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Top tips when preparing your home for sale

Personal circumstances, market conditions and the national economy all play a part in driving home owners to sell. But what can you do to help ensure your home is looking its best to appeal to potential purchasers?

It’s often noted that you never get a second chance to make a great first impression. And rarely is this more obvious than in the topsy turvy real estate sector.

While housing turnover varies over time, the Reserve Bank of Australia says that on average, around six per cent of Australia’s total housing stock, or around 500,000 dwellings, change ownership each year. This means that when it comes to appealing to potential purchasers it is likely your property will face some stiff competition. So, what can you do to ensure your apartment, townhouse or villa achieves a top price sale?

Lifestyle Property Agency sales director Simon Platt, a licensed real estate agent, stock and station agent and auctioneer, has been in the property sector for almost three decades, initially in property management and latterly as principal and licensee of his own agency.

He says that when looking to sell their home the seller (which in real estate terms is referred to as a vendor) should always make the presentation of the property their primary focus.

It’s important that sellers leave their “vendor hat” at the front gate and replace it with the purchaser hat early on in the process before taking a good look at their home from front to back from the eyes of a prospective buyer.

“You will always take a different view if you are open to the process of inviting and listening to the market feedback. Do this at the start and you are better prepared for what may come.”

While it is pointless needlessly over capitalising and spending money on your home which you may not recoup through its sale, homeowners should always look to freshen things up where they can – without replacing rooms entirely, he says. A lick of paint here and there, clean carpets and splashes of colour through the addition of art work and other accessories, always goes well to the buyer’s eye, he says.

“Do the things that you have put off doing. The buyers will always seek out objections to purchase – it plays on their future negotiation considerations.”

Mess and chaos is one of the top ways to turn potential buyers away from your property and towards your less cluttered competition. Platt says vendors, particularly those with young children or those who have lived in the home for a significant period of time, would do well to consider a temporary storage facility to declutter excess or bulky items.

“While we all have comforts that we like to surround ourselves with, these become discomforts to the living spaces of a home when looking to sell,” he says.

Lastly, Platt says the most important factor vendors must consider when looking to prepare their home to sell must be the manner in which the property is marketed and displayed. Its intended audience and who the property is most likely to appeal to are also crucial factors to be discussed. Whether using a registered agent to sell through auction or private treaty, or electing to sell the property yourself, its importance that any representation of the property must be of a professional level, he says.

“The marketing is the most important detail to the sale process. It identifies the buyer’s initial engagement, sets the interest levels for the negotiation and apart from the actual inspection, is the visual attraction that draws a level of emotion to pursue further.”

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