Presenting Your Home for Sale
How many times have you walked into a house for sale, seen a hideous couch or brightly painted wall and made a judgement call based on this feature? I know I do this all the time! Even just walking into a friends home I automatically compare their décor, style and cleanliness to my own home. It is human instinct to compare what we have with what others have and in the search for a new home this instinct can impede on our overall judgement of the home. This means that the décor of a property for sale is vital to maximise interest, retain buyers and potentially increase value.
When selling, it is important to walk through your own home as if you were looking to buy it. Ask yourself: what do I look for when buying a new home? This will help you look at your place with fresh eyes and see those minor things that you’re happy to live with but may not necessarily look good to a buyer. It could also be helpful to get a friend to walk through your home and give you their opinion.
Remember when decorating, to keep things neutral and minimal, showcasing a timeless style of home that could appeal to the masses. Your main features such as walls, lounges and benches should be kept light and neutral for example, crème or white.
So where do you start when preparing your home for sale?
Some Décor Do’s & Don’ts
- Refresh the home. This can be as easy as updating the bed spreads, taking down old curtains or blinds or getting rid of those unkempt indoor plants. It could also mean putting a little bit more time or money into things and repainting the walls particularly if you have bold colours around the home such as purple, hot pink, bright blue or black; performing any repairs such as plastering any holes in the walls, replacing cracked tiles or broken windows/screens and fixing leaking taps or pipes.
- Tidy the lawns / gardens. People often make the mistake of thinking it is just the house that buyers are looking at and do not maintain the front or backyard. Keeping the entire property tidy will make a world of difference to your buyer. The gardens being unkempt will simply look like a lot of extra work to a buyer which may reduce their offer or deter them from buying the property all together. Continue to weed the gardens and mow the lawns, fix any broken retaining walls and pressure-hose decking or pavement. The best time to do these things is the day before an organised inspection / open home.
- Finish all repairs / renovations. Before you open your home to a buyer make sure that all works are completed. Unfinished work, regardless of a promise that it will be finished, looks messy and can again deter a buyer. Often, we can’t see beyond what is presented to us and it becomes hard to imagine what the renovations will look like when completed. Recently finished renovations are attractive to a buyer and can often give your home more value.
- Decorate with budget homewares. You may think that your property looks too bare or not homely without pieces hanging on the walls or small figures on tables, however it is important that your little details are presentable. Cheap extras can cheapen the look of your home. Instead of going to a $2 shop, put some small pot plants or fashionable vases with fresh flowers on tables. Hang a clean mirror or a smart piece of décor on your walls. Less is more in this circumstance, a simple pop of colour or something smart will go a long way.
- Store all your extras in the garage or shed. A garage or shed is not as insignificant as you may think. Buyers want to look at the entire home and that includes the garage and/or shed so if you have piles of belongings stored in these spaces, people are going to see them. If you are selling your home it is safe to assume that you are planning to move, have a big clean up before you put your house on the market so you have less belongings piled in the garage or floating around the house. Let’s be honest, these belongings are mostly put in the garage and left in the garage, be brutal and just get rid of what you don’t use!
- Put in new carpets. While it can be a great idea to rip up carpets and polish floorboards, do not replace carpet with carpet. Buyers will not necessarily have the same taste in carpets that you do and new carpets will not add value to your property. Spend the time and money instead on cleaning the carpets either professionally or by investing in a carpet cleaner. I own one myself and it is definitely a worthwhile investment, particularly if you have indoor pets.
Remember when presenting your property for sale; less is more! Your agent will also be more than happy to give you advice on repairs and / or presentation of the property. Above all, take pride in presenting your home. Leaving your home can be an emotional experience, show the love you have for your home in the way you present it.
Here is a basic checklist of things you can do before putting your house on the market: