How to get your house ready to sell

It’s not easy, that selling your home business. First, you’ve got to decide where you want to go next. Then you’ve got to work it all out with the bank, get an agent, etc…what you don’t need is more things to do on your list. Luckily, it’s not hard to ensure that your home is up to standard and ready to sell. Little bits of work can really change and transform the spaces throughout your house, helping you move on, and potential buyers image themselves in your house.

Here’s what we recommend doing if you’re getting ready to sell:

Remove the clutter

bedside table
It might be time to store your normal bedside book collection away (just until you’ve moved)

As you are probably aware, one of the more hideous tasks when moving home is the organisation of, and then packing of, all of your stuff. Luckily, giving your house a good declutter will have great payoffs for when you move into your new place, and for when you go to sell; studies show a cluttered, disorganised home can decrease its sale price by as much as 10%.

If your home is filled with memorabilia, overcrowded bookcases, bursting cupboards and too much furniture now is the time to deal with it. It’s important to create a sense of open space so potential buyers can imagine living in your home. Your home shouldn’t be empty, but clutter should be removed, sorted or put in storage.

Check out our helpful tips on what should stay and what should go when you’re decluttering.

Give it a (thorough) clean

cleaning house
It’s time to finally get all the gunk out of that carpet…you know, maybe it’s time to get a professional cleaner in

In the same vein, a very thorough cleaning of your home will make a huge difference. Scuffed walls and baseboards can be touched up with special paint erasers available at most DIY stores. Stained toilets and sinks should be dealt with, along with holes in the walls, broken taps, dirty door frames, cracked electrical outlets, blown light bulbs and squeaky hinges on cabinets.

This may require some elbow grease, but don’t make it a massive job you have to tackle all at once. Break your cleaning up over several days, giving yourself time to decompress and do things you enjoy more, like watching a good TV show or catching up with friends.

Get that curb appeal

pretty house
We’re sorry to say it but sadly it’s true; a house with a prettier outside means more money for you!

Don’t forget the importance of curb appeal. The front of your home is very important as this is the first impression people have as they arrive, and while it might not bother you if the grass in that one corner of the garden is wild, potential buyers are likely to notice it.

Does the front garden look tidy? Does any of the brickwork need to be power-washed? Does the front door look freshly painted and clean? How about the front gate or fence?

A small investment in colourful plants or flowers can have a huge impact on first impressions, so consider what small these additions might make to the overall appeal of your home. You might decide to put in these newer plants closer to the date you are intending to release the house to the market, in order to ensure that the house is looking its best.

Let the house speak for itself

let your house speak for itself
Let potential buyers see what you fell in love with once upon a time

If you’re the proud owner of a bright blue feature wall, it might be time to give that wall in particular a good paint over. Loud, outdated wallpaper should be replaced with a neutral colour paint job. The same goes for rugs or carpeting (especially those that are stained or damaged). You want your home to speak for itself — let what is there take centre stage, so potential buyers can see how it is well-loved, but also well-maintained. Half of your job when preparing the house for sale is getting it to a point where buyers can see the lifestyle opportunities offered by your (soon to be former) home.

While you have spent years making this home your own, now is the time to depersonalise it, which can be difficult. Remove family photos and other personal touches so the home is as neutral as possible. This enables potential buyers to imagine their own personal items in the space.

The money you spend now on cleaning and repairs will almost certainly come back to you in the form of a higher sale price.

Use the agent’s first visit as a test

If the agent says it might be better to swap the bright couch out, it’s best to listen to them

When it comes to selling your home, first impressions last. Prospective buyers will set their ideas about your space from the moment they set foot in it. However, agents are often the first people to see your home, and help you determine an acceptable selling price.

Be educated about the market value, as it is, and let them be your guide around what to expect in terms of a price, but also what you need to look at in terms of jobs that need doing.

If they suggest getting the jobs done now, it is not because they want you to spend your weekends painting and cleaning. Rather, it is because they think it will mean more money when the time comes to make a deal with a buyer. A few dollars spent now will usually pay off many times over when taking offers.

It can be hard to move on from a space that you once loved, but don’t get too caught up in reminiscing — you’ve got your new place to move into!

Written: 1 July 2020, Updated: 30 June 2020

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