Real estate selling guide for a faster and better sale
With over 90 years of helping people sell and buy homes we have found the key to attracting the most number of buyers to any property, outside of position and location, is great photography, curb appeal and a home that is styled to sell.
But where do you start? Here are some practical ways to help you ensure you have the best photographs, you make a great first impression and that each room and space in your home is styled to attract as many buyers as possible and achieve the best possible results.
Using a professional photographer to capture your property is a must when you are selling your home. They provide a wealth of options for styles of lens and shot, as well as someone who has a trained eye for the best side your home has to offer.
This means you can get crisp, clear, stunning imagery right through your photoset. A higher-quality set of photos is more likely to attract buyers, and is a must when selling.
One of the most important factors in a great home photograph is light. Your real estate photographer will be able to help here, but make sure all the blinds, shutters and curtains are open to bring in as much natural light as possible. Plus, turn on all the lights in your home to ensure your property is flooded with as much light as can be. Of course make sure your windows are clean.
A good photographer should shoot your rooms when the light is at its brightest, and won’t let the shots become oversaturated. Doing it yourself, you can run this risk - an unsure photographer may end up with photos where the sunlight masks your home’s best features! This is why it’s important to get a professional. Who knows how much value you could add to the sale?
Maximising curb appeal and create a great entrance
Your property needs to look great from the street, so that as soon as prospective buyers arrive they’re excited about coming in to take a closer look. Spending just a few hours on improving the entrance can create the right energy the moment buyers see your home for the first time.
- Make sure everything looks clean and well cared for including roofing, gutters, windows, balustrades, driveways, footpaths, walls and garden areas are clean and in good repair and free of dirt and things like spider webs.
- Check your front gate is clean, in good condition and quiet
- Hide the garbage bins
- Clear out your letter box each day
- Place a door mat outside your front door
- Add paving or a pathway to guide buyers to the door
- Paint the front door and surrounding structure to make it look fresh and inviting
- Clean all door handles
- Add some potted plants on either side of the front door - keeping it symmetrical always looks good, but don’t over clutter the space
- If your entrance way is dark lift the lighting if possible or paint the walls a lighter colour
The kitchen, the room that sells
The kitchen is the one room that can make or break a sale. It’s usually the most expensive room in any house, so prospective buyers don’t want to see a kitchen that needs a total upgrade. This doesn’t mean a total re-fit, but there are some small things you can do to make your kitchen more appealing.
Here are some quick wins for the kitchen that buyers love:
- Clear the clutter on your kitchen benches
- Replace old appliances with new ones
- A fresh coat of paint can work wonders in a drab kitchen…don’t forget your worn tiles, a little primer or paint can make a huge difference
- Swap cabinet doors and give your kitchen a whole new look OR
- Replace handles of your cupboards and drawers as this makes an impact too
- Lighting is important, so look to install fluorescent or spot light on top of the benchtop work areas
- Replace a scratched and stained benchtop, don’t panic there are benchtop materials that aren’t that expensive but look great
- If the floor is in bad condition, look to fix it as buyers know how much this can cost. Either re-sand and polish the floor boards, add tiles or lay vinyl flooring
The living room
Today’s buyers like large living areas and open plan living is very popular. If your home doesn’t have a large living space, then you will need to make the most of the space you do have.
- Colour can help, colours like blues and greens can make a room appear bigger. How you finish a small room is also important. In a small room, especially one with low ceilings, keep furnishings below waist height and limit the number of pieces in the room.
- Clutter will make your small room look even smaller!
- One of the golden rules of interior design is that rooms need a focus, it could be a fireplace, a view, a cabinet with a TV or a feature wall
- Consider traffic flow, how easy is it for people to communicate and relax in? Arrange your room to enable conversation areas, access from seating to coffee or side tables and task lighting for work or reading areas
- As with the kitchen if the floor is in bad condition, look to fix it as buyers know how much this can cost. Either re-sand and polish the floor boards, add tiles or lay vinyl flooring…at the very least if you have carpets, have them professionally cleaned.
Whatever condition your bathroom is in, it must be clean. Nothing puts buyers off like mildew and a dirty loo!
- Clean your tiles and grouting, make sure your windows, mirrors and shower screens are spotless and free of streaks.
- Replace your soap bars with liquid soap
- If you have a bad smell, add some potpourri or an air freshner and open the window
- Replace a cracked basin, toilet or tub, this isn’t too expensive if you’re not changing the plumbing
- Add a bit of luxury, some fresh plump towels, some handmade soaps, plant or fresh flowers
- Create a feeling of space, use mirrors to make the room appear twice the size
- Re-enamel stained or chipped bathtubs
- Add a fresh coat of paint on the walls
Create a place where people feel like they can escape
- Reduce the amount of furniture and maximise the feeling of space. If you have a small bedroom use a double bed instead of a queen or bunks in the kid’s room
- Use neutral colours to make your bedrooms seem larger
- Clear the clutter on bedside tables and depersonalise the space by removing photos
- Buyers love storage and built in are always a winner, make sure you keep them simple
- Ensure you have quality lighting, perhaps add dimmer switches and bedside lamps to create some romance
- Add a little luxury with fresh linen, puffed up pillows and extra cushions, a comfy chair, candles and perfume bottles
- Clear away any personal items
Just like the inside of your home, your garden should be tidy and clear of clutter
- Weed you garden, remove dead plants and replace them with new ones
- If you have a lawn keep it mowed and trim
- Add some flowering plants for a splash of colour
- Define the borders of your garden beds
- If you have courtyard create a focal point like a water feature, statue or urn
Your LJ Hooker agent is a great person to discuss what exactly you need to do to make YOUR property stand out and attract the most number of buyers. To find your local LJ Hooker agent click here
Good luck and happy selling!