You never get a second chance to make a first impression!
In preparing your home for the market, the aim is to spend as little money as possible to enhance its appeal.
An excellent test is to go outside, close your eyes and say to yourself, 'I'm a buyer seeing this house for the first time!' Go right through the house and look at it as a potential buyer would.
If you have recently undertaken major building work, a Certificate of Compliance should be obtained from the local Council and it's also advisable to obtain a LIM (Land Information Memorandum) on your property.
Make a list of all the chattels that will remain in the house. Anything you may wish to take with you should be noted on the contract as 'exclusion'.
Listed below are a few more tips to help you get a better price for your home:
Have an exterior house wash... This isn't expensive and can really give a lift to paint work, and use a soft wash rather than water blasting unless the paint work is very robust ... and don't forget the fence, gate, paths and decks.
Maximise available sunlight... Sunlight is one of the most universal requirements when viewing homes so make sure you make the most of it. Tree pruning may provide a real bonus if it allows more light into your home.
How about a few pot plants... The careful placement of some pot plants around the entrance can lend a touch of colour and make your home feel more welcoming ... and best of all you can take them with you when you go.
Keep the lawns ship shape... This is very easy and very inexpensive to do. Have your lawns mown weekly and make sure the lawn edging is straight and crisp.
Get rid of garden rubbish... Garden rubbish is unsightly and detracts from the appeal of your garden, but it's easy for each of us not to 'see it' because we're used to it being there. So if you have a pile of 'stuff', get rid of it. This also goes for the garage, old sheds and any outbuildings.
Sparkling swimming pool... If you have a pool, ensure that it is clear of leaves, the water clean, tiles are clean (top and bottom) and any pool equipment is stored away.
Pets... Pets should be kept well out of the way during open homes. You may cherish your pet but some people will not come into a house that has a dog running loose.
Have a spring clean... Sounds obvious, but what a difference a spring clean can make! Carpet cleaning can help make a home look and even smell much more inviting, particularly if pets are present. And when windows sparkle the whole home seems to take on more vitality and life.
Flowers and warmth... Fresh flowers are always welcoming in a home and some can smell wonderful too. During summer open all windows and doors to let the sun. In winter have the fire or heater going to warm the home up.
Make the most of your space... Space is another significant universal requirement so make the most of it by 'creating' a feeling of space. You can do this by removing clutter, storing things in boxes... even re-arranging the furniture. Make the most of the space in every room.
Spruce up the paint work... When it's necessary, sprucing up the paint work can be an investment that pays big dividends. But remember it needs to be done well, rough edges or paint on the windows will send all the wrong signals to prospective buyers.
And don't forget the bathroom and laundry... If mildew is present, use a commercially available mildew remover to give these naturally damp areas a fresh look. And if there's lino on the floor which needs replacement, do so with a relatively nondescript pattern. Obviously new lino can often lead to a suspicion about what may be 'hidden' beneath.
Kitchens are important too... The two key things which can most readily be done to improve the look are, replacing cupboard door handles and, budget permitting, replacing the bench top unit. Both of these are considered purchases but in the right circumstances, can be well worth the investment.