Getting your home ready to sell
When preparing to sell your home, the best thing you can do is think of the house as a commodity. Try to separate yourself emotionally from your house and look at it through the eyes of a buyer.
Do whatever it takes to put your home in its best condition.
The following tips will not cost a lot but make your home look better. Attention to such details often mean the difference between making or losing the sale.
Make appropriate repairs only. This is not the time to undertake major improvements . It is generally wiser to make only necessary repairs and cosmetic improvements that will enhance your home's saleability.
- The first impression of your house is the outside. Keeping the grass cut, the gardens weeded and the grounds tidy will help make a good first impression.
- Plant some already flowering flowers.
- A layer of bark over the gardens makes a world of difference. Place newspapers under the bark to prevent weed growth.
- Prune trees and shrubs and remove any dead branches or plants.
- Purchase some terra cotta pots and plants for the front entrance, so that it is more welcoming.
- Water blast the driveway, paths, concrete areas, decking areas, gutters and windows to give them a new appearance.
- Swimming and spa pools must be kept clean and the equipment in good working order.
- Wash the exterior of the house.
- Replace any loose or cracked paving stones or tiles on driveways and pathways.
- Clean the inside of the windows.
- Fix any loose iron, missing or loose tiles on the roof.
- Repair any broken windows.
- Make sure that your mailbox looks new and that your street number can be seen from the street
- If needed hire extra cleaning help while your house is on the market.
- Neutralize your decor.
- Put a fresh coat of paint in the most used areas of the home. This will clean as well as brighten up the rooms.
- Paint over the top of dated wallpaper.
- Wash the walls where paint is not appropriate (i.e. wall paper, paneling).
- Wash all floors and bathroom tiles.
- Shampoo dirty carpets and consider buying a rug to brighten up any dull rooms.
- Get rid of clutter. Clean out your closets, garage, basement and attic. Use self storage if necessary.
- Oil any squeaky doors or cupboards
- Make sure that all lights are working and that any broken light bulbs are replaced.
- Get rid of any bad smells in your home such as pet or cigarette odors. Place scented potpourri around the house. On the day you're expecting a potential buyer, pop a batch of frozen cinnamon rolls or home-made bread into the oven for a great aroma.
- Make sure all the beds are made.
- Hang clothes neatly in the wardrobes, and that all loose items are away or neatly arranged.
Bathrooms, kitchens and laundries
- Replace taps that are worn or leaking. People will notice a leaking or worn-out faucet. By replacing these items, you will give a new look to the room.
- Clean under the sinks. If there are any leaks fix them. Then clean up the damage using contact paper or paint.
- If your bathroom suffers from mildew then clean it off and if necessary apply a fresh coat of paint.
Get a pre-sale inspection
- Clean the garage floor and remove any cobwebs
- Tidy it up
A pre-sale inspection can ward off costly surprises from the buyer's inspector.
If the inspection reveals a leaking home or the need for a new roof, it could affect your decision to sell as well as your price.
Always get a qualified inspector.
Deal with disclosures
In Australia and the United States of America (but unfortunately not in New Zealand) most states now require sellers to disclose any issues that may affect a buyer's decision to purchase your home. In New Zealand real estate agents are required to disclose any issues that may affect a buyer's decision to purchase your home.
Make sure you understand what you need to disclose and decide whether to make any repairs or adjust your asking price.