Education | Featured | Ingenia

Preparing your home for sale

Recent reports from REA indicate property buyers are becoming progressively active as COVID-19 restrictions ease. Their website has recorded it’s sixth consecutive week of growth in buyer search activity, with search activity now significantly higher than a year ago.

As the market prepares for restrictions on open for inspections and on-site auctions to ease, now is the perfect time to prepare your house for sale.

Preparing a house for sale can take time and planning. Planning ahead will allow you to understand the task at hand and how much time and money you will need to get top dollar for your family home.

Here are our top tips to preparing your home for sale:

1. Declutter
Decluttering is one of the most important tasks you can do to prepare your house for sale. No matter how organised you are, it doesn’t take long for clutter to build up around the home.

You need to view your house as a blank canvas and to do this, you need to remove unnecessary items that detract from the appearance of your home. Clean out the garage, spring clean the spare rooms, tidy the cupboards, remove excess trinkets and decorative items.

Not sure where to start? View our decluttering guide.

2. View your home as a buyer
When you live in a house for a long time, each room holds memories of days gone by, making it difficult to look at how you can improve your home. When preparing your house for sale, it is important you remove the emotional attachment you have to each room and consider how the buyer will see things. Has the lounge room feature wall dated? Will they notice the fraying carpet at the back door? The answer is yes!

3. Conduct a walkthrough
Walk through your home, examine each room and write down everything you can see needs to be updated, modernised or repaired. Are your door handles loose? Does the kitchen need a lick of paint? Do the ceiling fans need to be replaced?

As you walk through each room, note down the jobs that need to be done. This list will help you when you are planning your budget and timeline.

4. Arrange a building and pest inspection
A building and pest inspection may sound like an unnecessary cost but it can uncover any potential problems that you cannot see. This will give you time to rectify any issues before putting the property on the market which can limit problems that may crop up during the cooling-off period.

5. Prioritise your work
Once you have a list of jobs you would like to complete, prioritise the list in order of ‘high priority’, ‘medium priority’ and ‘low priority’ items. This will help you recognise the tasks that need to be completed, such as any issues that popped up during the building inspection.

6. Decide your budget
Most tasks associated with selling your house require little to no cost outlay but during your planning, you may have noticed repairs or upgrades that will require the help of tradies. Before starting any renovations, determine how much you would like to spend to prepare your house for sale. If you have a smaller budget, you may decide to complete duties like painting and gardening yourself.

7. Get quotes
Costing any works that pop up through your walkthrough and the building inspection will help you manage your budget. If you cost the works prior to starting any renovations, particularly any high priority jobs, this will also help you stay within your budget. You may find that you have extra money up your sleeve to invest in ‘nice-to-do’ upgrades such as property styling.

8. Draw up a game plan
Your first instinct may be to get cracking on patching walls and painting eaves, but you will be better served by stepping back and planning your approach. There is no point in cleaning the driveway if you later decide you need to do some landscaping.

Once you have completed a task, you can tick it off as complete, serving as a constant reminder of your progress.

9. Research local agents
Choosing the right agent is essential to getting the best sales result for your home. With many agents around, it can be difficult to know who the best agent will be.

Use the internet to search for agents in your area and make time to talk to them on the phone. Follow their activity while preparing your house for sale so you can see for yourself how they perform in the local market.

When you are nearing the end of your preparations and the social isolation restrictions ease, meet with the agents face to face to discuss your needs and wants for the sale or your property. Attend property viewings with each agent to see how they interact with buyers. Will you be comfortable with this agent representing you and your home in the market?

You can find more information on choosing a real estate agent here.

Selling the house you have called home for a long period of time can be an emotional roller coaster but with a bit of planning, you can put some structure around the process to help you through.