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Market Insight

Preparing your home for sale.

We can’t all have a million-dollar view to sell our home, but we can take steps to present it in a manner that will attract the serious buyers and create a quick sale.

There are literally 100’s of different things you can do to improve your chances of selling your property fast, and your selected agent has seen them all, so ask them for suggestions and a referral to people that may be able to assist in the presentation of your property.

Listed below are some suggestions, you may not need to do them all or any of them for that matter, but at least it gives you a guide to work with.

Some of these ideas are small and simple; and some you may find extreme, but they will all help to sell your property fast. So, take your time and prepare and remember your HomeQ agent is your best friend when it comes time to sell.

1: Clean, clean, clean. Keep the dust down, dust everywhere, dust on top of the fireplace mantle and fan blades, polish your appliances and faucets, and give the windows a thorough washing. If you’re too busy to stay on top of things, consider hiring a cleaning service to stop by every couple of weeks, it will pay dividends in the long run; your HomeQ agent will be able to assist with suggestions.

2: Pay attention to smells. Don’t cook foods that give off a pungent aroma, such as lamb, bacon, garlic infused food, to mention just a few, in your home the day of an inspection. This is also relevant to bathroom and toilet smell and odours, and don’t forget the pet smells. You don’t want your home to small like a pet friendly fast-food outlet. The smell of freshly brewing coffee may be a good idea; with a quick spray of room deodoriser.

3: Clear out the clutter. If you want buyers to focus on how awesome the space in your home, not how messy and untidy it looks; declutter. Banish that pile of shoes from the entry, that stack of mail from the kitchen table, the washing up, stuff in the kids’ rooms, clothes hanging all over the place and anything else that detracts from your home’s saleable features. Don’t forget the garage, have that garage sale before you put your home on the market, let the buyers see your real home.

4: Repaint the walls neutral colours. As much as you love that dramatic red dining room, and purple bedroom, it could turn off a good portion of your potential buyers. Repaint these rooms in neutral tones like tans and whites; that allow buyers to focus on the spaces themselves, not the colour of the walls. There is no need to go over board and paint the whole house, remain conservative and be effective.

5: Keep the décor simple. To help buyers imagine themselves living in your home, tone down any art or other décor items of the extreme that might turn people off with different tastes. Perhaps have something that does not detract from the viewing and appreciate of your home; and not your collectables.

6: Get rid of personal items. Buyers want to be able to envision themselves in your home, temporarily remove anything overly personal, like family photos in the hallway, or your kids’ artwork on the fridge.

7: Let there be light! A bright home is an inviting home. Open the window blinds to let in natural light, add floor or table lamps to areas that are dim and have them on. A bright, cheery room looks bigger and more inviting, gives the impression of space.

8: Bring nature inside. Potted plants or a few pretty buds or flowers in a vase can help bring energy and tranquillity into an area, fill in empty corners, and draw attention to features you want buyers to notice. Just make sure the plants are in good health (and bug-free!). These can be hired on a short-term basis. Everything you do adds dollars to the final price.

9: Get rid of bulky furniture. Your furniture should fit the scale of the room, so get rid of any extra or oversized items that could make your space look smaller than it really is. This is a difficult one I know, but try to minimise as much as possible. If these items are going to be sold when you move; it may be a good idea to sell them now.

10: Organise your closets. Storage space is a huge selling point, and if your closets are stuffed to the brim, buyers will think you don’t have enough storage space. Invest in some boxes and pack the off-season clothes and other items ready to move, this will make your wardrobes and cupboards look bigger, dividers and other solutions, like kitchen cupboards organised and hall cupboards stacked neatly, will help with the overall impression.

11: Tackle that To-Do list. All those little things you’ve been meaning to do but never got around to? Buyers will notice these little things, and they’ll detract from the positives of your home. Set aside a weekend to tighten those loose doorknobs, fix that leaky faucet and paint over the scuffs from when you first moved in your sofa.

