PREPARING YOUR HOME FOR SALE - AND GETTING THE PRICE YOU WANT

Published : 9 December 2015

Have you ever visited a prize home and bought a ticket? These charities could very easily just sell tickets for an empty house but instead, they dress it up and include the furnishings. And the reason for this is that they are 'selling' a dream or a lifestyle, not bricks and mortar.
So when it's time to sell your home, you might follow their lead in preparing your property for sale, and getting as close to your desired price as possible.
Some house-hunters know exactly what they want and have stacks of vision and imagination. It wouldn't how bad your property looked, they would see through the dirt and clutter and visualise what they would do with it.
However, the majority of buyers will be swayed by how the house presents. And if they are keen, will use any faults or defects to try and lower your price.
So here are a few tips on how to make your property so desirable, it will sell in a flash!

Disassociate Yourself With Your Home

The first thing to do is to disassociate yourself from your home. In fact, if you are serious about selling, stop calling it your home. It's just a property you are selling.
When selling a property yourself, you will be the one showing prospective buyers around. In one way this is great, as you can help push the sale by pointing out special touches, and casually mentioning 'lifestyle' attractions, like enjoying brekkie by the pool, or walking to a local restaurant.
But if you don't break your emotional attachment, you will be hurt and offended when they poke around in cupboards or say the kitchen is dated.
Let go of your emotions and focus on the fact that soon this house will no longer be yours.

Time to de-clutter

To help yourself do that it's a good idea to de-personalise the property. If you're going to be moving anyway, why not pack up those personal photographs and family heirlooms now? It saves a job later on and helps de-clutter. You want buyers to imagine their own photos on the walls; their own ornaments on the mantelpiece.
And while you're at it, consider doing a general de-clutter. Again this will save time later, as well as making your property appear clean and tidy and, importantly, more spacious.
If you don't need it - or haven't even noticed it for a year - donate it, sell it or throw it away. The most important rooms to de-clutter are kitchens and bathrooms. Nothing looks worse than a bench top covered in appliances, or a bathroom shelf overflowing with half empty bottles.

Buyers like to be thorough

And that means they may very well open up your cupboards and drawers. It's a funny one, this. In any other situation it would be considered rude. But if they are planning to spend a lot of money buying your property, it's probably fair enough!
It might be worthwhile tidying up those cupboards and drawers a bit so, if they do open one, they won't get buried by a tumbling mountain of shoes and coats! And if they see how well presented your cupboards are, they are more likely to consider that the property has been well cared for.
Almost every home shows better with less furniture so remove items that block or hamper paths and walkways and put them in storage. Many people hire a storage unit when selling, so that they can pack up most of their belongings and get them out the way.

Little touches that count

This is also the time to make minor repairs and consider some decorating. But DO NOT go crazy, spending heaps of money and thinking that will get you a higher price. While some home improvements add value, many do not and at this stage in the game you'd only be wasting your money.
But do those little things you've been meaning to get around to, like replacing cracked tiles, patching holes in walls, fixing leaky taps and doors that don't close properly, clean cobwebs, clean grout, replace burned-out light bulbs, wash windows, clean ceiling fans and air-conditioning, and pressure wash paths and driveways.
Any walls that are particularly grimy can be given a wipe down with sugar soap or, if really bad, just a couple of coats of a neutral-coloured paint.
When opening your house for inspection, it's the little touches that can really help sell it - freshly vacuumed and cleaned floors, vases of fresh flowers, clean towels in the bathrooms, bright cushions scattered around, even a plate of home-baked cookies and the smell of freshly brewed coffee.
Do it right the first time - and you may only have to do it once!