Top Ten Tips for Spring Sellers

Allhomes 10 September 2012


The birds are chirping, the garden is awakening and the evenings are brightening up. It’s safe to say that spring is upon us! For many, this can mean it’s time to sell. The spring season is a busy period for the real estate industry as winter draws to a close and buyers venture out with renewed passion for their property search.

Allhomes has consulted three experienced real estate agents from around Canberra to get the hot tips for spring sellers, ranging from where to invest your money on renovations through to how best to present your home for inspections without spending a cent.

“My advice to any home owner selling a property would be to put yourself in the buyer’s shoes and walk around the home to see how best to improve its presentation,” says Gillian Thorn, Luton Properties Woden.

Stephen Thompson from LJ Hooker Manuka says that every home has certain features which will appeal to buyers, and some areas which can be improved.

“You need to identify and enhance your home’s best features and rectify the weakest to ensure you attract as many buyers as possible and maximise your selling price,” says Stephen.

However, it’s equally important not to overcapitalise when considering spending money to improve your home for sale, according to Justin Taylor, McGrath Estate Agents Belconnen/Gungahlin.

“It should come down to a simple cost/benefit analysis. How much will it cost? How much value will it add?” says Justin.

Our panel of expert agents have assisted in putting together the

Top Ten Tips for Spring Sellers:

1. Street Appeal

First impressions are extremely important as many buyers initial viewing of the property is via a quick ‘drive by’. Be sure your home looks attractive from the street or your agent may find it difficult to get buyers in the front door. Tips for reinvigorating your exterior include touching up paintwork, trimming grass & hedges, removing rubbish bins, removing any stains from the driveway, fixing any crooked fencing, raking leaves and other debris, cleaning and straightening curtains and other window treatments, and parking vehicles around the corner and out of the way.

2. Deep Spring cleaning

If finances allow, employ a professional to get your property spic and span before holding any exhibitions. Areas to focus on include flooring, kitchen and bathrooms including the oven, shower screens and vanities, as well as deodorising the carpet and curtains.

3. Landscaping & Gardens

Landscaping is one of the areas where you’ll need to weigh up your investment with your potential return. Whether you decide to spend a lot or a little, the outdoor areas play a big role in the sale of a house (particularly in Spring!). It’s important to cut back overgrown gardens, as they give the impression of being too much hard work to prospective buyers. Freshly mulch all garden beds prior to exhibitions. Visit your local hardware store for cheap and cheerful additions, such as plants currently in flower which will last for the duration of the marketing campaign.

“A well presented garden makes a big impression. A $2,000 garden makeover could add $5,000 to $10,000 if it’s done right,” says Justin Taylor, McGrath Estate Agents Belconnen/Gungahlin.

4. Lighting

They don’t call it ‘mood lighting’ for nothing! Lighting can make a big difference to the look and feel of any room. For daylight exhibitions, natural light is always best so open those curtains and let the sunshine in. If your agent is holding twilight exhibitions, lighting becomes a great tool.

“Be sure there is adequate lighting leading to the house and ensure all your light globes are in working order. Lamps in bedrooms can provide nice ‘soft’ lighting and can also add colour, rather than overhead light fittings,” says Gillian Thorn, Luton Properties Woden.

5. Storage space

Whether you’re looking at making renovations to add value or simply wanting to make the best of what you’ve already got, storage space is high on every buyer’s wish list. The addition of storage spaces such as garden sheds or car accommodation can add value to your home. Any existing storage should be maximised by being neat, tidy and uncluttered so buyers can see just how much space there is.

6. Master bedroom

Give your master bedroom a luxurious feel using some simple decor styling tips such as using colour co-ordinated bed linen, removing all clutter and making sure the room is well lit and ventilated.

“Bedrooms can sometimes have odours that linger, especially in winter time when we are less inclined to ventilate our homes due to cold temperatures, so make sure the windows are open prior to exhibitions. Ensure the wardrobes are neat and tidy as buyers will open the doors to see how much storage space there is. Be sure to remove any items that are of sentimental or monetary value,” says Gillian Thorn, Luton Properties Woden.

7. Kitchen & Bathrooms

The kitchen and bathrooms are so important to the functionality of a home and as such can be a big selling point. Cleanliness is essential in these areas. Renovating or updating your wet areas can add significant value to your home. Your real estate agent can put you in touch with the right tradespeople for the job. Justin Taylor of McGrath Estate Agents Belconnen/Gungahlin can rattle off numerous quick upgrades, including “updating the appliances, adding a dishwasher, modernising tap ware, full height tiling in the bathroom and ensuite, modernising vanities, adding mirrors, replacing cracked tiles, removing grime from the oven, benches and sink areas.”

8. Homely touches for exhibitions

How your home presents at exhibition is key to drawing in prospective buyers, which is why special effort should be given to making your home feel comfortable and inviting on the big day.

“Give buyers good feelings,” says Stephen Thompson of LJ Hooker Manuka, “Fresh flowers on the table and a jar of cookies in the kitchen. Remember to make your beds before leaving the house, remove any washing from the clothes line, put away personal care items and ensure all dishes are clean and put away.”

9. Fix the little things

Buyers generally don’t want to add chores to their list when purchasing a new home, so be sure to fix all those little things that have been on your ‘to do’ list for a while. The loose door knob, the screen door that won’t quite close, that leaky tap, etc. Seeing small faults like this will encourage buyers to look for more.

10. De-Cluttering

This is one of the most simple and yet most important tips for selling your home successfully. Given that you’ll (hopefully!) be moving soon, now is the time to get rid of excess stuff. If your home appears clean, un-cluttered and well-organised, it will remove people’s fears about problems with the home’s functionality which might be lurking beneath the surface.

“Tidy up. Hold a garage sale! Get rid of anything you don’t need and remove any clutter you’re able to. It helps to give buyers the impression of more room and adequate storage,” says Stephen Thompson, LJ Hooker Manuka.

There’s a lot you can do to boost both the value of your home and the likelihood of attracting the right buyer on exhibition day.  Your agent is full of helpful tips and contacts for getting your home up to scratch in order to get the best price possible.

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