First impressions count in real estate. If buyers like what they see it may produce a better result when you sell your house.
What if your castle doesn’t look like a castle?
Every home has the potential to look its best at an open house and appeal to its potential buyer market. Here are some suggested steps to follow.
1. Pretend you are a buyer
You may want to go stand outside your property and ask yourself: if you were inspecting your home for the first time, what does it really look like on first sighting?
What words spring to mind? Does it make you feel proud, inspired or uninspired?
Be honest. This self-feedback will help you decide where to spend time and money preparing your home for sale. If you doubt your own objectivity, invite a trusted friend over to help with the assessment.
2. Tidy up the exterior
Some home buyers decide whether to keep driving or stop and inspect based on what they see from the street.
Before listing, sellers may want to spend some time getting their front facades and gardens in tip-top condition. Pruning, planting flowers, mowing, painting and/or cleaning the fence can help any home look its best.
Minor repairs can make a difference too - ensure gutters and window trims are clean and paint is not peeling. Check gates are securely attached, painted and latches and locks work.
It’s amazing how a cared-for space could push up your property value in a buyer’s mind.
3. Make sure the interior sparkles
A home that is squeaky clean, well maintained and obviously cared for by its owner, is one that is ready to be sold.
Lots of homes are bought based on a buyer’s first emotional reaction so it could pay to invest in some serious elbow grease before going to market.
Pay extra attention to bathrooms, kitchens, other wet areas and appliances. Cupboard doors, knobs and light fittings need a clean too. You may consider getting carpets and window dressings cleaned or replaced and touching up paint where necessary.
4. Review furniture and decor
One of the golden rules of selling houses is that light and space rule. The good news is you can make your home – no matter its actual dimensions – appear bigger and brighter with select furniture, decor and lighting.
Simply removing some of your own possessions can create instant space. De-clutter wherever possible. Your framed family photos make you smile, but they’re likely just noise to a buyer. Store away all personal items including photos and keepsakes ahead of open house inspections.
If your budget allows, you may want to consider hiring quality neutral furniture and decor to help your home appeal to the widest possible market of buyers, or you might even employ professional stagers.
5. Chase up the body corporate
If your home is an apartment, a townhouse or unit you’ll want to make sure the property’s common areas - including entrance gates, gardens, pathways and driveways - are tidy and in good repair.
Ask your body corporate manager for permission to tidy shared outdoor areas if necessary.