Depersonalising your property when selling
When looking for a new place to call home, one of the most exciting parts is picturing yourself living in the property and making it your own. This can be difficult, however, if a buyer is faced with a vendor’s personal items and style obscuring their property visions.
Changing your property into a blank canvas will help to tap into a large buyer pool and improve your chances of getting your property sold quickly and for your asking price or more.
Whether meeting with your agent or opening your house up for the perfect buyer, it pays to take the ‘you’ out of your property and treat it like a blank canvas. While experienced real estate agents will advise you on how best to prepare your home for sale, here are a few simple steps you can take on your own:
Clean up your clutter
A messy and chaotic home is a big turn-off for most of us, and your potential buyers are no exception. When preparing to sell, it’s a good idea to start decluttering as early as possible, undertaking a clear-out and tidying up throughout your home. If you run out of storage space you could even consider renting a storage facility for a while to store items off-site.
“Buyers want to see how spacious a property is and the storage that is on offer, so don’t think your cupboard or garage will hide any clutter you may have,” says Andrew Robinson, Belle Property and Hockingstuart’s Head of Franchise Sales & Chief Auctioneer.
“Look at your property through an unbiased lens and consider what you would want to see, and more importantly, not see when inspecting a property for the first time.”
Remove any personal items and photos
Imagine attending an inspection and opening the front door to a large portrait of an unknown family hanging in the foyer or walking into a bathroom and seeing their toothbrushes on display. It’s an experience for a buyer that is less than ideal, and which may even hinder your ability to sell.
“Making the buyer feel like they have walked into someone’s home can turn them off picturing themselves living in the space, so make your house a neutral canvas by removing any personal effects like pictures and bathroom items,” Andrew says.
Stow away your pooch’s paraphernalia
While increasing numbers of us have some type of pet, not all buyers are pet people so when selling it’s a good idea to hide away any of your pet’s accoutrements.
“As a rule of thumb, hide any trace of a pet during open homes. Your pet may be your best friend, but a stray dog toy acting as a trip hazard is definitely not going to go down well with a potential buyer,” says Andrew.
Consider your kerb appeal
When preparing to sell, remember that the very first impression that buyers will get of your property is how it appears as they approach from the street. By walking from the street into your house, take notice of the elements that will likely catch a buyer’s eye. Remove any umbrellas or shoes sitting beside the door, consider adding some pot plants or occasional chairs to your verandah, or get in a handyman to freshen up your façade.
“Don’t forget that for buyers, first impressions really do count, and that potential buyers will be judging your house from the moment they pull up outside,” Andrew notes.
Style for a sale
To take the hassle out of styling a property for sale, many vendors often opt to use professional staging for their home. Property stylists can either stage a section or the whole property, incorporating the latest design trends, seasonal elements and their knowledge of what potential buyers would want to see in the space.
“While styling or staging doesn’t guarantee a return on investment, it’s estimated that styled or staged properties can help increase sales prices by an average of 10%. Making it something worth looking into if your budget can stretch to it,” says Andrew.
Reassess your rooms
Buyers often make their property decisions based around the number of bedrooms a house has available. It’s important to do some research and talk to a local agent about buyer demographics in the area.
“If you are lucky enough to have spare bedrooms in your house, don’t just assume that buyers will want to use them for the same purpose as you,” Andrew explains.
“Consider what your target buyers want to see - are you located in a more family-friend suburb where more bedrooms, the better, or, with more people now working from home, are your buyers looking for a home office space?
“My biggest advice is to chat to a local real estate agent to better understand what buyers are looking for in your area, so you can prepare your property accordingly when it comes to inspection time,” adds Andrew.
The process of selling can sometimes feel daunting, but you don’t have to go it alone - speak to your local Hockingstuart office today for advice and assistance, including an obligation-free appraisal of your home’s current value.