10 Tips To Help You Prepare Your Home For Sale

Home For Sale, Property Management, Real Estate Agent, Sell Property, Buy Property, Property Appraisal

By completing as many tips from this list you could increase the eventual sale price of your home by anywhere from $5000 – $50,000.

1. Declutter

The good old saying “less is more” It’s a good idea to start a big clean out of unwanted items before putting your property on the market. By having minimal furniture and furnishing it with key pieces, which help a room flow better, will make your home feel more open and inviting. By doing a clean out before you sell will not only improve the sale of your home but make your job moving much easier.

  • Book in a council pick up to dispose of unwanted or broken items.
  • Donate clothing and items that haven’t been used in the past 12 months.
  • Shred and dispose of paperwork that is no longer needed.
  • Consider a temporary storage facility for bulky pieces of furniture, holiday decor, out of season clothing and any other items you don’t need.
  • Arrange a garage sale to clear out the garage and excess furniture.
  • Clear any surfaces like bench tops, bathroom vanities, side boards and TV units.
  • Organize inside linen cupboards, wardrobes and kitchen cupboards ( Yes, purchasers do open cupboards!).

2.  Spring clean

If you haven’t done a full house clean in a while now’s a good time. It’s an idea to tackle one room at a time so its not so over whelming.

  • Dust blinds, Clean window tracks, skirting boards and any surfaces.
  • Clean windows inside and out, and any mirrors.
  • Brush down any cobwebs on the ceiling, outside under eaves and windows /doors.
  • Sugar soap dirty marks and scuffs from walls, skirting boards and door frame edges.
  • Have carpets professionally cleaned.
  • Clean all kitchen appliances, Clean Stainless appliances with a specialised stainless steel cleaner – it will make them appear new again.
  • High pressure clean pathways, driveway and paved areas.

3. Do a maintenance check

Rectifying any building issues or minor maintenance is recommended. The less things that pop up on the purchasers building report the better. We recommend even having your own building report done to help reveal what areas need work.

  • Inspect your walls and floors for water damage.
  • Check for plumbing leaks.
  • Make sure your windows don’t have any cracked glass.
  • Check for any signs of insects or rodents.
  • Inspect the roof to make sure there are no cracked tiles, rusted guttering/downpipes, etc.
  • Repair cracks in plaster work on walls and ceiling.

4. Eliminate odours

First impressions last, the most common bad odours which can turn a buyer off are pet smells, dampness/ mould , Nicotine, dirty laundry and strong cooking aromas. It’s a good idea to bring in a third party who doesn’t live at the property to give you the honest truth. Tackling the issue head on is the best way to deal with an odour rather than trying to mask the smell with air fresheners. Mould can be invisible at times, but you can definitely smell that musky scent when you first enter a home if it is present.

  • Clean any mould off walls and ceilings, keep property well ventilated by opening windows and blinds to allow plenty of light and fresh air in.Pets
  • Paint bathroom with anti-mould paint.
  • Replace carpets, clean and paint walls which have been affected by Nicotine.
  • Steam clean carpets and lounges.
  • Clean out pet litter trays and pick up dog poo in yard. Dispose of any pet related items during open homes like litter trays, kennels, and pettoys.
  • Rectify any blocked drains and plumbing issues which can have sewage / methane smells.
  • Light scented candles before open homes, have fresh flowers on the kitchen bench, and open windows.

5. Paint

Most of us hate picking a paint brush up, but research shows that by doing some simple painting you can add thousands to your eventual selling price. It’s a good idea to stick with Neutral light colours, this will make spaces feel larger and will appeal to a wider audience. As mentioned above re painting can also help rectify bad odours.

  • Patch and repair any nail holes, previous roof leaks, cracks or damaged plaster.
  • Paint bathrooms which have been affected by mould.
  • Touch up skirting boards and door frames which have been chipped and window frames.
  • If you have the money, exterior painting adds street appeal and can double the return on your investment.


6. Complete renovations

We all have those incomplete jobs which you started (renovating or a weekend project) and never got around to fully completing them. By finishing these few jobs its going to create a bigger wow factor. Buyers will look at uncompleted work as extra money they will have to pay for tradesmen to complete the work and will more than likely seek reductions off the asking price.

By finishing off these jobs you will find it will generate more inquiries, result in a quicker sale at a higher price. We recommend not to start any extra jobs before completing the current ones.

7. Clean or replace floor coverings

Old and tired carpet can be covered in stains or be frayed and stretched out, and may even give the house a nasty smell. The average life expectancy of carpet these days is around 10 years, if your carpet is still in good condition but has gone slack most carpet installers will be able to stretch it back tight again for a small cost.

Timber floors can become damaged by high heels or scratched by pets, and over time can become worn in high traffic areas. Rather than sanding back all the floors you can have the specific area treated with a polish and buff to add the shine back.

Tiled floor areas in the kitchen and bathroom and shower recess can become grubby in between the grout. By either cleaning the grout, or re-grouting, you can freshen up the space making it feel new again. There comes a time when your floor coverings might be past their use by date and even cleaning won’t help. If you can afford it upgrading carpet, vinyl floor or floating timber floors can make a huge impact and add great value.

8. Upgrade fixtures and fittings

In the same way as floor coverings can become out dated, so can other fixtures and fittings throughout the house. Bathrooms and Kitchens are the 2 most expensive rooms in a house, by making a few upgrades you can increase the value of your home for a quarter of the cost without having to put a brand new bathroom or kitchen in.

  • Replace tap ware, toilet cistern, shower screen and vanity in bathrooms.
  • Renew kitchen bench tops, replace door handles.
  • Update old kitchen appliances.
  • Replace blinds and curtains.
  • Upgrade light fittings and old fans – replace with modern technology like LED lighting which is much brighter and cheaper to run.

9. First impressions last

Creating street appeal is important to create a lasting first impression to grab buyers attention when they are searching online and feel welcome at open homes.

  • Paint your front fence or build one which matches the style of your home.House
  • Prune back hedges and weed garden beds, do lawn edges and spend time on the lawn to have it looking its best.
  • Replace letter box if it’s old and rusted.
  • Plant new plants – try and pick plants which are strong scented and will be flowering during the sales period.
  • Paint the front door (or replace if its old and weathered).
  • Ensure your home is well lit at night time – buyers may do a drive by after work and having good lighting can create an inviting feel.

10. Staging / Styling

Having your home styled has become very popular in recent years, especially if you are selling your home empty it’s something really worth considering. Again think “less is more”, as it will have an impact – cut down the clutter.

Research has shown that properties which have been styled can sell for a higher figure and spend less days on the market.

A good stylist will be able to work with you if you are trying to save on costs. They may suggest to use some of your own furniture and just hire certain decorative pieces / artwork. If your décor is old and doesn’t match its recommend to put things into storage and hire the pieces you need during the sale period.

It is important to be open minded and listen to the professionals when they come to your home. They will be totally honest with you and give you suggestions such as moving furniture to help a room flow better to maximize the feeling of space and light in your home, or completely removing certain pieces which may clash.

If you are on a budget you can have a stylist out for a consultation and take their recommendations on board and do the work yourself.

When you list with Arnold Property we will pay for a consultation with one of our professional stylists.

If you are interested in having one of our sales consultants to give you an updated sales opinion on your home please complete an appraisal request.