Many articles, books and videos have been produced by many experts, even television shows over the years and mostly they lecture you over the dozens of changes, sometimes expensive changes to your home in order that it will achieve a sale and a higher price.
Depending on where you live, the state of the market (high number of sales or low), days on the market, interest rates, the economy, investors, whether you want a quick sale or can take your time, stock on the market – phew!
These are just some of the variables that come into play when you are selling your home – nothing new here – but presentation is important. However, we believe concentrate mainly on the basics, not a complete rejuvenation of your home.
Buyers generally have worked out where they want to live, the amenities available, the type of home, style and the number of bedrooms, bathrooms and so on.
Many buyers will do a ‘drive by’ past your home if it matches their buying criteria. Ensuring the front of your home is appealing increases their curiosity to want to see inside and out the back.
Savvy owners keep the front of their properties looking spic and span because they know that other homes in the neighbourhood are their competition, so they want to ‘stand out in the crowd’.
When that potential buyers’ curiosity has heightened because of your due diligence to the front of the property, now they can’t wait to see the inside and beyond.
When they walk through the front door, ‘let there be light’ all curtains and blinds open and lights on. Ensure floor coverings, particularly carpets are free of stains and smelling fresh. Try and have everything neat and tidy. Some experts get carried away with ‘clutter’ – gee, if your buyer can’t see past your favourite things and know they’re buying an empty shell …..
Remember, cleanliness, no smelly dishes, clean windows, clean light fittings and fans, no dirty smudges on walls are positives for buyers.
Fresh, clean bathrooms, don’t forget the mirrors and putting all your pills, medicines, and other personal stuff away is really important.
Beds should be made because unmade beds draw eyes away from the true features of the bedroom – such as windows, ventilation, size, etc.
Where you are utilising a true bedroom as a study, ensure you count the room as a bedroom and describe it as e.g. 4th bedroom currently used as a study – for reasons unbeknown to us, many buyers cannot see past the ‘study’ to recognise it as a true bedroom.
Ensure that you indicate if something like a dishwasher or other obvious ‘inclusions’ are NOT. Buyer angst over stuff that you want to keep, but have not made obvious might kill the sale or at least make the completion of the sale very unpleasant.
Outdoor entertaining areas need to be presented so that buyers can see themselves sitting outside (very important in balmy Queensland weather) and the pool, if you have one, needs to be clean and inviting – dirt, algae and floating leaves just makes the pool look unappealing, hard work and expensive to the buyer.
Under Queensland law, the pool must have an approved safety fence – spend a few dollars getting this approval – saves more angst later and clears your conscience of a possible pool tragedy anyway.
Clear the backyard of rubbish, ensure fences are in good nick (loose and missing pailings are a no-no) and get rid of dying unattractive plants – eyes only need to be drawn towards the spaciousness and tidiness of your backyard haven.
If you have pets, especially barking, very affectionate dogs, please keep them away from potential buyers, or have a neighbour look after them during inspections – some people are not pet lovers.
When you organise an inspection for a potential buyer, put the coffee pot on – this will create an aroma that is alluring and allows you convivial time to sit with buyers over a cuppa. Be sure to get the buyers full details such as names, phone numbers, email addresses not just because it will be important for follow up, but also for security – you must know if they are genuine.
And, very importantly, have a prepared legal contract nearby just in case they are ‘hot to trot’. Have your solicitor or conveyancer provide one in which he or she will highlight important clauses, signature locations, where to place their offer, etc. The last thing you want to go wrong is legal documentation – frankly, we have seen experienced agents make omissions and errors on sales contracts.
Another simple area to cover is to have available information such as Council rates, water rates, do you have solar (what kW rating) and anything else pertinent to ongoing expenses for the buyer – be assured, they will ask these questions.
Don’t forget your brochures (prepared free, ready for printing by Total Clarity Realty), to pass on to potential buyers as well as a descriptive house plan giving dimensions of rooms.
Oh, and the bleedin’ obvious – put up your ‘For Sale’ sign – 25% of buyer enquiries come from a sign, and keep it upright and clean and tidy.
Finally – relax and enjoy your opportunity to sell your home – you are in full control. Remember, you may sell on the first inspection – you beauty! But also be prepared for a few possible disappointments, until that one buyer comes along – and it will happen – remember inspiration, empathy and experienced advice is only a phone call or email away from your friends at Total Clarity Realty.