House Selling Tips
by Tash Hughes of
You know the
value of your home, after all, you have some great
memories and associations with it. But when it comes to
selling your home, you have to appeal to people who
donít have any sentimental attachment to it Ė yet.
tips can help to make the house look its best for
inspections, but they will not compensate for any major
issues. If you have the time and money, it will be
worthwhile to fix any major concerns before getting to
the presentation stage.
- Have the house tidy.
Sure, people should be looking at the house and some
mess wonít matter, but it usually does register.
Besides, you donít want people falling over toys or not
being able to open a cupboard door for mess.
- Reduce furniture and
clutter as much as possible. Less stuff makes the room
appear bigger, which is a good first impression. On the
same theme, a single bed leaves more space than a double
- Have the front garden
looking neat and tidy. And donít forget the nature
strip. Long grass and beds full of weeds are off putting,
so keep it under control during the inspection period.
If there isnít enough time for both, concentrate on the
front yard instead of the back as first impressions are
- If you have bare
floorboards, make sure they are polished. Worn out and
scratched floor boards make the whole house look shabby.
The price of fixing them will be more than offset by the
increased sale price you end up with.
- Clean out the gutters.
Apart form how it looks, full gutters can overflow in
heavy rain. Overflowing gutters will worry prospective
buyers, and may even wet them, so avoid the problem now.
Open the house up as
much as possible so it is not musty and any odours are
blown out. Avoid smoking and pets in the house, too, as
many people donít like these smells even if you arenít
aware of them.
Little touches can
brighten up tired rooms. For instance, paint a feature
wall, put new handles on cupboards, hang matching
towels, put down a new rug or add a picture rail on the
- Fix anything that is
broken. You may be used to the quirky door handle but it
will just be hard to open for someone else.
Look at the tiles in
your house. Are any missing or falling off? Could the
grout do with replacing? Now is the time to fix these
- Wash all of the
curtains and windows. Youíll be amazed at how much
brighter the house will look.
- Give the oven and stove
a good clean, not just a wipe. People will be looking
into your oven and keen cooks will judge the house on
Consider a new shower
curtain so that it is fresh and doesnít have mildew
along the bottom.
Fix any leaking taps
and make sure all taps are easy to use. Get a plumber in
- At inspections
Have some lights on in
the house to keep it bright and cheery. For evening
viewings, soft corner lighting in formal rooms is cosy
- Have the heater going
if the weather is cool. This not shows buyers that the
heater works, it makes the house warm and inviting Ė and
feelings help sell a house. Conversely, have windows
open on a warm day for fresh air or turn on the air
conditioning during hot weather. Let people feel
comfortable in your home regardless of the outside
- tís an old one, but it
works Ė have some scones or bread baking so the house is
filled with homey food smells. Bread machines are great
for this as you can set it hours in advance.
- Vases of flowers around
the house is also a nice touch. Flowers draw the eye and
brighten even the drabbest room.
- Quite music in the
background can be soothing. Keep it quiet and choose
something calm and unobtrusive so it is hardly noticed.
Sweep the front path
and porch beforehand. A clean entry gives a good feel
before they see anything else.
Divert your phone or
take it off the hook so that no unexpected calls come
through during the inspection. A phone ring can be
annoying, especially if no one is able to answer it.
Remember that people could be listening if you use an
- Make beds every
morning, wash dishes straight away and generally keep
things tidy so there wonít be any nasty surprises if an
agent brings an extra person to see your home.
Remove your valuables.
Unfortunately, things have been stolen from house
inspections so you donít want to tempt fate. Some also
say that more valuable possessions makes buyers less
inclined to pay you more as Ďthey donít need ití.
- Take any pets out with
you for inspections so there is no problem for buyers.
Obviously, goldfish and caged birds can stay, but dogs
can be threatening for many potential buyers.
Tash Hughes is
the owner of Word Constructions and assists businesses
in preparing all written documentation and web site
content. Tash also writes parenting and business articles for
inclusion in newsletter and web sites.