How to get your house ready to sell in 6 easy steps

1. Remove the clutter
As you are probably aware, I am known as the decluttering and organising guy. So, my first tip should come as little surprise.

Decluttering is the number one thing you should do before selling, with studies showing a cluttered, disorganised home can decrease its sale price by as much as 10%.

If your home is filled with memorabilia, overcrowded bookcases, bursting cupboards and too much furniture now is the time to deal with it. It’s important to create a sense of open space so potential buyers can imagine living in your home.

2. Time for a thorough clear
In the same vein, a very thorough cleaning of your home will make a huge difference. Scuffed walls and baseboards can be touched up with special paint erasers available at most DIY stores.

Stained toilets and sinks should be dealt with, along with holes in the walls, broken taps, dirty door frames, cracked electrical outlets, blown light bulbs and squeaky hinges on cabinets.

3. Use the agent’s first visit as a test
When it comes to selling your home, first impressions last. Prospective buyers will set their ideas about your space from the moment they set foot in it.

However, agents are often the first people to see your home, and help you determine an acceptable selling price.

Be educated about the market value, as it is, and let them be your guide around what to expect in terms of a price, but also what you need to look at in terms of jobs that need doing.

If they suggest getting the jobs done now, it is not because they want you to spend your weekends painting and cleaning. Rather, it is because they think it will mean more money when the time comes to make a deal with a buyer.

A few dollars spent now will usually pay off many times over when taking offers.

4. Go neutral and depersonalised
Bigger jobs should also be considered. Loud, outdated wallpaper should be replaced with a neutral colour paint job. The same goes for rugs or carpeting (especially those that are stained or damaged).

Any kind of visible wood rot should also be replaced. Broken tiles in the bathroom or on the walls should be replaced.

While you have spent years making this home your own, now is the time to depersonalise it, which can be difficult.

5. Don’t forget curb appeal
Finally, don’t forget the importance of curb appeal. The front of your home is very important as this is the first impression people have as they arrive.

Does the front garden look tidy? Does any of the brickwork need to be power-washed? Does the front door look freshly painted and clean? How about the front gate or fence?

A small investment in colourful plants or flowers can have a huge impact on first impressions, so consider what small these additions might make to the overall appeal of your home.

6. Let your home tell a story
When getting a home ready for an agent’s appraisal, it is important to convey that not only has your home been well-loved, but it has also been well-maintained. Prospective buyers need to be able to imagine themselves living happily in your home.

The money you spend now on cleaning and repairs will almost certainly come back to you in the form of a higher sale price.