How to get your Home ready for a Spring Sale
The State Government recently announced that Victoria will continue with the current Stage 3 restrictions until mid-May. With a small number of new COVID-19 cases detected in Victoria overnight, this should give us all hope that by the time Spring arrives, we may have some semblance of our normal lives return to us.
Spring is traditionally a great time to sell. After the cold of winter, there is usually a larger pool of home buyers getting out and about to look for properties. This means more competition for properties, which drives prices up. On top of that, gardens are blooming, there’s more daylight and it’s generally a great time of year to showcase your home in the best possible light.
Combine a relaxation on restrictions with the arrival of Spring, and we could be set for a bumper property season! Seeing as though most of us are home more than ever; if you are thinking about listing your home in Spring, we have put together a list of tips on how to best prepare and present your property for a Spring sale.
First impressions count
Stand outside your home and compare it to your neighbours' properties. If you do this and your home doesn’t quite stack up, it's likely that you've missed an opportunity to impress your potential buyers.
- When was the last time I mowed the lawn?
- Have I ever cleaned those gutters out?
- Could those window frames use some fresh paint?
- Were those pavers always that uneven?
- Don't those children's toys have somewhere to be?
- Can people see my house number behind that overgrown shrub?
- Would some fresh chip bark look more appealing than a surplus of weeds?
Those lovely photographs of your daughter, husband, wife, nephew, best friend, cat and so forth that line the hallway? Take them down. All of them. The ones in the bedroom too, and the living room, and everywhere else in the house.
Your buyers don't want to see the life you've made for yourself in your home. They want to imagine the life they could make for themselves in their potential new home. Don't allow anything to distract from that vision.
Speaking of clutter
Get rid of it. If you've accumulated a lot of bits and pieces over the years (and you definitely have), now's the time to either a) throw them out, b) give them to charity or c) find proper, neat places for them in a closet or cupboard. You might even consider having a garage sale to purge your house of all that unnecessary 'stuff'. Do whatever you need to so that your buyers never have to lock eyes on it.
Pay specific attention to:
- Books, CDs and DVDs
- Ornaments and knick-knacks
- Kitchen tools and appliances that currently live on the counters
- Posters on your children's bedroom walls
Another idea many sellers have embraced is renting storage space to temporarily keep any extra furniture that could be making their house feel crowded. Be radical - remove half the furniture in your living room and see how spacious, sleek and light it looks and feels without it. As a general guide, there should be enough space for people to move around the room unhindered, and enough furniture to convey the room's purpose.
It's time to (Spring) clean
Clean! Clean as though your life depended on it. We're not talking about a quick once-over. Serious attention to detail is necessary here.
- Dust the skirting boards (if you don't know what a skirting board is, yours probably need dusting)
- Clean the windows inside and out
- Dust light fixtures and furniture
- Vacuum. Then vacuum again.
- Get rid of cobwebs
- Polish taps and mirrors
- Bleach tile grout
- Scrub the oven clean - it may sound excessive, but prospective buyers will look inside the oven.
Repair, restore, revamp
The devil is in the detail, and the sale of your home could be hampered by simple little things that you've stopped paying attention to. Try to look at your home from the perspective of your buyer, and think about the details that would impress or dismay you if you were in their position. Then take care of those details immediately.
- Replace broken light bulbs
- Fix leaky taps
- Fix doors and drawers that don't open or close properly
- Repair cracks in the walls
- Touch up paint and repaint altogether where necessary (in a neutral colour)
- Hang up fresh towels in the bathroom
- Get a new shower curtain and bathmat (again, choose neutral shades)
- Get rid of that busy wallpaper that you loved five years ago. Remove it and then paint the walls - don't simply paint over it
- Eradicate odours - particularly those from cigarette smoke, mould and pets. Open the windows and air out your house. Simply masking bad smells with a perfumed air freshener won't do the trick
- Replace cushion covers, bedspreads and curtains that are worn or have garish colours and patterns.
Light it up
Lots of natural light usually tops the list of things people are looking for in a home. This is great news if you own a home with floor-to-ceiling glass facing the afternoon sun, but that's not always the case, is it?
Fortunately, there are other ways to maximise the light in your house - natural or otherwise - and give the impression of having plenty of bright, airy space.
- Replace dim light bulbs with higher wattage
- Don't just pull open those heavy, dark curtains - pull them down altogether
- In areas of your house that are particularly dark, install some extra light fixtures
- Repaint darker rooms with light-coloured and light-reflecting paint
- Prune any trees or vines that are casting shadows inside the house
So in summary, take your time working through the list of improvements you may need to make. Don’t try to do it all at once, you may find your motivation dwindles. After the gloom of winter, let’s hope Spring breathes new life into us all!