Thinking of selling your home sometime soon? May the force be with you!
Selling your home is not an easy task. In fact, it’s legitimately daunting, and sometimes falls into the “too hard” basket for many would-be vendors. We tossed around the idea of selling our home last year. Like many parents, we felt we had, or would soon, outgrow our home. We flirted with the idea of renovating, but renovating is not in my DNA, and we would have needed to change our entire floor plan. Expensive and overwhelming!
Selling seemed the best option despite the many challenges of putting your home on the market. I can’t say it was an enjoyable experience (that’s putting it mildly) but making some important early decisions made the process easier. I am going to share my top ten tips for selling a home, from choosing an agent, to presenting your home for inspections, and how to manage Auction day!
- Choose your agent
Choosing a suitable agent to sell your home is the most vital decision you will make. You are putting all your trust into them, so it’s crucial you feel comfortable doing so. Make sure you meet with at least three property agents and have a long list of questions ready. Naturally, you will want to ask about their terms, commission, recent sales in the area etc. But equally as important you want to learn about how they operate. What is their philosophy? Are they talking the talk or walking the walk? We chose our agent because we liked his no BS approach to selling. In short, we felt he was trustworthy, reliable and honest – highly important qualities.
Another way to choose an agent is to go to RateMyAgent, Australia’s no. 1 real estate agent rankings and reviews website. The sites main focus is to help vendors find the right agent. Since selling, I have written a testimonial for our agent on this site. I am just one of over 3,000 reviews this site receives every week from genuine vendors. RateMyAgent allows users to see the most recommended agents per suburb, most number of sales, highest average sale price, and number of active listings.
- Clean and de-clutter
The best way to boost your home’s appeal to prospective buyers is to ensure it is sparkling and spacious. A thorough cleaning is essential. You can do it yourself (the most cost effective option) or hire professional cleaners to get into every nook and cranny. But first, you must de-clutter. The benefits of de-cluttering cannot be overstated. Minimalism is key to presenting your home and creates the feeling of more space. Look around your home and remove a third of the furniture and clutter. It is cleansing and it works. Rent a storage shed (or borrow a friend’s garage) for a month if you must.
- Repair and groom
Repair any problems within the home. You don’t need to go over the top and spent lots of money. There’s a difference between minor repairs and a full refurbishment. But if you’ve got some flaws you need to fix them. One of the most cost-effective and easiest ways to spruce up your property is to give it a fresh coat of paint. This will do wonders for your home and can bring it back to life. We re-painted the interior walls of our house, which hid a lot of sins (the carnage caused by kids!). Another room often ripe for new life is the kitchen, and is often considered the hero of the house. Fix or replace cupboard doors if necessary.
- Give it a hose
Many people assume they need to repaint the exterior of their house to boost “street appeal.” But often this is unnecessary and expensive. Hire a Karcher (high-pressure hose) instead and give it a good spray. You’ll be astounded with how fresh and clean it comes up. This small and inexpensive step brought our façade back to life. I would also recommend cleaning the windows; this step is often overlooked but will make a huge difference to the overall appearance of your home. Hire a professional if you have lots of windows, like we did. They have the equipment and know how to get a big job done quickly. Our home literally sparkled as a result. The challenge is keeping the kids’ sticky fingers off the windows for the duration of the campaign. Good luck with that!
- Tide the garden
You want your home to stand out from the crowd. This includes having a presentable garden. Weeds should be eliminated, any broken or missing brickwork replaced, pot plants must be in good order and garden beds need to be neat and tidy. If you’re a green thumb, your garden will probably look good anyway and little will need to be done. If you’re not (ahem, looking at myself here) a green thumb, hire a professional for a day to get that garden in tip-top shape.
This is a no brainer. Have your carpets professionally cleaned, especially in high traffic areas. This will make all the difference and freshen them up no end!
- Styling and Staging
Position your furniture in a way that can help make the rooms appear larger if you can. And remember to remove furniture that doesn’t really need to be there. You may even decide to hire a home staging professional. The right furniture can turn an older home into a stylish, modern house. I opted for a budget-friendly interiors makeover and it totally turned my house around. I wondered why I hadn’t been living like that in the first place!
- Pre-Open checklist
- Ensure there are no dirty dishes left on the bench or sink! You may think this is obvious but I’ve been to opens where they have neglected this basic rule! Put away appliances and ensure your benches are sparkling. If you want to go a step further, appeal to buyers’ sense by making freshly brewed coffee and/or freshly baked goodies in the kitchen.
- Clean everything – bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen, living area – make sure everything is crisp and sparkling.
- Your window dressings should be open and your windows sparkling. You want to let in as much natural light as possible. Also, turn on all the lights.
- Ensure you have a few bunches of flowers around the home in suitable vases. One “showcase” bouquet is good for the entrance or living room. And smaller vases in the kitchen and bathrooms add prettiness to the home, as well as a lovely perfume.
- Lock away your valuables.
- And lastly, don’t stick around during the inspection. Leave at least 15 minutes prior to the inspection time – someone always comes early!!
- On Auction day.
Stay calm. Easier said than done, I know! I spent most the auction with my heart in my throat, pacing up and down the living room! Take everything one step at a time and remember, even if bidding starts off slow, it can often end with a bang!
NASD partnered with RateMyAgent on this post.