Selling in the Silly Season – 5 top tips to prepare your home

Five ways to help your property stand out in the ‘silly season’ and assist you in getting maximum dollar for your investment:

1. Clear the clutter

Silly festive season or not; nothing says “unappealing” like a cluttered property when you’re trying to sell a home. And more likely than not, you have quite a bit of clutter in your home, especially if you’ve been there for a while.

To help prospects focus on your property, here’s a checklist of things to de-clutter:

  • – Festive decorations: A prettily decorated Christmas tree is very appealing. A tip to remember for the remainder of your decorations; neatly presented, and less is more!
  • – Entries: This is the first area prospective homebuyers will see, so remove coat stands, umbrellas and shoes from your hallway or entrance.
  • – Cabinets and wardrobes: Remove items (e.g. medications, tissues, etc), other than those used for decorative purposes. Cupboards shouldn’t be packed so much they’re bursting; buyers open doors!
  • – Kitchen: Countertops should be clear of everything except for decor and essential kitchen equipment (e.g. toaster). The fridge should be free of magnets, bills, flyers, or coupons.
  • – Bedrooms: Beds should be made, clothes and shoes should be out of sight.
  • – Furniture and electronic equipment: Keep these to a minimum. This will give the impression of a more open floor plan. Organize cords for electronics (e.g. computers, TV).

2. Remove personalization

The purpose of home staging is to help prospects imagine themselves living in your house. If you display items that make them feel like it’s someone else’s home, you make it hard for buyers to imagine owning, much less living, in your property.

You don’t have to sacrifice creating a warm and inviting feel to your house, but you want to strike a balance between warm and neutral. This means focusing on areas like:

  • – Personal effects: Pack up family photos, sports memorabilia, trophies & university degrees, qualifications with you name, figurines or artwork. In the bathrooms, put away razors, deodorants and other personal items.
  • – Collections:  Reading material is best to reflect neutral subjects, such as architecture, food or home decorating & gardening
  • – Repaint walls: The colour palette of the house should be neutral. You want buyers to project themselves onto the house, not feel like your personality is the overarching theme of the house
  • – Window treatments / wall coverings: Remove or replace wall treatments and curtains that have not been changed in the past five to seven years.

3. Clean the exterior

If you spend all your time making the interior of your house look appealing, you’ll miss out on the profit potential of exterior curb appeal. Many buyers decide, within seconds of seeing the exterior of a home, whether a property is suitable.

  • – Yards:  Trim shrubs, weed flower beds, and throw away leaves and garbage. Planting flowers around the yard can go a long way in raising its appeal; seasonal bulbs are a good place to start.
  • – Porch and patio: For a more appealing porch or patio, you can add potted plants by the entrance, even hang a beautiful wreath on the front door. Make sure you remedy any peeling paint or repaint if needed.

4. Pre-inspection repairs

The more well-maintained your house is, the more justification you have for a high asking price. However, if homebuyers see your property needs a lot of repairs, as advised by the Building Inspector they hire, this can cut into your profits.

Before your house goes on the market, make sure all repairs are done; you can hire your own Building Inspector to conduct a pre-inspection. Among the things you would look at include:

  • – Plumbing
  • – Heating, ventilation and air conditioning
  • – Electrical
  • – Presence of mould and mildews
  • – Damp basements or crawlspaces
  • – Deteriorated roofs
  • – Non-functioning chimneys
  • – Structure and foundation
  • – Interior appliances like smoke detectors


5. Open your home up and clean your home

Open up your windows to let the fresh air and sunlight come in and make your house feel (and smell) vibrant. Bright rooms aren’t just aesthetically-pleasing, they also look bigger. If natural light doesn’t suffice, add floor or table lamps to areas that are darker or dimmer than others. By ensuring your home is clean, free of trouble areas, and looking as fresh as possible, you might just enjoy a fantastic return on your investment.


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