by listing unwanted items in good condition for sale on your local Facebook or marketplace groups.
2. Patch and paint the walls
It’s amazing how much a paint job can improve the look of your property in the eyes of potential buyers. Even property management companies recommend that landlords patch and paint when seeking new tenants. Depending on your budget, you should start by marking down which walls have cracks and major scuffs requiring urgent attention and any other walls you think could do with a freshen up. Consider painting any feature walls with a more neutral colour. Also, consider any windows, doors or parts of the outside of the house that require attention.
3. Give the property a heavy-duty clean
Before any potential buyers come through your property, you will need to give it a good clean from top to bottom. Keep an eye out for dirty vents, sneaky cobwebs, bathroom and kitchen areas and anything else that could make potential buyers think the property wasn’t well maintained.
4. Steam clean or replace carpets
If you have badly stained carpets, it is strongly recommended to have them cleaned or, if heavily stained then, replaced. For both sale and rental properties, carpet steaming or replacement adds significant appeal, which translates to a higher sale or rental price.
5. Maintenance and repairs
We hear many comments being mumbled under people’s breath at open for inspections. Sometimes to each other, sometimes in front of other potential buyers. Usually, the remarks are about the smallest things – cracked power points, broken heating ducts, loose door handles etc. As you’re going through each of the rooms, list down the smallest issues that can potentially come under notice and have your agent recommend a good handyman to come and fix them up – or replace them yourself if you’re handy. These minor touch ups can have a major impact on those inspecting your property.
6. Don’t forget outside
Now more than ever, outdoor space is a key factor for buyers. That feeling you get as you approach the front door is critical. Both sales and property management companies report ‘entrance appeal’ as a top priority for buyers and tenants From front porches to courtyards, decking to outdoor kitchens, nature strips, backyards and veggie gardens, useful outdoor space equals value. If you have an outdoor area that needs attention, it is worth spending a bit of time gardening or getting your deck polished. Planting some flowers or adding some feature pot plants can be a cost-effective strategy to add some colour to a property.
7. Neutral colour scheme
Although you may like a specific colour scheme while you’re living in a property, it’s important to make your property appealing for as many potential buyers as possible, and that may require adopting a more neutral colour scheme throughout. It gives the new owner a chance to imagine their personal taste, décor and furnishings in the space without being put off by a particular colour. The best way to add a dash of colour whilst maintaining a neutral base is with soft furnishings like cushions, throws, fruit bowls and minor decorative pieces.
8. 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. This is a good addition if you have a handyman attending other touch ups.
9. Make each room look its best
If you’ve seen “The Block”, you would have noticed that they focus on one room at a time for their challenges. This is how you should approach preparing your home for Sale. Focus on each room, making it look its very best and as spacious as possible. Aim to leave a lot of open space and remove any unnecessary furniture.
10. Consistent colour scheme throughout
Try to keep the colour scheme flowing throughout the property, from your walls to your furniture and furnishings. Keeping the colour scheme consistent will make it easier for potential buyers to imagine themselves moving into your property. As previously mentioned, both in property sales and property management, keeping things as neutral in tone as possible for major items is worthwhile.
11. Define each room
We recently sold a property for a family whose two kids had moved out, and their bedrooms were basically empty – just a few bookshelves and lots of boxes. We recommended re-furnishing the rooms with staged furniture so that potential buyers could imagine how the rooms would look and feel for their kids. There is nothing worse than an empty room when it’s time to sell a property. Some rooms may be worth presenting as dual-purpose, ie: study and or/ extra bedroom, to give viewers plenty of ways to imagine the space.
12. Add some fresh flowers and plants
Fresh flowers are a great way to fill a house with lovely fragrances and colours. They add ‘life’ to the property. Easy to maintain pot plants around the property also receive lots of attention during our open for inspections.
13. Professionally stage your property
Having your property staged for sale is a great way to present it at its very best without buying new furniture and artwork etc. Believe it or not, staging furniture can add significant value to a sale campaign. Experienced staging companies know how to embrace current style trends with the existing feel of your home to maximise appeal for potential buyers. We use a professional property stylist for sales and property management, who’ll come through your property and recommend a full or partial staging package to make sure your property presents its very best for photography, advertising and the viewing campaign.
14. Fresh, new, clean towels
Although it’s number 14 on the list, it is an absolute must! If you’re still living in your property while it’s being sold, we recommend investing in some ‘show’ towels. These are your display towels which are used during inspections. White plush, clean towels are ideal and can be bought from Kmart, BigW or any homeware shop. Make sure you don’t have old, stained towels on display; it’s just not a good look.
15. Neatly pile kid’s toys
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.). Good-looking storage solutions such as baskets, chests and tubs are available online or in many stores.
16. Keep your private’s private
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. Some sellers even like to remove family photos off walls and mantles and replace them with the artwork.
17. Keep your cupboards and drawers clean
If there’s a door that opens in your property, you can be sure that potential buyers at an inspection will open it. So take your time to make sure that everything’s neat and tidy inside. Storage tubs or baskets are a good solution for cupboards.
18. Crisp bedsheets
It goes without saying that all beds should be made and look good before any inspection. If you think that your bedsheets could do with an upgrade, then you can pick up some great looking, budget-friendly new sheets online. A few extra pillows tend to add appeal as well.
19. 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 before inspections. If a house is presented in clean order, it does reflect on the sale or property management companies, so feel free to ask us for some tips or cleaner recommendations.
20. Keep curtains and blinds open
Before every open for inspection, you’ll want to make sure to keep all your blinds and curtains open to let in as much natural light as possible.
21. Make sure all of your lights work
If you don’t get a lot of natural light, make sure all your lights are working.
22. Make your home smell nice
Believe it or not, one of the most reported ‘turn offs’ to sales agents and property management companies is a bad-smelling property. It’s a good idea to make sure you have plenty of air fresheners, diffusers, aroma mists 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.