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Eight steps to prepare your house for sale

Feb 15, 2016 11:21:44 AM

Preparing_for_sale.jpgWhen thinking about selling, many of us fantasise of an unlimited renovation budget that will make our home irresistible.

Inspired from watching the latest series of Extreme Renovate Backyard Blitz Master Rules we dream of that extension, new kitchen or maybe the backyard resplendent with a children’s water park.

It’s true, that investing in big ticket improvements will increase the sale price of a house, particularly if you’re a do-it-yourself renovator whiz who has the time.

But unless the property was originally purchased at a discounted price, the high cost of renovation spectaculars don’t always result in increased profit on sale.

On the other hand, you could pull off slam-dunk renovations, but without following the tips listed below, you may be disappointed with your sale price.

When preparing your property for sale there are simple, inexpensive things you can do to increase its attractiveness to potential buyers, and some don’t involve multiple trips to Bunnings!

But a word of warning – these preparations are not sexy, and your hands may get dirty.

But these unsexy, small steps have the potential to lead to a quicker sale and possibly increase the ultimate sale price.


Consider your house no longer a home, but a retail shopfront. Customers are coming to browse. Everything – from kitchen countertops to bathroom vanities to the garage and your backyard – should be clear of all unnecessary items. You want potential buyers to focus on the best features of your home not stuff, so pack up, give away or throw away everything that clutters or distracts.


This should go without saying, so we’ll just leave it at that.


When a buyer inspects a house, they are visualising what it would be like to move in and live there, a task made difficult if you leave personal items such as family photos, sporting trophies or religious décor. Pack these away and give your potential buyers a free slate for their imagination.

Curb appeal

We all know about the importance of first impressions. What will set the scene for your house when potential buyers either drive past, or drive in to your driveway? Front gardens, driveways, gutters, windows, mailboxes and fences all tell a story. Don’t make it a horror story!


Imagine this. The door handle comes off as you try to enter the bedroom. You turn on the light that doesn’t work and listen as the ceiling fan makes an irritating screeching sound as it rotates. No handyman is required to fix so many little things that can annoy a potential buyer out of signing a contract.

Clear pathways

Don’t turn your potential buyers into Jackie Chan. Buyers should not be doing their own stunts just to look through your property. Make sure there’s clear pathways between rooms to make their visit a no-fuss, pleasant experience free of commando rolls.


Time for a light bulb moment! When potential buyers walk into your bathroom and look in the mirror, soft, warm lighting can make it a more pleasant experience than it may be otherwise. In other parts of your house such as living areas, bright, white lighting will make the rooms appear bigger and more inviting. Also, think about which rooms will best be served by leaving blinds either open or closed.


This follows hard on the heels of the “clean” point (above) – a clean house is less likely to assault the nasal passages of unsuspecting visitors. The urban myth is to fill your house with odours of home cooking, but the research is in. Over-bearing smells don’t sell, not matter how delicious your scones. Instead, “hints” of fresh natural odours help to sell, such as orange, lemon, pine, basil, cedar, vanilla and cinnamon.

Time is a valuable commodity, and that’s what you will mostly spend if you follow these tips in preparing your property for sale. So spend wisely, and you could be rewarded with a quicker sale or a higher-than-expected selling price.

Topics: Selling, Australia