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Thread: Preparing house for sale. Tips appreciated

  1. #1

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    Default Preparing house for sale. Tips appreciated

    We're preparing our house for sale. It's only 2 years old so there's not loads to do structurally but it still feels like a lot of work. We decided not to consult a stylist, due to cost, but would appreciate any tips people have to improve sale prospects. Photos are being taken next Monday.

    One side fence is being replaced. The contractor injured himself on another job yesterday so there's a delay to finish. We need to get some soil and fix up the backyard & plant some trees. That now has to be next weekend. Out the front, we have a DIY espalier frame with heritage apple trees. I don't want to spend the money to make it look prettier, so I'm wondering, do we pull it out or just leave it?

    How important is it to depersonalise the house? We have some lovely family canvas photos on the wall. We have had some advice to remove them. Others say it doesn't matter.

    We're decluttering as much as possible. I want it to look nice, but also need to live here. Do people prefer something that looks like a show home or are a few homely touches ok?

    I also need to get the oven cleaned. I am so not going to try doing that myself.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Preparing house for sale. Tips appreciated

    I'd leave the family pics on the wall, it makes i seem like a home. Put away as much stuff as you can, so only have out a few items that decorate, but put away anything that's not necessary. This will give the idea that you have good storage and make it feel cleaner.

  3. #3

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    Default Re: Preparing house for sale. Tips appreciated

    Definitely agree with PP about clutter- less is more.

    White bedspread in the master bedroom.

    Nice scented candle burning.

    A RE can also consult about a lot of 'tricks'

  4. #4

    Default Re: Preparing house for sale. Tips appreciated

    Minimal is best so a few photos here and there are fine but minimise as much as you can, walls and spaces will look bigger.

    Get rid of any furniture that you don't use into storage or that again is cluttering up space.

    We decided against a stylist but decided to spend a bit to hopefully make a but and it worked. We bought some new pics for walls, new cushions, throws, a rug, coffee table and outdoor setting. Spent around 4k and we sold for 35 over our reserve so was well worth the investment.

    Yes people want it homely but they want to imagine it as Their home too not yours if that makes sense. Clean, open uncluttered space does that. I had bits that I put away after each inspection and then baskets I would pack some into the car with like Dirty washing, toys etc that I would hide!

    I do think people want to see something more like a display home than very lived in.

  5. #5

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    Default Re: Preparing house for sale. Tips appreciated

    We sold our place after just 5 days on the market last year! I took my inspiration from looking at other opens while we were looking for our place, as well as the photos on the websites. Once I saw what turned me off a property I felt much more confident making those decisions myself and so didn't hire a stylist either.

    I purchased a set of linen that we only put on our bed for opens as well as the photos. It was a pain making the bed up 4 times in one week but it looked lovely and fresh. I also bought a set of towels for each bathroom, nice white fluffy ones. I didn't spend much at all but it really made a difference.

    We took out all the clutter and really cleaned out the cupboards. We didn't have heaps of storage and so wanted to highlight what we did have, if that makes sense.

    All framed pics were removed but from memory we did leave a few of the nicer ones on the wall. We left items that were specific to each room, so the phone and lamps in the bedroom, the kettle on the bench etc.

    The house had never been cleaner! I hired someone to do the windows and that was money well spent. Our old house could be dark and I wanted as much light coming in as possible. The window cleaner removed all screens for cleaning and even wiped out all the tracks etc. House felt so fresh once that was done. Once it was on the market I vowed to never have it more than 20 minutes away from showhome quality, was a hard task with the kids! But it honestly paid off when we had opens scheduled prior to the official one, and a couple of those were the agent calling and asking if he could bring someone through that same day. I could have said no but one of those was our future buyer

    We put new mulch down but that was the extent of the outside. I felt that potential buyers would be more interested in the bare bones of the place and anything in the garden would be easily fixed. So I would leave the frame.

    Good luck!

  6. #6

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    Default Re: Preparing house for sale. Tips appreciated

    Thanks all.

    Interesting about removing the framed pictures. I might leave a couple of the landscape type ones but pack all the family ones away.

    Good tip to put the washing baskets in the car!

    We're having the windows cleaned Friday. The paving has already been cleaned. I'm borrowing cushions & throw rugs from Mum. I think a trip to Spotlight might be in order too.

    We're planning on taking the rugs up. The living/ dining is tiles and we think it will look bigger without the rugs and the coffee table. Things like hat stands & desks are being stored or sold.

    The pantry is sorted but the other cupboards need cleaning out. It's a good opportunity to get rid of things. I want to be able to put things away for OFIs quickly. The biggest tasks are the oven and marks on walls. And the blinds.

