By: Tash Hughes of Word Constructions
You know the value of your home; after all, you have some great memories and associations with it. But when it comes to selling your home, you have to appeal to people who don’t have any sentimental attachment to it – yet.
The following tips can help to make the house look its best for inspections, but they will not compensate for any major issues. If you have the time and money, it will be worthwhile to fix any major concerns before getting to the presentation stage.
* Have the house tidy. Sure, people should be looking at the house and some mess won’t matter, but it usually does register. Besides, you don’t want people falling over toys or not being able to open a cupboard door for mess.
* Reduce furniture and clutter as much as possible. Less stuff makes the room appear bigger, which is a good first impression. On the same theme, a single bed leaves more space than a double bed.
* Have the front garden looking neat and tidy. And don’t forget the nature strip. Long grass and beds full of weeds is off putting, so keep it under control during the inspection period. If there isn’t enough time for both, concentrate on the front yard instead of the back as first impressions are crucial.
* If you have bare floorboards, make sure they are polished. Worn out and scratched floor boards make the whole house look shabby. The price of fixing them will be more than offset by the increased sale price you end up with.
* Clean out the gutters. Apart form how it looks, full gutters can overflow in heavy rain. Overflowing gutters will worry prospective buyers, and may even wet them, so avoid the problem now.
* Open the house up as much as possible so it is not musty and any odours are blown out. Avoid smoking and pets in the house, too, as many people don’t like these smells even if you aren’t aware of them.
* Little touches can brighten up tired rooms. For instance, paint a feature wall, put new handles on cupboards, hang matching towels, put down a new rug or add a picture rail on the lounge room.
* Fix anything that is broken. You may be used to the quirky door handle but it will just be hard to open for someone else.
* Look at the tiles in your house. Are any missing or falling off? Could the grout do with replacing? Now is the time to fix these things up.
* Wash all of the curtains and windows. You’ll be amazed at how much brighter the house will look.
* Give the oven and stove a good clean, not just a wipe. People will be looking into your oven and keen cooks will judge the house on the kitchen.
* Consider a new shower curtain so that it is fresh and doesn’t have mildew along the bottom.
* Fix any leaking taps and make sure all taps are easy to use. Get a plumber in if required.
* Have some lights on in the house to keep it bright and cheery. For evening viewings, soft corner lighting in formal rooms is cosy and welcoming.
* Have the heater going if the weather is cool. This not shows buyers that the heater works, it makes the house warm and inviting – and feelings help sell a house. Conversely, have windows open on a warm day for fresh air or turn on the air conditioning during hot weather. Let people feel comfortable in your home regardless of the outside conditions.
* It’s an old one, but it works – have some scones or bread baking so the house is filled with homey food smells. Bread machines are great for this as you can set it hours in advance.
* Vases of flowers around the house is also a nice touch. Flowers draw the eye and brighten even the drabbest room.
* Quite music in the background can be soothing. Keep it quiet and choose something calm and unobtrusive so it is hardly noticed.
* Sweep the front path and porch beforehand. A clean entry gives a good feel before they see anything else.
* Divert your phone or take it off the hook so that no unexpected calls come through during the inspection. A phone ring can be annoying, especially if no one is able to answer it. Remember that people could be listening if you use an answering machine.
* Make beds every morning, wash dishes straight away and generally keep things tidy so there won’t be any nasty surprises if an agent brings an extra person to see your home.
* Remove your valuables. Unfortunately, things have been stolen from house inspections so you don’t want to tempt fate. Some also say that more valuable possessions make buyers less inclined to pay you more as ‘they don’t need it’.
* Take any pets out with you for inspections so there is no problem for buyers. Obviously, goldfish and caged birds can stay, but dogs can be threatening for many potential buyers.
Bio: Tash Hughes is the owner of Word Constructions and assists businesses in preparing all written documentation and web site content. Tash also writes parenting and business articles for inclusion in newsletter and web sites.