So you've made the big decision to put your property up for sale on the open market. And now it’s time for your series of ‘Open For Inspections’. What how do you prepare for this very important step in your sale process? Here are some simple tips to help you through. Remember you only get one chance to make a first impression.
Have a Spring clean:
Make sure the exterior is pristine (and maintained to the same standard for the duration of the sale process). Mow the lawns, ensure the garden beds are clean and tidy, check the front door is clean or give it a fresh coat of paint, rake up leaves and sweep patios and decks. Take any rubbish or garden waste away, make sure your outdoor furniture is in good condition, that outside tables are wiped down and that any soft furnishings are clean and pristine. Make that pool sparkle and move the bins out of sight.
And that’s just the outside!
The inside needs a proper spruce up. Dust, vacuum, scrub, wash – and don’t forget to clean inside ovens, cupboards and wardrobes, in case potential buyers are particularly curious. Get the big clean out of the way in advance, then keep your place in good condition while your property is on the market. That will mean you're always prepared for a private viewing as well as your scheduled home inspection dates.
So that potential buyers can imagine themselves in the property, take away any personal items like family photos. And hide kids toys away.
Let the light in
Air out your home thoroughly before the inspection so it feels as fresh and clean as possible. It’s much easier on a sunny, dry day of course, but open up the windows and doors and let the fresh air in. If the weather permits, keep some windows open during the inspections so that there’s a steady flow of fresh air. Make sure all the curtains are drawn / blinds are open to allow as much light in as possible.
Hide any evidence of your furry friends
One of the most common complaints from potential buyers at open for inspections are tell-tale signs you share your home with someone furry. Animal smells, pet food and kitty litter can instantly turn someone off your property. Deodorise your property to remove the whiff of little creatures and get someone who doesn’t normally live there to confirm you’re clear (you might be used to it and unable to smell what others can).
Clean traces of hair from floors and furniture, stow away feeding bowls and toys, remove any litter boxes or droppings from the garden and give your pets a vacation during inspections.
Sights, sounds and smells
A personal touch here and there helps your home feel less staged, and will often help prospective buyers to forge an emotional connection with your property. Fresh flowers are a nice addition. Bowls of sweets near the door that people can dip into on their way out are good too.
It’s about striking a balance between presenting a warm, homely environment and allowing enough mental space for a prospective buyer to imagine themselves living in your home.
And think about the sense of smell - it's powerful. Baking bread, lighting an open fire and putting on soft music can all help to create the perfect atmosphere.
No nasty smells
Off putting smells can be an instant turnoff. So eliminating nasty smells is as important as getting the visuals right. Counter the off-putting smells with flowers, candles, air fresheners or even freshly brewed coffee, but make sure that you don’t go overboard, and avoid strong aromas like incense.
The Goldilocks principal - not too hot, not too cold...just right. Make sure that you maintain a comfortable room temperature during open for inspections. People shouldn’t raise a sweat or catch a chill, and you need to demonstrate your property can effortlessly cope with any climate.
Be sure not to leave anything valuable in sight. You should take care to remove and protect anything precious or valuable before you open your house up to strangers. Agents usually record the details of people coming through your property, to deter thieves and provide some accountability if anything ends up missing or damaged. However, this isn’t a perfect system and shouldn’t be relied upon.
Any person walking into your property during a home inspection is a potential buyer and could make an offer, so be prepared with the right paperwork.
Though most buyers don’t get to the negotiating stage during a walk-through, it pays to be ready with all the information a visitor might want.
Work with your Agent to ensure that all relevant paperwork (renovation history, pest documentation, approvals for further development) is on display in the property during the inspection – ready to be reviewed or taken home by serious parties.
The less buyers have to ask, the more at ease they’ll feel in the property and the more time they’ll have to imagine themselves in it. And, just in case someone wants to snap your property up on the spot, you’ll have all you need to make that happen.
Leave it to the experts
While your house is getting the once over, you should leave potential buyers to wander your halls unencumbered and relaxed. Coordinate with your Agent and be ready to head out for a short time, taking any other family members or inhabitants with you (including the pets!).
Leave the home inspection to the experts - that's why you engaged them in the first place.
For more information contact the team at Danckert Real Estate.