"Location, location, location" is the well-known catch-cry when it comes to looking for a new home.
But for those planning to sell, there’s another rule that it can pay to remember and that’s "detail, detail, detail."
"Careful planning and a just a little investment in sprucing up your home can deliver real financial results," according to First National Zenith Principal, David van den Bovenkamp.
"You and your agent need to look at your home very objectively as you plan to put it on the market."
"The décor, layout and furnishings may have suited your lifestyle perfectly over the years, but a range of people will be coming through to inspect it and you need to see it from their point of view. There are dozens of things that will add up to give a potential buyer an overall impression of your home and it is important this impression is as positive as possible."
Here are some tips from First National Real Estate on how to best prepare your home for the market to maximise buyer interest and, ultimately, the price you will receive.
• Get rid of clutter! You may love great-grandma’s teapot sitting on the shelves, next to two year’s worth of your favourite magazine, but crowded shelves and drawers can make rooms and storage space seem cluttered and smaller than they really are. Consider putting some ornaments, books and non-essential kitchen utensils in storage through the sale period, leaving cupboards and shelves looking clean and spacious and with just a few objects placed to highlight a room’s features.
• Consider a paint job. While painting a home’s interior or exterior is a major undertaking, it can transform a tired-looking weatherboard into the best-looking house on the street. Discuss with your agent whether a professional paint job would be worthwhile.
• Consider re-configuring rooms. If you are advertising a three-bedroom home for sale, then that is what people will be coming to see. If you are using two of the bedrooms for storage, or as workspace, consider re-organising them for the sale to show them at their best advantage. Hire or borrow some bedroom furniture, and put other items in storage.
• Tidy up the garden. Dig out weeds, put mulch on the garden beds, keep paths and the driveway swept, prune and shape trees and shrubs, and make sure rubbish bins are clean and tucked away
• Clean, and clean again. Give your home a spring-clean from top to bottom. Everything, from windows to door knobs to light switches, should be sparkling. Have your carpets and rugs professionally steam-cleaned.
• Put away the pets. Not everyone will admire your cat’s scratching post or dog’s dinner bowl. If you have pets, make sure things like the kitty litter tray and food bowls are put away during open house inspections. Make sure your home is free of pet hair and any dog or cat odours.
• Freshen up the furniture. Temporarily remove any unnecessary furniture such as extra dining chairs, filing cabinets, and toy boxes to make rooms seem as spacious and uncluttered as possible.
• Set the scene. Draw attention to your home’s best features. For example, if you have a lovely dining area, consider setting the table as if for a special brunch. A bowl of very fresh fruit, a small vase of flowers, a plate of freshly baked biscuits or homemade loaf of bread, and a simple but immaculate table setting can help people visualize themselves using and enjoying the room.
• Fresh air and flowers. Air your house regularly and try to avoid cooking anything that will leave strong cooking smells in the kitchen or house before an open inspection. A vase of fresh flowers on the kitchen table or hall stand can brighten the whole house.
"The more work you put into preparing your home for sale the more value you are likely to add to it" said David.
"It may seem like a lot of effort, but your First National agent will be able to offer advice on the best steps to take for the most return. Just remember, it’s the little details that can make the most difference."