When you list your home for sale, people are going to see it. This certainly comes as no surprise, but you want to make sure that buyers see the property favourably. How your home is presented could be the difference between selling your home in the first week, and having it sit on the market for 3 months; they say that first impressions matter, and they’d be right.
Inevitably you’re going to need to do this, what with moving homes and all, so it’s good to get started before you list for sale. Throw away anything you don’t want to come with you to your new home, go through cupboards to clear space and make them look bigger, deep clean your home now so that it looks its best and is easier to maintain while on the market, and pressure clean concrete surfaces. You’ll be amazed at the difference even this can make. This goes hand in hand with the next 2 points.
When someone is inspecting a home for sale, they’re looking to see if the house suits their needs and if they feel at home. This can be more difficult to imagine if they feel as if they’re invading someone’s private residence. Make it more buyer-friendly by putting away family photos, keeping the beds made & the whole house clear of any clutter from coffee tables & benches, kitchen free of shopping lists and dirty dishes & empty laundry baskets. If you can, avoid having clothes hanging on the clothesline & clear away a good majority of any children’s toys. It’s recommended that these things are done before you have professional photos taken, so that people are seeing the property as if it were a display home in a magazine; potentially theirs, and not obviously someone else’s.
Once the property has been cleaned out and de-cluttered, you can then ‘style it’ for inspections. Try to use neutral colours for curtains, bed linen and bathroom textiles. You might even want to consider a fresh coat of paint; sometimes that’s all a home needs! The more neutral a property is, the more people it might appeal to.
You’ll also want to keep up a cleaning schedule for the simple things; keep the floors clean, wipe the benches regularly in the kitchen and bathrooms, hide away your bins (inside and out!), pick up a squeegee and wipe the shower down after every use (you won’t need to scrub the screens nearly as often) and dust weekly.
When you have people inspect your home, you want it to tick all the boxes. Obviously, buyers won’t always get everything they were hoping for, and may compromise on some things if a home’s positives outweigh its negatives. Some negatives will be out of your control, because of individual needs and tastes, but reduce the negatives where you can. If you have leaking taps, get the washers replaced; if a door handle or toilet roll holder is broken, pick up a new one from a hardware store; if there’s a cracked tile in the bathroom get a handy man around to tend to it; any holes in the walls should be patched up and painted; replace any blown lightbulbs; weed the garden & add a fresh layer of mulch; trim trees and hedges, &; clean out your gutters. These are things a lot of buyers look at, and though they’re an easy fix, they could cost you a quick sale. If buyers see a lot of general maintenance that needs to be done, they’ll wonder what major issues the home might have, and be less likely to put in an offer.
We understand that life is busy, and you won’t always be able to maintain an absolutely pristine home all the time, so we’ve come up with a tip for those moments when you’re agent calls you during the week with eager buyers who want to inspect your home five minutes ago.
Grab a large box or storage container, and pop in some clean, matching towels for all bathrooms; a few candles for quick ambient lighting (they don’t have to be scented, but if they are, pick something simple like vanilla), a cloth and multi-purpose spray. Pop the old towels in the washing machine (you don’t actually need to clean them, but it’s an appropriate hiding place for them), replace with the fresh towels, light a few candles around your home, give the bench tops a quick wipe down and, with the box now empty, quickly pack away any clutter left around your home into the box, and place it in a cupboard. There you have it! A home that is inspection ready in 10 minutes.