Seven tips for preparing your home for sale or for rent

Seven tips for preparing your home for sale or for rent
Seven tips for preparing your home for sale or for rent

The way a property presents can make or break its potential for sale or for finding those perfect tenants, and so vendors and landlords need to take it seriously.

Place managing director, Sarah Hackett, explains that there are seven factors that should always be considered when trying to provide that immediate attraction and charm.

“While you can go to the extent of staging your home with rented furniture, there are other things you can do to present your home in the best possible way and get buyers and tenants to fall in love with it without spending a fortune,” explains Hackett.

For those heading to an open home to assess a property to purchase, then here’s a useful guide.

For those selling, here are her seven tips:

  1. Street appeal

    We hear about fixing up that front façade all the time – and for good reason. It’s important! First impressions are quickly made about a property, and you don’t want your buyers put off before they’ve even stepped through the front door.

    “You need to have both the interior and exterior of the property looking in pristine condition,” said Hackett.

    “Mow the grass and tidy the yard, put out fresh mulch in the garden, sweep driveways and patios and put away garden tools such as hoses and sprinklers. Consider adding a new latch to the fence so that it opens easily and give the fence a fresh coat of paint if needed.”

    She also explained that when the agent greets the viewer at the front door, it’s nice to add a homely touch. This could be a nice door mat or pot plants. It’s also worth remembering to keep things clean, avoid parking directly in front of the house and to keep vehicles out of driveways.

    Here’s five ways to spruce up your property’s exterior for added value

  2. Cleanliness

    The next step is to keep things clean and to de-clutter the property.  It may require a bit of elbow grease, but the time spent is worthwhile.

    “This involves removing unwanted dirt and dust so that your property is sparkling, as well as tidying and de-cluttering, which includes cleaning off counter tops in the kitchen and bathrooms; removing photos and papers from the refrigerator; putting away items such as remote controls, magazines and garbage bins from the living areas; and ensuring bedrooms are tidy by making beds and putting clothes away,” she said.

    Essentially, this step is about removing distractions and unnecessary objections to the property.

    This is the number one ‘must do’ item on this list of 10 things that you should look towards before your open for inspection.

  3. Lighting

    Maximising natural light is a good first step – just opening the blinds or curtains can be helpful, as can cleaning the windows. Turn all the interior lights on, even in daytime showings.

    “This includes ensuring any broken light bulbs have been changed,” explains Hackett.

  4. Style your home

    While you can bring in the professionals it is also worth DIY-ing if you can’t afford it.

    “Set your table – it doesn’t have to be a formal setting, in fact casual is better,” she said. “Put a jug of water and nice glasses out or a bread loaf on a nice platter with napkins.”

    Look for nice features, such as fresh flowers, and create focus points in different rooms.

    Each room should be styled – consider purchasing cheap, but nice, doona covers, bathroom accessories and artworks.

    “Ultimately you want it to look like a hotel,” said Hackett. “In this sense you can make the bed a feature of the bedroom by adding extra pillows, and in the bathroom you can display soaps, towels and bath oils.”

  5. Playing to emotions

    Property is all about tugging on the heartstrings, so don’t be afraid to play to the mood. Music can work well, and is often used at professional display suites.

    She explains that this works particularly well as people feel more free to talk and discuss the property.

  6. Repairs

    Don’t leave any imperfections that can be easily fixed – this includes cracked windows, or chipped paint.

    “These signs of neglect can ring alarm bells for some buyers, who may think the whole property is generally rundown, and it will detract from the property’s appeal,” said Hackett.

  7. Time it right

    It’s likely you know your property well – so do you also know the time of day when it presents best?

    West facing houses may suit to do an open home in the morning – particularly if there’s no air conditioning and it tends to get too hot.

    “Likewise if your house has a lot of shade, hold open houses in the warmer hours. But make sure you work out when the entertaining areas are sunlit but not boiling,” she says.

You may also want to read this “last minute guide” to preparing your property for an open home.

Jennifer Duke

Jennifer Duke

Jennifer Duke was a property writer at Property Observer

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