To prepare a home for sale you need to make a list

06 Sep Selling your home? Then you need to plan ahead

Are you finding it difficult to start the process of getting your home ready for sale? Don’t panic, you are not alone. I see people rushing and stressing to finish certain tasks on a daily basis so what I recommend is a list of priority tasks. This breaks the process down into easy and achievable chunks. Don’t forget to tackle one room at a time to get a sense of achievement and motivation to move onto the next room.

There are many aspects of your home that you may think need work, but there will also be many things you haven’t seen that need attention. I quite often see issues with properties that the buyer will recognise immediately but the seller has become immune to. It is critical to prioritise the things that are of importance to buyers. Buyers want to be able to walk into the property and see the home as “move in ready”.

I wanted to share with you a list of key tasks to complete in the lead up to listing your home. You’ll need to think like a buyer during this process. Set timelines to complete these by working back from the date you want to get your property listed.

1)     De-clutter. Packing things away now means you have to pack less when you actually sell. Be ruthless, if you haven’t used items in 3 months you are unlikely to need before moving. I use a three-step process here – donate, trash or box up what can go onto the new home. Items to be kept need to be stored off site where possible.

2)     As a means to saving time don’t forget to clean as you go. Wipe down shelves, inside cupboards and all flat surfaces. One of my personal hates is seeing cobwebs surrounding light fittings and on ceilings (even worse is walking through one upon entering a room!).

3)     Pay attention to any strong scents or smells. You may need an honest friend with a good nose to help with this. Even things you may think smell nice like candles, incense or plug-ins can be off putting to some and could be seen to be masking more serious problems. Ensure kitchens are grease free and eliminate any pet beds that have a pong. No one wants to see cat litter trays inside and these need to be removed for all open homes.

4)     Now that we are thinking like a buyer, as you are going from one end of the house to the other, check light switches, door handles and dripping taps. These are simple and inexpensive tasks to complete and if not attended to, will frustrate buyers and impact on your sales price. Finish off those projects like putting in the last of the skirting from the reno two years ago, or paint that final wall that was left incomplete when you ran out of paint. It is all about the details.

5)     Your attention should not be all inside either. You may need to consider a mini garden makeover and exterior maintenance on your property. Look at getting a professional garden maintenance business in to take some of the pressure off leaving you to concentrate on having the inside spotless. There is nothing more annoying than not being able to find the house if the numbers have fallen off the letterbox, replace them so buyers can find you. The front door is the face of the house, so a repaint or restain could make it more welcoming. Great street appeal is worth thousands of dollars to your selling price.

Don’t forget, when working back from your dream launch date you’ll also need to allow around a week for photography for the marketing campaign.

Now if this all sounds daunting you may wish to engage the services of an experienced property stylist who, during a home styling consultation, would provide a prioritised action list specifically for your property. They would also provide recommendations on furniture layout to create traffic zones and walk ways whilst still capturing views, TV viewing and maximising each space in the home. This may seem like a big investment in time and money but in my years of experience, those that undertake the work are substantially rewarded in the sales price and reduced time on market.