Owning a home

Getting your home ready for sale

3 min read

Getting your home ready to sell can be a daunting task, especially when there is pressure to move your property quickly, all while getting the highest price. The good news is there are some easy, affordable ways to help make your home appeal to potential buyers. I’ve broken them down into six steps.

1. Declutter

Do a thorough audit of your home, and dispose of as much as possible. Give items to charities such as hospice and sell items on Trade Me or hold a garage sale. If necessary, hire a bin. Resist the urge to store things on site, as this will make your home appear cluttered and smaller in size. Instead, move things to a storage container, including any excess furniture, clothing, kids toys etc.

It can, however, be daunting, leaving you feeling overwhelmed and unsure where to begin. To help, I’ve broken the process down into 5 simple tasks.

  1. Decide which rooms of the home you want to declutter. Never try to declutter your whole house in one go. To avoid losing motivation, work on one room at a time and set realistic time-frames for completing each room.
  2. Do a thorough edit. Be decisive, and for those who have a natural tendency to hoard, be ruthless. With each and every item, decide whether you want it to be on display, stored away or discarded. 
  3. Teamwork will help get the job done faster. Enlist the help of family and friends. Also bring the kiddies on board - they love getting involved. 
  4. Examine your space. Storage is vital when it comes to controlling clutter, so look at ways of creating more. Unused wall space is a great place to mount shelves or wall hooks. The key to success is in establishing a place for everything.
  5. Once you have decluttered, maintenance is crucial. Get into the habit of putting things back in their right place. Regularly review the organisation systems to ensure that they are still working for you and your family.

2. Depersonalise

In the process of paring things back, be sure to minimise personal items, as these can distract buyers. If the rooms are filled with personal photos, quirky items and sentimental treasures buyers will struggle to see themselves in your house.

3. Clean, paint and revive

Walls and floors are two areas that when given a refresh will make a huge difference to the overall look of your home. A fresh coat of paint will create a clean, welcoming space. In terms of colour, stick with neutrals or whites as these will be favourable to the masses. Even if your current paint work is relatively new, be sure to tidy up any scuffs and wear marks.

4. Major renovations versus minor updates

Decide where you would like to spend money. Making minor updates to the kitchen and bathroom will make your house more marketable and appealing. Even just a few key changes such as replacing the shower curtain, light fitting or appliances will create impact. Major renovations can be a great way to make your home more desirable to buyers but they can be costly. Check out this guide on which renovations pay off most.

Spending more money ideally means you will get more back, but be careful not to overcapitalise.

5. Create street appeal

First impressions count, so as well as focusing on the interior, ensure your property is looking attractive from the outside. Get rid of cobwebs, dust and dirty pavers by water blasting the exterior, keep the lawns mowed, hedge trimmed and gardens tidy.

Also pay attention to anything that needs repairing or replacing, such as a worn out old mailbox or a broken window.

6. Bring things in

If you find that after decluttering and updating your home you don’t quite have what is needed to bring your home up to scratch, you may want to look at bringing in some additional furniture or homewares. This is where a professional home stager can help.

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