Selling your house is like a first date. To make a good impression, you go out of your way to make them notice you and remember you. Let them see that you stand out from the others, worth a long-term commitment and you’re good value to have around!
When it comes to presenting your home for sale, you need to take this same approach. A few moments looking at your house online may determine if a potential buyer decides to pursue your house as an option or look for something better. The goal is to give prospective purchasers every reason to want to visit, come back, and make an offer.
As soon as a house is on the market it is not only the place you live but a product you have to sell. Whether you are selling your house with an agent or doing it by private sale, consider yourself a key part of the marketing team. Furniture placement, cleanliness and styling are crucial to making the images of your house stand out, your open homes successful and ultimately getting your house the sale price it deserves. Here is how to do just that within your own home...
Fix maintenance issues. Make sure you are comfortable with what you are selling. If there are things wrong with your property, big or small, they may impact the sale price or level of interest. We would recommend addressing maintenance issues on the house before listing. Things like leaking taps, damaged floors, marks on walls. You don’t want a buyer’s eyes staring at that flaking paint, but rather focusing on the good elements of your house. This may require a working bee or even repainting some walls - but it will be money and time well spent.
Declutter. There are two big reasons for decluttering when you sell your house; the visual impact of clutter in a house gives the impression that there isn’t enough space distracting from the house itself and often appears messy or disorganised. The other reason is decluttering removes your presence from the house and gives the potential buyer a chance to imagine themselves living there. When you don’t declutter your belongings, open home attendees can feel like they are intruding into someone else's space, but if you declutter well they will feel like it’s already their home!
The easiest way to declutter is to start packing before you list your property. We sell or donate the items we won’t take with us to our new place. Then we store all the items we won’t use over the 2-3 months the house is on the market and reduce personal memorabilia from the house. Our aim is for the rooms to feel spacious and inviting. It also makes that dreaded move just that little bit easier as you’ve already started the packing!
Stage your furniture. The furniture you have in your home is all about how you live, which is why you may need to change the layout to present your house for sale. Take the kids bedroom in our Charmer in Alexandra for example. We could have given the kids their own rooms, but instead we used one bedroom as their shared room and one as the guest bedroom.
This took a small room and showcased that it was big enough for two children, a play space and all of their belongings. As you stage your home, stand at the door and look in - this is how most people view the space during the open home. Ask yourself - what catches my eye? Does it look like there is enough space? Could the layout be better? Is it warm and inviting?
Clean everything. Waterblast your exterior, sweep your drive and pathways, wash all your windows inside and out, wash away marks off interior walls, dry-clean your drapes, have your carpets shampooed, have your stainless steel shiny, your toilet bowl glistening, mow the lawns and get rid of the weeds. Although it may sound like a lot of work, a clean house is a must for open homes, but if you don’t have the time we highly recommend adding cleaning services to your marketing budget for the house sale.
As soon as our house went on the market we went on a week long holiday mainly to get the kids out of the house and to keep it clean! We know how difficult this is to do, but we also know how much it pays off.
The finishing touches. Before your open home begins, there is plenty you can do to create a welcoming environment and ensure buyers feel at home. If you are selling in winter, make sure the house is nice and warm (with the fire going if you have one). In summertime, it’s great to open up all the windows and doors as well as emphasise the outdoor space. Have music playing gently in the background, scented candles lit, all the lights on and the doors open to each room in the house.
If you want more advice on selling your home, check out our blog called “Our Advice to Selling your Home” which covers how to research what your house is worth, how long selling your home could take, who you need to involve and when to accept an offer.
This blog was sponsored by Kiwibank. Whether you're taking your first step or next step on your property journey, Kiwibank's home loan experts are available to talk you through the process.
Their Mobile Mortgage Managers can come to your choice of location and their Banking Consultants are available at your local Kiwibank branch. Call 0800 000 654 or visit kiwibank.co.nz/homeloan for more information."