Canberra has been shut down to some degree for almost two months and plenty of people have been using that time to organise their homes or take on a DIY project they’ve been wanting to do. Hardware stores have been doing a roaring trade since March.
But it’s one thing to build a veggie garden that will give you a bumper crop of cabbage in a couple of months, and another if you’re thinking of selling. The home maintenance jobs you do now could impact your sale price in another couple of months.
Independent agent Jacob Stanton says, “It’s a surprisingly great time to sell. Buyer enquiry is significantly higher right now than it was this time last year. We’re recommending people who are thinking of selling this year to take advantage of the current sellers’ market.”
If you want to get your home ready to sell, here are a few tasks that will make your property sparkle, potentially add value and make your home stand out from others in your suburb.
Autumn home sale checklist
Preparing the exterior of your home
- Trim the lawns and tidy up your backyard, raking up any fallen leaves.
- Consider shaping deciduous trees to make the most of seasonal colour.
- Be sure to move or trim plants that obscure the front of your home, and make sure windows are clean – thinking of street appeal.
- Pull out weeds from the garden and spread some ground cover or mulch to give a tidy appearance.
- Keep pathways clear to allow easy access to your property – but a few autumn leaves are OK.
Preparing the interior of your home
- Focus on the entry and family rooms first, making sure the area is clear of clutter and looks welcoming.
- Repair any small cracks in the walls and apply a fresh coat of paint.
- Install energy efficient LED lighting to brighten your spaces on darker days and also to add value.
- Add some colour with furnishings to brighten living spaces. A pop of autumn-inspired colour, such as yellow or orange, can add cheer.
Autumn home maintenance checklist
The following are some home maintenance tasks you might consider if you’re selling, renovating or simply getting ready for the cooler months.
- Have your heating system cleaned and serviced, particularly chimneys and older wall heaters. Also, replace your heater’s air filter.
- Check all windows and doors for drafts, and floors and walls for cracks. Use caulk and weather stripping to seal gaps to keep you warm in winter and lower your power bill.
- Check to make sure heating vents are clear and that nothing has been moved over them during summer.
- Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Clean your clothes dryer vents and inspect hoses on whitegoods for cracks.
- Examine any wood for insect damage such as termites.
- Conduct an energy audit to minimise winter electricity usage.
- Trim trees and bushes so nothing touches your house. This might be an ongoing task if you have deciduous trees.
- Clean any outdoor furniture and barbecue to make them ready for storage.
- Clean, sharpen, oil and store tools and gardening equipment in a dry location. Make sure winter tools – such as blowers, rakes and shovels – are ready to use.
- Check the roofing, sides and gutters of sheds and garages to make sure they’re clean, dry and waterproof, particularly if you’re storing tools and furniture during winter.
- Do an outdoor safety check. Are your outside lights working? Are your handrails stable?
- Clean all house gutters and check roof for damage. Replace any missing tiles before winter hits.
- Check your downpipes and splash blocks to ensure water flows away from the house.
- Seal any gaps into the house and block off entries into any crawlspaces to prevent animals from getting in and nesting.
- Remove garden hoses, drain them and store indoors. Drain and ‘winterise’ exterior plumbing to protect it from freezing.
- Prepare the lawn by cutting it short and fertilising so it has the nutrients it needs to get through winter. The same principle applies to garden beds – cut back and apply a layer of compost to improve the soil.
- Mulch your plants well, especially those that are tender. Good mulching can save them when temperatures dip. Bring fragile potted plants indoors for protection.
- Terracotta planters need to be cleaned and stored to prevent them from cracking.
- Throughout autumn, transfer fallen leaves to a compost bin on a regular basis to prevent them from smothering your garden.
If you’re thinking of selling and want to chat to an agent about what you can do to get your home ready for sale, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Or you can visit the site of Independent real estate for an instant, free online appraisal that tells you what your home could sell for right now.
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