12: Do a faux “Renovation.” Little tweaks can make a big difference in the overall feel of a room. Kitchen a little outdated? Display clean appliances and perhaps have some coffee brewing. Replace or repair some damaged or missing fixtures, faucets and hinges etc. Family room beaten up furniture, dispose of it if you are not keeping it or throw some slipcovers over them, sent the pool balls up in a to play position, and trophies display neatly.

13: Give each room a purpose. That spare room you’ve been using as an office/guest room/dumping ground won’t help sell your home unless you show buyers how they can use it themselves. Clear it out and pick a use (office, guest room, crafts room) and clearly stage the space to showcase that purpose.

14: Turn the bathroom into a spa. Create the feel of a relaxing, luxurious bath — for less than $30. Stack a few pretty washcloths tied with ribbon, add some scented candles and faux plants, and buy bathmats and towels in coordinating tones to blend in with the décor. Perhaps some blue toilet flush and an auto spay scent. Pay special attention to the corners of the room and shower recess and screens.

15: Close the toilet! When it comes to both showing and photographing your home, this little trick can make a surprising difference. Make sure the lid is clean, not cracked and replace it if it’s damaged.

16: Turn the living room into conversation central. Help buyers picture themselves relaxing with family and guests by grouping your furniture into arrangements that inspire conversation.

17: Keep the flow going. Arrange the furniture intelligently the last thing you want is people bumping into furniture as they tour your home; it disrupts their focus and makes your space look cramped. Do a dry run as though you’re seeing your home for the first time and tweak anything that interrupts the “flow.”

18: Make something yummy. Think about something “homely” smells like baking cakes or bread can help people connect with a kitchen. Not a baker? Fake it with a scented candle.

19: Make it look “lived in”. Help your buyers see themselves in your home by adding deliberate highlights of your home that showcase how your home can be lived in. An inviting armchair and a tray with a coffee cup and book can turn that empty corner into a reading nook. Pretty soaps in a decorative tray can make your tiny half-bath more appealing.

20: Highlight focal points. Draw buyers’ eyes towards any special features with bright colours or accents like plants. A pop of red throw pillows can draw a buyer’s attention to that lovely window seat. A striking fern on the mantle can show off your fireplace. And a clean entrance can highlight your hallway.

21: Garage, work shop and out building. Clean out these out building and clear out the garage so it looks like a garage and not refugees from the TV show ‘Storage Wars’ If you are not keeping all the stuff that has been horded over the years what a great time to sell or dump it.

22: Boost the curb appeal. Street appeal is most important. If it does not look good from the outside the inspection will not go well; and perhaps not at all. More than one buyer has decided not to even enter a home based on its curb appeal, so make sure your home’s exterior looks excellent. Trim your shrubs, weed your flower beds, fix any peeling paint and keep the walkway clear. Just adding a row of potted plants along the walkway will make a big difference.

23: Cars. If you have more than one car only have one car up the drive, park the others round the corner you are not a car yard. Have your car parked on the street out the front and move it just before the inspection time so they don’t have to walk far. Also make sure all the oil leaks are removed.

24: Photos. Photo of your home profile is paramount, but don’t overdo it, to many photos will confuse the buyer and leave no nice surprises the agent can use during in the inspection. In most case ten pictures are quite enough but no more than fifteen, however, the choice is yours but be guided by your HomeQ agent.

25: Special Features. Make a list of all the features and positive aspects of your home and give it to your HomeQ agent, your agent will be able to incorporate some of these features in the profile verbiage and point them out during the inspection.

26: People. Try to keep the number of people in the home down during the inspections; having no one there, just the agent, will help sell the property; as the buyers will not feel pressured or have the feeling of intruding; giving them the opportunity to ask the agent questions.

27: After an Inspection.  After each inspection your HomeQ agent will give you feedback on what the prospects really felt about your home; and they will offer advice, act on this advice, they are the professionals.

HomeQ - keeping your home in front of more buyers

Talk to your local agent who will assist you in preparing your home for the market.

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