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Home Insurance
04 Jan 2015

Selling your house? Get the best return possible with these 6 tips

Whether you choose to go through an agent or you want to sell your house privately, preparing your home for sale is not something that should be taken lightly. Now that you have decided to sell you are no longer living in a home but sitting on a product, and trying to market it to as many potential buyers as possible is the goal at the end of the day.

There are a lot of contributing factors that can help to increase the value of your property, everything from what you choose to display to what time of year you sell. To take some of the headache out of the process, here are 6 tips to help you market your home to potential buyers and get the best return.

1. De-Clutter

Personal clutter and years of accumulated ‘stuff’ does nothing positive for the sale or auction of your home. Not only does clutter look unattractive, it also makes rooms look smaller and less inviting. Your job is to make your home look as appealing as possible to all potential buyers, and these buyers are trying to picture themselves living in your house. Can they see this house as being their new home? That can be difficult to do in a room full of someone else’s clutter.

Removing your clutter doesn’t mean leaving each room looking like a hospital ward, but it’s important to think about how each element helps to show off the best features of your house and the rooms on display. For example, artwork and photos should enhance a room without becoming the primary focus.

2. Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes

Different homes attract different buyers. Be mindful of your audience and make sure you market your home to the demographic that is most relevant. Studio apartments, for example are not going to be marketed to the same demographic as larger homes with big backyards, so think about the type of buyer you are most likely to attract and style your home and interiors to match.

3. Storage sells houses

Adding storage to your home not only helps reduce clutter, it can also help to increase the value of your home. Storage is something everyone needs and when potential buyers are evaluating and comparing your home additional storage areas could be a deciding factor when choosing between your house and another one.

Storage can be as simple as adding shelves and racks inside cupboards, or you can go all out and really improve your home’s value by adding built- in wardrobes to the bedrooms. These days you can buy wardrobes flat packed and install them yourself, a relatively small investment that could return a lot more come auction day.

4. Patch and paint your problems away

Years of living in your house can take their toll on walls, carpets, hallways, even doors.
Your local hardware store has all you need to find a reliable and easy to apply product to help patch any small cracks or holes. Then add a coat of paint and the place could feel brand new.

Carpet in well-trodden areas can sometimes look lifeless and take away from the rest of the room. Try covering the most worn areas with well-placed rugs. Arrange the furniture so it looks comfortable and inviting – it can even be placed to cover any marks or areas you don’t want potential buyers to focus on.

There is a myriad of things you can do to make your house look newer and cleaner, but more often than not a simple coat of paint or a new hall runner and a good clean can do wonders to improve the overall aesthetics and feel of the house.

5. First impressions last

We’ve all heard the term, and when it comes to selling your house it has never been more applicable. First impressions start from the moment a potential buyer sees your house from the street – more on that shortly. Let’s take a step inside for the first time…

First impressions are not just the physical things you can see in each room. Consider all the senses – what can you see and smell? And how does that make you feel?

Flowers with strong bouquets, brewing fresh coffee, even baking bread can all leave the home with an aroma that invites potential buyers even further inside. These simple tactics can also instil a comfortable and familiar homely feel. Buying houses is a huge and very emotional decision – so these feelings can all help result in a sale.

And what about lighting – natural and otherwise? Turn on all the lights and your potential buyers are asking questions, like  “Are they leaving on all the lights because the house is naturally dark?”

Don’t leave your potential buyers asking questions where the answer could detract from the sale. Turn on only those lights you need to display your home at its best and try to have open inspections at a time of day when the most natural light is coming in. Importantly – clean your windows. It’s amazing how much extra natural light comes in when windows are clean.

6. Got street cred?

First Impressions don’t count for anything if your home doesn’t have any street appeal. How your house presents from the street has a huge influence on the overall value of the property, and making sure it has an attractive frontage is one of the most important aspects of preparing your house for auction or sale.

If you enjoy getting your hands dirty, we recommend getting into the garden a day or two before you have open inspections so the yard and any plants and shrubs are freshly tidied and trimmed. Cleaning eaves and gutters, as well as a coat of paint on a fading fence, can also improve the street appeal of your house exponentially. If you’re not so handy in the garden, call in a professional gardener to help get your garden looking its best.

Finally, when selling your house, seek help in any areas you feel you’re lacking. There are specialist services out there designed to assist you with every aspect of selling your home – from helping to decorate and style your home for open inspections, to providing you with detailed information about your target market.

Best of luck!

Benefits are subject to the terms and conditions including the limits and exclusions of the insurance policy. Any advice provided is general only and may not be right for you. Before you purchase this product you should carefully read the Home Insurance Product Disclosure Statement and consider the Target Market Determination to decide if it is right for you.