How to make buyers fall in love with your house
Tuesday, 16 January 2018 12:00 AM
If you are planning to sell your house and build or upgrade this year, there are some key tips that will give you the best chance of attracting buyers and selling your house for the best price. Here’s the lowdown on what you need to do before you put your house on the market.
1. Talk to local agents
Local real estate agents will have the best idea of what buyers are looking for in your area. If your home is in need of renovation, for example, finding out whether your area attracts buyers looking for a fixer-upper, will potentially save you time and money spent doing a renovation that is just as likely to be ripped out by the new buyers if it doesn’t match their taste. Conversely, you may be in an area where buyers expect updated homes and spending money on a renovation could be worth the effort for a higher closing price.
Ask the agents about the features that buyers in your area are looking for. If they tend to want a certain number of bedrooms and bathrooms, it may pay to convert a room that is currently not used as a bedroom, by adding a closet and windows or adding another bathroom if space permits.
2. Declutter and clean
Buyers should be able to imagine living in your house and the best way to achieve this is to depersonalise the spaces by removing photos, mementos and other personal effects. A buyer should feel that the house flows seamlessly, so avoid excess furniture and oversized items like big dining tables that make rooms look small and boxy. In the kitchen, hide any small appliances like toasters and kettles and take down notes and photos from the front of your fridge to give it a clean look.
A deep clean is required prior to selling a house – wipe down walls and windowsills, remove cobwebs, get the carpets professionally cleaned and don’t forget hard-to-reach places like the tops of ceiling fans and air vents. Washing down the exterior of your house will freshen it up, as will pressure hosing pavers and fences. If your house still looks a little tired and shabby, a coat of paint to both interior and exterior surfaces (including fences) will brighten it up remarkably for a small outlay.
3. Repair anything that is not working or damaged
Smart buyers will tally up the cost of repairing obvious flaws in your house and deduct this from their offering price. Fix broken lights, windows, drawers and cupboards and patch and repaint holes in the plasterboard. In the bathrooms, laundry and kitchen, repair leaking taps, remove and add grout if it’s dirty or damaged, replace the silicone around sinks and showers and repair or replace chipped tiles.
4. Update fixtures
Replacing outdated handles, door knobs, lights and light switch plates, ceiling fans, taps and shower heads is a cost-effective way to smarten up your house. Even replacing small things like the toilet seat, shower curtain and towel rails can make all the difference.
5. Don’t forget the exterior
The front of your house will be the first thing buyers see – taking some time and a little money to ensure your property has good kerb appeal will create a positive first impression and encourage buyers to look a little further.
Apart from a good pressure housing of exterior surfaces and house walls, think about giving a pop of colour to your front door and replacing the letterbox and house numbers if they are looking past their prime. Make sure your lawns are mowed and add some plants and mulch if the garden needs a refresh.