This time of year it seems that everyone is on the move and this time of year is traditionally the best time for selling your home. However, selling a house for a good price can be tricky, especially now that the market is quite saturated. That’s why good preparation is the key to a successful sale, even though you only have a short time to prepare. Here’s how to do it.
The first thing you should do is remove clutter to get a better look at your property. Get rid of everything that is broken, outdated or doesn’t fit in with your home’s style. Dispose, sell or recycle all old toys, appliances, documents, books, magazines and other clutter that you don’t need. Especially in the kitchen and bathrooms remove excess items and keep things like pet bowls or toothbrushes out of sight for the photos. If you have some items that you don’t want to throw away, consider putting into storage, so you know they are safe and secure.
2. Finish old DIY projects
After you declutter your space, it’s very important to conduct an inspection of your home. Since buyers always tend to remember bad things, make sure to eliminate all the issues from the picture. So finish those DIY jobs you've been putting off! You can start by inspecting walls for water damage and checking your taps and radiators for water leaks. These can look very off-putting, so make sure to deal with them. Handle your existing electrical problems and get an experienced qualified electrician in to check wiring and circuit boards are up to current safety standards, especially if you are in an older property, as these can affect your valuation in a survey.
3. Repaint your walls
If you happen to have an eclectic interior design taste, that’s totally fine, but you must know that not every buyer will love your bright red walls or floral wallpaper. The best way to appeal to the largest number of people is to provide them with a blank canvas where they can show off their own personality. So, paint your walls a neutral color (white, light grey or beige are most likely to do well with buyers). And don’t forget to take care of any nail holes and chipped corners before splashing a fresh coat of pain.
Once you finish these major works, it’s time to give your property a thorough scrub, floor to ceiling. Carpeted floors should get extra attention with all carpets getting a deep clean and stains removed. Tiled and hardwood floors should be swept and buffed to a nice shine. If you happen to have some overly worn-out areas, it might be a good idea to replace them. Other cleaning chores involve cleaning the windows, a thorough clean of the kitchen and put on freshly washed and ironed bed sheets (there's nothing more off putting than dirty bed sheets!).
5. Replace old fixtures
Replacing your old light fittings, rusty taps, worn out shower heads and out dated cabinet handles is a cheap yet effective way to boost the look of your property. Consider installing modern statement lights and investing in some contemporary bathroom fixtures. You can get some great ideas on Pinterest and find cheap deals in places like Wayfair and Amazon. It might feel like a waste of money buying new things for a house you are leaving, but if it helps make it sell quickly it could save you far more in the long run.
6. Stage your home
Home staging is a very important step towards a successful sale. Make sure your furniture isn't too big for the room and move the furniture to create zones that viewers can understand what the space can be used for. If you are saying a bedroom is a double, make sure there is a double bed in there. If you have a dinning area, set the table so viewers can imagine themselves enjoying dinner in their new home. Make your home feel welcoming with cushions and throws on the bed and sofas, fresh flowers, a fruit bowl, and some well placed mirrors to reflect light. Also, don’t forget to make your entrance welcoming and pretty with a new doormat and potted plants. If you think your possessions just aren’t good enough, today there are more services that allow you to rent staging furniture and decoration to help it look like a show home in no time!
7. Make it smell nice
Our sense of smell is very important to our first impressions and can create a positive (or negative) lasting impression of your home. People are very sensitive to smells, so make sure to mask all household odors with pleasant reed diffusers or scented candles. Take out the bins, wash the laundry and remove the pet bed. Have pets looked after by a friend if possible during viewings. You could even bake a cake or some bread before viewers come to fill your kitchen with lovely smells. Put herbs like lavender, rosemary, thyme or mint at the front door or on the patio or kitchen window to give viewers a positive experience of your home.
After following all these steps of preparation and home improvement, bids will fly in every direction and you might even get a better price than you’ve expected.
Will Sandford is a Sydney based wood architect, blogger and contributor on interior design and
ecology blogs. Besides that, he is also interested in home improvement combined with green
technology. In his spare time, Will enjoys surfing and rock climbing. He is also a regular