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Opening your home to potential buyers can be stressful and time-consuming. Most people don’t relish the idea of strangers coming through their home looking at their belongings. Your real estate agent understands it’s a tough time and they will provide you with the best advice to help you.
1. Cleaning is Essential. Go from room to room and ensure every surface gleams. Look behind doors and high up on ceilings to get rid of cobwebs. Dust every surface, vacuum drapes, clean mirrors and let in as much light as possible. Have the carpets professionally cleaned. Empty rubbish bins, double clean wet areas, basins, baths and shower stalls, and scrub grouting. These are the areas that will often be most scrutinized by a potential purchaser.
2. Some Minor Repairs may Be Necessary. Check that all plumbing is in good working order, that taps don’t stick and there are no leaks. Replace any broken floor or wall tiles and re-grout if necessary. Chipped or stained surfaces should be re-painted or re-surfaced. If you have cracked glass, replace it.
3. Declutter. Rearranging furniture to give the illusion of more space will work in your favour. Remove and store any items that clutter a room, especially large pieces of furniture, sentimental items and personal photographs.
De-cluttering is important because a potential buyer wants to see the property in it’s very best light. They want to see well-proportioned rooms, get an idea of how their own tastes will work in the house and see that the home is very well presented.
There are other reasons too – your security and privacy. If you leave personal items around the house that can identify you and your family then your privacy is compromised. You will likely wish your identity to be protected, plus you don’t want anything valuable or sentimental damaged, broken or stolen.
Don’t leave items on your bedside tables, put away ornaments and photos, arrange only a few items on the kitchen benchtop (cookbooks in a neat row, perhaps), and straighten rugs, pictures, drapes and blinds.
Ensure visitors can move easily around the home when they come for an open inspection. Store anything truly valuable away from the home to deter opportunistic thieves.
4. Freshen Up the House. Open as many doors and windows as possible to eliminate stale odours naturally. Artificial room sprays are generally NOT advisable as they smell exactly that; artificial. Even scented candles can overpower or induce a negative reaction from strangers. If you have the time, and inclination, to bake cookies then do… but leave a plate of them on the kitchen bench for visitors to nibble. At least they’ll think you made the cookies for them.
If you need to mask odours from the damp or pets then do so with a very neutral smell, such as vanilla.
5. Keep a Good Temperature. Whether it’s winter or summer, ensure the home is suitably warm or cool. Being comfortable during an open inspection gives more positive feelings to a potential purchaser.
6. Let There be Light. Remove trees, shrubs and trellising that darken windows. Open up drapes and blinds to their fullest to allow for maximum light and sun. A sunny and light-filled house will feel more welcoming and more like a home. If required, turn on extra lights, use lamps to create attractive pools of light or even install a skylight prior to the open.
7. Tenants, Please be Courteous. If you live in a rental property that is being sold or you are moving out, please be courteous to the Landlord. Keep the home free of clutter, clean, fresh and in a condition you’d like to see if you were house hunting.
Your real estate agent will provide you with the best advice so please take it. Amkar Real Estate is a truly professional agency that knows what it takes to de-clutter and de-personalise your home for an open. Don’t be like a client who insisted on leaving a highly personal yet quite ugly vase on display only to have it accidently broken by a young child.
Sega-Elias Awkar is happy to appraise your home with no obligation and help you to clean up your home for an open inspection with expert advice.