    I've studied rooms at OFIs and we watch a lot of real estate type shows. I've chosen colours for each room and will keep towels & teatowels etc ready just for OFIs. We have white linen for the beds. My main indecision is about the personal pics & the dodgy espalier frame.

    The RE agent is coming around on Monday to tell me what he thinks of the frame. I just want the fence finished so I can fix the backyard.

  7. #7

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    Default Re: Preparing house for sale. Tips appreciated

    Yes, laundry baskets! We had a couple of spares that we threw things in and popped in the back of the car. We had tiles too and removed the rugs, made the space look much bigger.

  8. #8

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    Default Re: Preparing house for sale. Tips appreciated

    Remove as much clutter and additional furniture as you can.

    Neutral colours as much as possible, change curtains to something plain. Cheap tab curtains from kmart/bigw/target will work ok.

    You need to allow people to see their stuff in the house.

    Remove personal stuff as much as you can.

    Good luck with the sale.

  9. #9

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    Default Re: Preparing house for sale. Tips appreciated

    All the advice you've been given is great. We also had fresh flowers in our kitchen for each home open, they looked brilliant. And almost all our photo frames were put away until we sold our house along with the few nick-nacks we had. The look was quite minimalistic.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Preparing house for sale. Tips appreciated

    As well as the other great tips above:

    Open windows an hour before a viewing so the house smells fresh. Or bake bread.

    Hide away riding crops and do not leave them out in the bedroom. We didn't buy that house.

  11. #11

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    Default Re: Preparing house for sale. Tips appreciated

    I can totally second, or third (?) lol the laundry basket thing. before each OFI (and the last minute private inspections) we would throw everything in the car that needed throwing in...like dirty laundry, vacuum, mop (we would do a quick mop on the way out).

    immediate pre inspection tips over winter are to remember to have the heating on beforehand and then turn down (but still on!) while inspection is on.

    for the garden, i would be tempted if it looks really mangy to rip out the espalier. i mean, if it was a healthy tree and all that, i'd keep it, but if it is struggling get it out. it will be part of the first impressions if it is at the front of the house. Would it be in the photo of the front of the place??

    we painted our walls and hired a cleaner. we decluttered BIG TIME. but i did keep some small personal pics of the kids sitting on the fire place mantle. (only because i knew it would be a family home and i remember loving to 'see' the family that made the home theirs before we wanted it). but seriously, everything else went. good chance to start packing already!

    oh, and i forgot to mention that we also laid down new turf ourselves in the backyard as our chooks had decimated the patch lol.

    I will PM you our photo spread sheet of our place when it was up for sale...might be handy...as you may remember the jumble and chaos of the house lol.

    Also, does your RE offer the free in house stylist? i found the one we had to be handy. i didnt take everything on board as i was fairly certain that it would be a young family buying our house rather than a professional couple, so took most things on board, but didnt go overboard.

  12. #12

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    Default Re: Preparing house for sale. Tips appreciated

    Our RE doesnt. The RE we didnt go with does

    Re: the apple trees. I bought 4 heritage apple trees last winter for about $150. We were originally planning on staying here for longer otherwise I wouldnt have bothered. The trees are healthy, the frame is just our dodgy DIY effort. The problem is taking the trees out before winter. It may kill them & I feel bad about that. But if it's going to bring in extra $$ if we take it out, then we need to do it.

    The photo spread would be great.

    I'm cleaning walls & it's doing my head in. I clean one bit & notice marks I hadnt noticed next to them. DH & I are getting sharp with each other too. And bub isnt cooperating wrt naps etc.

    This is so much worse than nesting & I was pretty bad with that.

  13. #13

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    Default Re: Preparing house for sale. Tips appreciated

    Personally I didn't worry about marks on the walls. We had painted the house about 5 years prior, then the kids drew on and ran cars into the walls...we had about half a dozen offers to choose from so I don't think it makes much difference.

    Another one happy to PM you our pics

  14. #14

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    Default Re: Preparing house for sale. Tips appreciated

    One thing our RE said to us was that people mostly make an impression about whether they want the place by the time they are through the first room. So make the entrance top spec. No piles of boots outside etc, and sweep the paths. Fresh mulch on the garden is a quick and easy fix. Weed the garden

    Very clean and almost sparse. Our RE did include a stylist and after she finished the place felt very bare. But yeah .. no people photos, but meaningful stuff OK - like antique family photos.

    If you have a fireplace, make sure the glass is clean and there is wood stacked nearby (but not too much). No overpowering scents (like those glade things) as whenever we looked at houses, if I smelt them I assumed there as a problem.

    Put herb and spice jars away - they add visual clutter.


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