Expert Advice

Preparing your Property for Sale

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When it comes to selling your house, first impressions are what counts.


Street Appearance

Money spent on upgrading the street appearance and the front entrance is the best investment you can make when preparing your house for sale. If you have a limited budget, spend it first on these two areas.

Weed any garden, add bark mulch or similar to keep it tidy.

Repaint any areas showing flaking paint or rusting nails.

Repair a leaking roof and remove all signs of water damage.

Repaint if necessary.

Replace broken window panes.

Trim any shrubs and add some potted flowering plants near the entrance.

Repair any fences and repaint if necessary.

Pressure wash paths/driveway.

Re-stain decks as needed.

Front Entrance

Paint and clean around the windows, eaves, drains and front door.

Clean pools and ponds.

Make sure all windows are sparkling clean (inside and out).

Check that the entry light is working.

Buy a new doormat.


Buyers respond to homes that appear spacious, clean and well built with bright, airy, open rooms and a fresh atmosphere.

In general, minor improvements can greatly improve your chances of selling your house for the best price. On the other hand, costs associated with major improvements may not be recovered through a higher selling price. If money has to be spent, spend it on improving your kitchen and bathroom(s) as money spent on these areas will be more likely recouped in a higher sale price.

Animals – remove pet bowls, put dogs in a boarding kennel or with neighbors.

In summer – open curtains/windows to let in fresh air.

In winter – light the fire if you have a fireplace.

Repair any damage eg: dripping taps, broken or squeaking doors, sticking windows and doors, broken light fittings, cracked tiles.

Fix any squeaky doors, windows, floorboards.

Repaint walls if chipped or dirty – a fresh coat of paint is considered to provide the best return on money spent (neutral colours are safest)

Reduce Clutter

Remove all unnecessary furniture and clutter so that rooms appear spacious, clean and tidy. Either place extra items in storage or sell them before selling your property.

Keep kitchen bench tops clear of clutter.

Arrange items in the pantry and household cupboards neatly. Buyers want to see additional storage.

Minimise clothes, shoes and stored items in wardrobes to make them appear larger.

Remove children’s artwork and other person items and photographs from fridges and bench tops.

Reduce the clutter and pictures on the walls of children’s bedrooms – kid’s rooms can be overwhelming.


The kitchen and bathroom, in particular, need to be sparkling.

Clean the oven and all kitchen appliances and surfaces.

Eliminate any odors.

Clean the bathroom shower, bath, basin, mirror and hang clean towels and place flowers in a vase.

Clean black finger marks off paintwork, especially around doorknobs and light switches.

Clean heating and air conditioning filters.

Enhance Interior Decor

Bright lights and white walls make rooms look bigger.

Replace lights with higher wattage bulbs and make sure that they all work.

Replace moldy curtains, blinds and drapes.

Cover patterned or mismatching quilts with plain sheets or neutral coverings.

Invest in new bedspreads if necessary (neutral patterns and tones)

Clear bedside tables

Purchase new towels matching your décor

Remove all unnecessary items out of shower stalls

Property Dressing

If you are selling an empty house, seriously consider hiring furniture from a specialist “Home Staging” company. Skilled staff will come in with furniture and accessories that will promote your property to best advantage, add value, and show prospective buyers what they may be able to achieve.

Even if you are selling a furnished house, you may consider hiring a property stylist to maximise your existing décor.

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Preparing Your Property