When looking for a new place to call home, one of the most exciting parts is picturing yourself living in the property and making it your own. This can be difficult, however, if a buyer is faced with seller’s personal items obscuring their property visions.
Changing your property into a blank canvas will help to tap into a large buyer pool and improve your chances of getting your property sold quickly and for your asking price or more.
Whether meeting with your agent or opening your house up for the perfect buyer, it pays to take the ‘you’ out of your property and treat it like a blank canvas. While experienced real estate agents will advise you on how best to prepare your home for sale, here are a few simple steps you can take on your own:
Clean up any visible clutter
As you would like your home to be tidy, so would a potential buyer. According to realestate.com.au, mess and chaos is one of the top turn-offs for buyers. Make sure you start decluttering early, whether through domestic organisation or even renting a storage facility to create space.
“Buyers want to see how spacious a property is and the storage that is on offer, so don’t think your cupboard or garage will hide any clutter you may have,” says Belle Property and Hockingstuart’s NSW Chief Auctioneer, Andrew Robinson.
“Look at your property in an unbiased lens and consider what you would want to see, and more importantly, not see when inspecting a property for the first time.”
Remove any personal items and photos
Imagine attending an inspection and opening the front door to large portrait of an unknown family hanging in the foyer or walking into a bathroom and seeing their toothbrushes on display. It’s an experience for a buyer that is less than ideal and will more than likely hinder your ability to sell.
“Making the buyer feel like they have walked into someone’s home can turn them off picturing themselves living in the space, so make your house a neutral canvas by removing any personal effects like pictures and bathroom items,” Andrew says.
Stow away your pooch’s paraphernalia
Although, as Canstar reports, more than half of Australia’s population have some type of pet, it’s still a good idea to hide away any of your pet’s belonging as some buyers may not be pet people.
“As a rule of thumb, hide any trace of a pet during open homes. Your pet may be your best friend, but a stray dog toy acting as a trip hazard is definitely not going to go down well with a potential buyer,” says Andrew.
Consider your curb appeal
When preparing to sell, be sure not to forget that the very first impression of your property is your street view. By walking from the street into your house, take notice of elements that make the house a home.
Remove any umbrellas or shoes sitting beside the door, and replace with some pot plants, add some occasional chairs to your verandah, or get in a handyman to freshen up your façade.
“First impression count and your potential buyer will be judging your house from the moment they pull up outside,” Andrew notes.
Style your property for sale
To take the fuss out of styling your property for sale, many vendors often opt to use professional staging for their home. Property stylists can either stage a section or the whole property, informed by recent styling trends, seasons and what buyers would want to see in the space.
While styling doesn’t always promise a return on investment, a well-styled home can expect to see a 7.5 to 12.5 per cent increase on your final sale price on average, according to OpenAgent.
“As we approach the warm seasons, stylists will play on spring with fresh blooms, light furnishing and pops of colour throughout and will play on what your buyers would like to see,” says Andrew.
Change up your spare room
Buyers often make their property decisions based around the number of bedrooms a house has available. It’s important to do some research and talk to a local agent about buyer demographics in the area.
“If you are lucky enough to have spare bedrooms in your house, don’t just assume that buyers will want to use it for the same purpose as you.”
“Consider what your target buyers want to see - are you located in a more family-friend suburb where more bedrooms, the better, or, with more people working from home, are your buyers looking for a home office space?”
“My biggest advice is to chat to a local real estate agent to better understand what buyers are looking for in your area so you can inform what path you will take when it comes to inspection time,” adds Andrew.