Tips for selling a real estate property in Wollongong
Creating a great first impression is what counts if achieving a premium price for your property is your goal. A great first impression is easy to achieve if you have an eye for detail and allow some time to prepare.
Careful planning and knowing how to professionally spruce up your home will send buyers scurrying for their cheque books. Here are some tips to help you achieve your outcome.
1. Disassociate yourself with your home
• Say to yourself, “This is not my home; it is a house” – a product to be sold much like a box of cereal on the supermarket shelf.
• Make the mental decision to “let go” of your emotions and focus on the fact that soon this house will no longer be yours.
• Picture yourself handing over the keys to the new owners.
• Say goodbye to every room.
• Don’t look backwards – look towards the future.
Pack up those personal photographs and family heirlooms. Buyers can’t see past personal artefacts and you don’t want them to be distracted. You want buyers to imagine their own photos on the walls, and they can’t do that if yours are there. You don’t want to make any buyer ask, “I wonder what kind of people live in this home?” You want buyers to say, “I can see myself living here.”
People collect an amazing quantity of junk. Consider this: if you haven’t used it in over a year, you probably don’t need it.
• If you don’t need it, why not donate it or throw it away?
• Remove all books from bookcases.
• Pack up knickknacks.
• Clean off everything on kitchen counters.
• Put essential items used daily in a small box that can be stored in a cupboard when not in use.
• Think of this process as a head-start on the packing you will eventually need to do anyway.
4. Rearrange bedroom cupboards and kitchen cabinets
Buyers love to snoop and will open bedroom and kitchen cupboard doors. Tidy these spaces and make sure they are not overcrowded to avoid any impression of lack of space. Now imagine what a buyer believes about you if they see everything organised. It says you probably take good care of the rest of the house as well. This means:
• Ensure all cans and packets are facing outwards with labels showing.
• Neatly stack dishes.
• Turn coffee cup handles facing the same way.
• Hang shirts together, buttoned and facing the same direction.
• Ensure coat hangers all face the same way.
• Fold jumpers and stack neatly.
• Line up shoes.
• Fold sheets and towels neatly in linen closet.
5. Rent a storage unit
Almost every home is more presentable with less furniture. Remove pieces of furniture that block or hamper paths and walkways and put them in storage. Since your bookcases are now empty, store them. Leave just enough furniture in each room to showcase the room’s purpose and plenty of room to move around. Rearrange furniture if need be to create a maximum feeling of space. You don’t want buyers scratching their heads and saying, “What is this room used for?”
6. Remove/replace favourite items
If you want to take window coverings, built-in appliances or fixtures with you, remove them now. If the chandelier in the dining room once belonged to your great grandmother, take it down. If a buyer never sees it, they won’t want it. Once you tell a buyer they can’t have an item, they will covet it, and it could blow your deal. Pack those items and replace them, if necessary. It is a good idea to put valuable items in a safe place during the inspections.
7. Make minor repairs
• Replace cracked floor or wall tiles.
• Patch holes in walls.
• Fix leaky taps.
• Replace cracked glass.
• Replace broken fly screens.
• Fix doors that don’t close properly and kitchen drawers that jam.
• Consider painting your walls neutral colours, especially if you have grown accustomed to purple or pink walls. Don’t give buyers any reason to remember your home as “the house with the orange bathroom.”
• Replace burned-out light bulbs.
• If you’ve considered replacing a worn sheets or bedspread, do so now.
8. Make the house sparkle
• Wash windows inside and out.
• Rent a pressure washer and spray down sidewalks and exterior.
• Clean out cobwebs.
• Clean the swimming pool and remove the Kreepy Krauly.
• Tidy the garage to create more space.
• Remove mould from walls.
• Hang up fresh towels.
• Lid of toilet down.
• Wipe over showers.
• Clean grout in bathrooms.
• Polish chrome faucets and mirrors.
• Re-caulk tubs, showers and sinks.
• Clean out the refrigerator.
• Don’t leave dishes in the sink.
• Empty all bins.
• Polish sink and taps.
• Clean oven and hotplates.
• Wash floors.
• Clean all vents and exhaust fans in the home.
• Dust furniture, ceiling fan blades and light fixtures.
• Replace worn rugs.
• Make all the beds.
• Clean and air out any musty smelling areas. Odours are a no-no. Consider burning essential oils.
• Open all curtains and blinds to allow as much natural light in as possible.
• Remove all ashtrays as a smoker’s home isn’t appealing.
• Ensure all light bulbs are working.
• Remove kitty litter and pet bowls and bedding.
• Vacuum daily.
• Steam clean carpets.
• Go outside and open your front door. Stand there. Do you want to go inside? Does the house welcome you?
• Linger in the doorway of every single room and imagine how your house will look to a buyer.
• Examine carefully how furniture is arranged and move pieces around until it makes sense.
• Leave all the internal doors open to create a feeling of space.
• Make sure window coverings and paintings hang level.
• Tune in to the room’s statement and its emotional pull. Does it have impact and pizzazz?
• Does the home smell nice?
• Is there a lovely ambience created by music, fresh flowers, a pleasant temperature and cleanliness?
10. Check kerbside appeal
If a buyer won’t get out of their car because they don’t like the exterior of your home, you’ll never get them inside.
• Keep the sidewalks cleared.
• Mow the lawn and trim the edges.
• Ensure the front gate and door are appealing and working correctly.
• Prune any overhanging branches.
• Ensure gardens weeded.
• Lawns raked and paths swept.
• Letter box empty.
• Remove oils spills or stains from driveway and garage floor.
• Exterior windows are clean and cobweb free
• Gutters cleaned.
• Make sure visitors can clearly read your house number.
For vacant properties, we would also recommend the use of decorator furniture for the period of the sale. We can advise on the best type of furniture to be used. The average cost to furnish a typical three bedroom house for six weeks is likely to be in the range of $4,000-$6,000 – in our experience an excellent investment in maximising the sale price of your property.