Standing out in your street – preparing your home for sale

Standing out in your street – preparing your home for sale
Standing out in your street – preparing your home for sale


Buyers will naturally see the front of your home first.

Impressions are quickly formed and many potential buyers will make up their mind before even setting foot inside your house.

Look at your property from the footpath or across the street. Ask yourself whether your home seems inviting. Be honest and consider:

  • Are there any problems that can be easily and cheaply fixed?

  • Is there any chipped paint?

  • Would planting flowers or shrubs improve the garden?

  • Is the garden tidy? Do I need to mow the law, clear the doorstep or weed the garden?

Let go and think like a buyer

Selling a home is an emotional process, particularly for people who have been forced to sell. However, it is still possible for you to let go of your home emotionally. Imagine handing over the keys to the new owner. Allow potential buyers to picture themselves living in the house by:

  • Removing your personal photographs

  • Allowing them to park in your driveway

Clear the clutter

You’re not just selling your home – you’re selling the image of a comfortable lifestyle so you want your house to look as clean and clear as possible.

Often we get so used to our own clutter that we can’t even recognise that it needs to be moved. Ask a friend or family member who does not live at the house to help identify unnecessary clutter.

Be sure to:

  • Clear benches

  • Remove excess books from bookcases.

  • Place everyday items in a box so when the potential buyers visit, you can quickly put the box in a cupboard.

  • Ensure the Entrance and walkways are clear

  • Throw out broken and damaged items

  • Dispose of unnecessary paperwork

  • Store bulky furniture and sporting equipment offsite

Make your home look new

Make minor repairs and clean your house. You’ll be surprised how much these improvements will lift your home.

  • Patch any holes in the walls

  • Replace cracked flooring and old light bulbs.

  • Shine the floors

  • Replace your bathroom towels and soap

  • Wash your windows and doors

Clean your cupboards

Rearrange the inside of your cupboards. Buyers are often interested to know how you use the cupboard space and will look inside.

If everything is tidy, they will trust that you look after the house.

You also want to communicate that the house has enough storage space that they can live comfortably – so make sure that your cupboards are not filled to the brim.

Renovate wisely                                                                                                                          

Home improvements can be very expensive. Focus on value-for-money improvements which will generate a higher selling price. While major renovations may make your home more saleable, you may not recover the costs when you sell. Remember you want to maximise your profit!

Cosmetic improvements such as touching up paintwork or planting flowers in your front yard are usually good value for money. When choosing paint colours, try to be objective. You may love your bright orange kitchen but there’s a fair chance that most buyers won’t. Consider painting your walls in neutral colours in a matt finish.

Impress the senses

For many, buying a home is an emotional choice. For that reason, a home that feels comfortable is likely to sell for more. Consider:

  • Putting out vases of fresh flowers

  • Heating the house in winter

  • Leaving several windows open in the summer

  • Ensuring that your house has a pleasant aroma

  • Leaving lights on in dark areas

  • Opening curtains and blinds

  • However much you love your dog, potential owners may not. Keep pets outside or away from your home during inspections.

When you feel that your property is ready, walk around your home and ask yourself if it feels welcoming. Does your house look like nobody lives there? If so, you’re ready!

James Paynter is director of Hodges Real Estate in Bentleigh.

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