It’s been touted one of life’s most stressful events: selling your home. There’s that never-ending list of maintenance jobs, financial uncertainty, not to mention cupboards brimming with emotional baggage. And yet some careful preparation and professional advice can simplify the process and help channel your nervous energy into action. Here are our top 5 priorities when it comes to selling your property (and getting the result you want!).
1. A sparkling kitchen and bathroom
As the adage goes, kitchens and bathrooms sell houses. These purposeful spaces are generally the most expensive to renovate, so presenting future buyers with rooms that are ready to move into will pay dividends. If you don’t have the budget for an all-out reno, opt for smart cosmetic updates: install shiny new tapware, retrofit a modern vanity or walk-in shower, regrout your tiles and give the walls a fresh coat of paint (neutral hues are your friend). Amping up the storage in both spaces – think floating shelves, pull-out cabinet organisers and extra towel hooks – will also add value.
2. The right agent
They’ll be your go-to throughout the whole sales process, so take the time to find the right real estate agent – namely an experienced professional who knows the market, conducts themselves ethically and listens to you. Do your research, ask friends and family for recommendations, and look for results; it’s not about which agent has the most For Sale signs in your neighbourhood, but which boasts the highest portion of Sold signs.
3. Savvy styling
Call in the professionals – a home stager comes equipped with clever styling hacks designed to broaden your home’s appeal. They might rearrange the furniture, create a chic vignette or neutralise a space to help prospective buyers feel more at home. “There’s a standard that can appeal to the majority,” explains Charles Tarbey, CEO of global real estate network Century 21 in Australia. “It might seem expensive to have your home styled, but it may ultimately be more expensive – by lowering the sale price – not to.” A stager will also be of unparalleled value when it’s time to have your home photographed for campaign advertising.
4. A grand entrance
Note: grand doesn’t necessarily mean ostentatious. Rather, whether you live in a cottage or a castle, first impressions count, and your goal is to create an exterior that beckons buyers inside. Mow the lawn, hide the bins, arrange some pot plants and repaint the front door, fence and even your home’s facade. Once inside, continue to set the tone with a coat rack (sans clutter), drop zone for keys and bunch of fresh flowers – the mix of practicality and panache will have buyers swooning. Honey, I’m home!
6. Fabulous functionality
As the saying goes, empty rooms don’t sell houses. “Your home should be presented as a full-use home,” notes Charles. “Every unused area creates an opportunity for you to demonstrate the property’s versatility.” So that third bedroom that’s become a veritable dumping ground? Turn it into a study, playroom or super-covetable dressing room. Or, transform an unused zone by a window into a cosy reading retreat. The key is to make use of every nook and cranny – and remember that you’re selling a lifestyle, not just a pile of bricks and mortar.
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