Think selling a house is just sticking a ‘For Sale’ sign in the yard and waiting for the offers to roll in? We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but alas this is not how houses get sold – and certainly not quickly.
The process of selling a house can be long and arduous, with lots of ‘maybes’ and negotiations and strangers walking around your house. But there are a few industry secrets to getting your house sold with a hint of urgency.
No more waiting around for the perfect buyer; with these tips, you’ll be handing over the keys in no time.
1. Ditch the clutter
Make like Marie Kondo and use this opportunity to go through everything you own, and with every t-shirt, chair, ornament and utensil that doesn’t “spark joy”, chuck it. It sounds like a big task (and not directly related to the sale of your house), but decluttering is one of the best ways to curate a truly stylish home for other people to get excited about. Think about it – a house full of only belongings that spark joy? Sounds like a place you want to live in.
By clearing benchtops, minimising the ‘stuff’ that clogs up shelves and closets, and ditching bulky furniture (or at least sticking it in storage), you’re creating space that lets potential buyers start to imagine their own furniture and families moving in. On that note, be sure to remove personal items like kids’ craft or family photos so your buyers don’t get sidetracked in their house-buying daydreams.
2. Spruce up the sex appeal
Selling a house means giving the whole property a really good grooming, because let’s face it; there’s nothing sexy about weeds and weathered fences. Starting from the outside, you want your curb appeal to be impeccable. Think trimmed bushes, mowed lawns, a tidy garden with beautiful flowers, and absolutely no toys, gardening gear or rubbish in sight.
They say it takes a buyer six seconds to decide on a house – and three of those are judged from the outside – so don’t stop with the garden. If the budget allows (and we highly recommend it), think about sprucing up the house with a fresh lick of paint, getting the windows properly cleaned, fixing up the front verandah and footpath, and springing for a new doormat.
As for the rest of the house, every last tile and cobwebbed-corner should be sparkling clean. That means scrubbing grout, cleaning skirting boards, sanitising kitchen drawers, and sorting any small issues around the house like broken lights or leaky taps.
3. Set the scene
So you’ve ditched the clutter and cleaned like a health inspector, now it’s time to stage the house to add value. Every real estate agent worth their salt knows that kitchens sell houses, so make yours as inviting as possible. Storage and bench space are high priorities for potential homebuyers, so clear the benches of all appliances and coffee cups, instead highlighting the space with a big bunch of flowers or fresh fruit bowl. And don’t forget to let as much natural light as possible in through your (freshly cleaned) windows.
Another way to add value to your home is by making space where there was none. Taking a cosy corner and staging it as a reading nook or setting up a smaller bedroom as a home office can give a whole new purpose to the house that encourages imagination in buyers. By creating an inviting feel, it connects with emotional buyers – the ones likely to spend more – as it encourages them to get attached to the space and picture their families living there.
4. The price is right
There’s nothing worse than sticking a price on your house, only to discover it’s too high or too low. Before going to market, get a few valuations of your property from experts in the area to find that sweet spot that’ll bring people to your door. Along with your real estate agent, property experts can assess the state of your home, the market conditions, and the value/sale history of other properties in your area to get the most appropriate price. If the neighbourhood is particularly popular or there’s a lot of interest from buyers, hosting an auction could be another trick to drive the sale price up.
5. Take me to market
The stage is set and the house is spruced, so it’s time to take your baby to market. First off, a really good real estate agent is essential. You want someone who is experienced in selling homes, who can connect with buyers and read them well, and who is good with technology to ensure all avenues are covered when it comes to selling your house.
Getting your house listed on top online sites like Realestate.com.au and Domain is non-negotiable. Tech-savvy homebuyers will rarely see an ad in the paper or a flyer in the letterbox, so if you’re not online, you may as well not be selling. After the internet, studies show that a sign in the front yard is the second biggest drawcard for those looking to purchase a house, so get your real estate agent to plant a nifty looking ‘For Sale’ sign in plain view from the street.
You can do your part on this front, too. From letting your network know that your house is on the market and sharing the listing on social media, to inviting your neighbours to your open house dates, word of mouth can be a powerful marketing tool.
With hot tips like these, selling your house has never been easier. And with a bit of planning, some clever sprucing, and the right people spruiking your house, it could even be – dare we say it – a bit of fun!