Checklist for Preparing Your Property For Sale
You don't get a second chance at a first impression!
Presenting your property in the most attractive way can improve the value of your asset and therefore increase the selling price.
The following checklist of helpful hints and tips will ensure you maximise the sale price for your home and sell it more quickly:
- • Gate: repair / paint / oil
- • Fence: repair / paint / varnish
- • Letter box: replace or straighten / paint
- • Driveway: repair cracks / remove oil stains
- • Lawn: weed / mow / edge / sweep leaves
- • Garden: weed / edge / trim plants / mulch / remove dead plants
- • Pot plants: introduce as a feature / clean / weed / prune
- • Gutters: clean / repair / paint
- • Eaves: remove cobwebs / clean / paint
- • Roof: reseal / repair
- • Garage: clean door / repair / paint / tidy interior
- • Paving: weed / clean / repair
- • Windows: replace damaged fly screens or panes /paint sills / clean glass
- • Welcome mat: clean / replace
- • Front door: paint / clean
- Clean thoroughly – consider professional cleaning
- Air freshen if necessary
- Remove clutter
- Steps: repair / resurface
- Lights: repair / check globes / clean / replace shade
- Window shades: clean / dust / check operation
- Flowers: purchase / freshen
- Floors: polish / repair / clean
- Fireplaces: clean throughout
- Dust thoroughly
- De-clutter: remove magazines / personal memento / portable appliances
- Sofa: repair / replace / recover / add throws or cushions
- Cupboards: clean / repair
- Cords: hide / tidy
- Benches: clean / de-clutter
- Taps: repair / clean
- Oven: degrease / clean hotplates and door
- Fridge: clean exterior / remove exterior decorations
- Floor: clean thoroughly / sanitise
- Cupboards: declutter tops / tidy inside and out / clean
- Decorate: add bowl of a single fruit - apples or oranges / flowers
- Bedside tables: de-clutter
- Bed: fresh linen / tidy
- Mirrors: clean thoroughly
- Light switches: clean / repair
- Pictures: dust / straighten / set at eye level
- Cupboards: close / tidy
- Table: clean / polish
- Lights: repair / clean / replace shade / turn on
- Floor: vacuum thoroughly
- Decorations: de-clutter / simplify
- Music: create delicate peaceful mood
- Sanitise / air freshen
- Bath: clean thoroughly
- Tiles: clean grout / repair
- Mirrors: clean thoroughly
- Lights: repair / clean / replace shade / turn on
- Fan: clean / replace
- Accessories: remove shampoo / toothpaste / brushes
- Taps: repair / clean
- Towels: replace / tidy
Simple Changes make a huge difference
Presenting your home in the best possible way can make a big difference in achieving a high price. Aim to create a strong positive impression. Taking a simple approach can achieve a great deal.
Create a sense of space in your home by removing all items that are not absolutely essential.
You are trying to make your home attractive to a wide range of prospective purchasers, so now is not a time for expressing your personal identity. Sticking to a single light neutral colour throughout creates a sense of ‘flow’ and space. Add style and splashes of colour with a few luxury accessories.
Create an inviting sense of serenity by playing an ambient music CD on low volume during open house inspections. Comforting smells can also be used to create atmosphere.
You need to create a home where buyers can see themselves living. This involves removing items that stamp your home as ‘yours’. Pack away personal items like photographs, trophies and toys. This creates an emotionally neutral area as well as adding to space.
Your efforts will be rewarded
Selling your home can be an emotional experience, and while it can be difficult removing beloved personal items, it can help generate a premium price for your property.
De-clutter your home of knick-knacks, children’s toys and personal effects to achieve a more open and spacious feel to your rooms.
Look at your entire home with fresh eyes. It is easy to overlook familiar objects that can detract from your home’s presentation.
This is usually the first room buyers will see, so it is essential to create a good first impression.
Make sure the entire room is spotless and free from clutter. Particularly look at the top of the entertainment area and book shelves. Make sure everything is free from dust and cords are neat and away from sight. Remove portable appliances like heaters and fans.
A new coat of paint makes your room look fresh and inviting. Sticking to light, neutral shades ensures your room looks as spacious as possible. Add splashes of colour with co-ordinating items such as a throw rug, a vase of flowers or a few elegant scatter cushions. Light any shadowed areas of the room.
Wall-mounted paintings, prints and photos should be hung at eye level and attractively grouped. Remove any dated, stained or extreme taste pictures.
Shabby, well used furniture and personal items will make your whole home look inexpensive. The presentation of a property can mean as much as 10% or more variance in selling price. To create strong initial impressions and interest from potential purchasers your Raine & Horne agent can advise you of any changes that could be made to enhance the attractiveness of your property. Consider removing your furniture into short term storage and hiring a stylist to better prepare your property for sale.
A minimal approach always creates the impression of space and cleanliness. Tone down busy, patterned fabrics on your sofa with a throw rug in a solid, complementary colour.
The heart of your home – a kitchen should be clean, warm and inviting
Clean the entire kitchen with special attention given to food preparation areas; the sink, stove, oven and grill. Have all chrome appliances working, sparkling and free from drips.
Make sure all open food products are stored out of sight. Buyers may look in cupboards, so clean shelves thoroughly and arrange goods neatly.
Display a simple bowl of fresh fruit of the same kind (for example, all oranges or green apples) or a single bottle of gourmet produce, to create a stylish, relaxed tone to your kitchen.
Expensive kitchen renovations are not necessary. If you do replace an old stove or cook top be aware that cheap replacements will be reflected in the sale price.
Remove items from tops of cupboards to create a spacious, hygienic and welcoming appearance.
Create an ambience of serenity & space
It is absolutely essential that you have clean fresh linen. Single colours and simple patterns create a calm tone – add a sense of space by complementing linen colours with curtains and drapes. Add accents of colour with a luxury blanket or collection of cushions.
Freshen up your room with a simple vase of flowers – tulips, irises, lilies and roses work well. Freshen flowers and vase water over the course of the sale campaign.
Keep all draws and wardrobe doors closed. Keep bedside tables clear of bric-a-brac and personal items. Displaying a single luxury item such as an expensive perfume bottle can create a sense of elegance. Again, less is more.
Make sure light shades are spotlessly clean and bulbs are working and free from dust. Shades can be replaced at minimal cost. Again, remember you want your room to be as spacious as possible so opt for light colours in neutral tones.
Clean all windows and fly screens, particularly dust skirting and picture rails. Vacuum thoroughly, and aim to steam clean carpets and rugs or polish floor boards.
A light and bright hygienic space will appeal to buyers
This room above all others is likely to be damp and possibly show mildew. If mildew is evident, clean and remove. A fresh coat of paint in a light tone will maximise space. Air the room thoroughly prior to inspections. A very lightly scented room atomiser can make your bathroom smell fresh and inviting.
Make sure all windows and mirrors are spotlessly clean and shower screens are mould-free and non streaky. Consider replacing old shower curtains with a simple high quality curtain in solid white to maximise light and space. Ensure all taps are clean and not leaking.
Replace or remove any worn mats from floor. Remove all personal items such as hair accessories and toiletries. Check for stray hairs and dust. Soap should be in a liquid soap dispenser or unused in a soap tray. Fold fresh towels in a uniform colour over the towel rail. A few tightly rolled hand towels in a clean basket or on an open shelf can add colour and style to a room. Ensure toilet tissue is fresh and neat.
‘Less is more’ is a handy rule of thumb for artwork
Solid light tones on the walls can be brought to life with a few styled prints, paintings or wall hangings. Paintings should be in proportion to the wall on which they are hung - a single small picture looks out of place on a very large wall. Make sure you have at least the size of the picture between it and the edge of the wall. Several small pictures mounted close together can create a designer look.
For smaller spaces consider black and white professional photography, postcard sized prints or simple floral images or abstracts. A series of these arranged at eye level or in line underneath each other will add a stylish touch.
When maximising your gardens’ appearance, seek professional advice from your local nursery.
Plants and pots will add life and style to your garden and outdoor areas. Simple glazed terracotta pots in a solid colour with a neatly trimmed healthy plant can look stylish. To avoid a mismatch of colour, stick to one type of pot and colour tone.
Your nursery can advise on which plants are suited to your soil and shade levels. Remember, your house may take several weeks to sell, so choose appropriate plants that won’t lose their foliage.
Create outdoor appeal by coordinating plant leaf and flower colour with the exterior elements of your home.
Trim grass and hedges to complement the plant arrangements. Fertilise lawns and garden beds to give plants a rich, healthy appearance.
If you are styling an existing garden, remove all weeds and either edge the garden area with timber, pavers, small shrubs or grasses. Avoid anything too large for your area. The key is to have small, healthy plants with only one or two feature plants preferably in the corners of your yard to soften the area and maximise the space.
Cleanliness & Sophistication
The perfect blend for the best possible impression
Introducing fresh flowers throughout your home is a beautiful, attractive way to enliven the appearance of a room. Choose colours to complement your room and aim for a single type of bloom.
An interior designer or home stylist can help you create a coordinated look. Discuss what can be achieved for the best impact at a fee that suits your budget. Stylists see many professionally decorated homes and will be able to gauge how yours compares. Don’t be daunted, with a simple approach you will succeed.
When cutting fresh flowers, always use a sharp, clean knife. Cut stems at an angle and under the water to maximise water intake. Fill a simple glass or ceramic vase of a solid colour with room temperature water and insert each flower separately to arrange. Trim off leaves that will fall below the water line in the vase.
To extend the life of your flowers add a teaspoon of white vinegar or a mixture of sugar and bleach — this helps to keep the water free from bacteria.