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How to Present a Home to Impress Buyers – First Eliminate

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How important is presentation to the successful sale of your home?

Read the following warning…

WARNING: Leaving this vital component of the property sale process to chance is conveying a message to the buying market that you care little for the ultimate result and you are not respecting buyers, as you seem to be expressing a ‘take it as it is’ attitude.

Presenting your home in its absolute best light is a ‘non-negotiable’ if you want the best price for your home.

It is part of the ruling triumvirate of property sales.

  • Prepare and Present your home to IMPRESS buyers;
  • Promote your home to REACH buyers;
  • Price your home to ATTRACT buyers.

Leave one of these components swinging in the wind and disappointment is sure to follow.

But the pay-off when you get them ALL right is priceless.

Untidy or cluttered homes for sale make buyers suspicious, in that there might something else, more serious, wrong with the property.

This affects the interest in the home and ultimately the sale price.

Once the decision is made that you are going to sell your home, ‘preparing’ it to win over buyers is your first priority.

As Abraham Lincoln said:

If you give me eight hours to cut down a tree, I would spend six hours sharpening the axe.

The effort to get a property ‘buyer ready’ prepared cannot be a half-arsed undertaking.

I would like to draw this analogy;

If you decide that you are going to sell the family car, whether you are trading it through a dealer or, like many Australians do, sell it privately, what is the first thing you do?

Detail it – give it the cleaning of its life.

Who is going to pay you anywhere near the price you are hoping for if the car is dirty, needs vacuuming and the centre console is full of fast food wrappers?

The same goes for your home.

I have had home owners ask me to assess their home, before it is ‘buyer ready’.  And that’s ok, it gave me the opportunity to offer some well-considered advice on presentation.

Then they informed me that if I have a buyer, ‘up my sleeve’, maybe I could bring that buyer today.

My immediate response to that type of request was a concerned, “No.”

Why am I going to show a buyer this home when it is not ready for sale?  It would cost the owners thousands in low offers or outright rejection from any early buyer.

Prepare and present well before you even think of showing any buyer.

The Art of Elimination is a great place to start.

Here a few ELIMINATIONS to consider, and take action on, when you make that all-important decision to sell.

  1. ELIMINATE  – Untidy gardens. Mow the lawns – regularly. Mulch the gardens and remove any unsightly overgrowth. If retainer walls or garden beds are in need of repair – sort it- get in Charlie Albone or Jamie Drury if you have to.
  2. ELIMINATE –  Cobwebs, Mould, Wasp nests, Fingerprints, Marks inside and out. Invite your mates over for a Working bee B-B-Q and ask them to bring their tools. Many hands make light work, a fresh set of eyes is always is great for eliminating those ‘buyer killers’ that you don’t see. If it needs painting – do it- and keep the colour as neutral a possible.
  3. ELIMINATE  – Bins, inside and out! First impressions count: DO NOT park your council bins at the entrance of the property. You do not want them to be the first and lasting impression a potential Buyer has of your property. Also, smelly bins under the sink, YUK – gone!
  4. ELIMINATE  – Laundry: Remove your undies from the clothesline and dirty washing baskets; put them in the boot of the car for the period of any inspection.
  5. ELIMINATE  – Hoses and Broken Paths, unsightly and cause potential tripping hazards. Tip: Check your insurance policy is up to date with Public Liability.
  6. ELIMINATE  – Clutter: excess furniture, books, junk on benches and in cupboards (Yes, a Buyer is going to look in there) Your Buyer will want to place their furnishings in the room; the sparser the better. Start packing – you are moving and this gives a Buyer a clear message ‘I’m serious about Selling’
  7. ELIMINATE  – Smells. One of the biggest repellents for a buyer is cigarette and pet odours. (I’ve had buyers turn on their heels and walk straight out of homes with cigarette odours).
  8. ELIMINATE  – Pets: bowls, beds, litter trays. Some people are terrified of your pooch. Your pooch may well be terrified of your Buyers. Have them baby-sat during inspections.  One of the worst buyer turn-offs is Rover’s left over Chum in a bowl, or Kitty’s stinky litter tray.
  9. ELIMINATE  – Toys: Buyers’ children are going to want to play with them, then throw tantrums when the fun has to stop. You want their parents focusing on your property not their little darling throwing that tanty.
  10. ELIMINATE  – Kitchen Grime:  Have your Stove Top -Oven, Dishwasher and Range hood gleaming like new. There are professionals that take pride in doing these jobs and are well worth the investment.
  11. ELIMINATE  – Bathroom Scum: All bathroom fittings should be glowing. Nothing turns a Buyer off quicker than seeing hair in the drains and your dead skin cells caked on the shower door. That goes for the toothbrushes, razors and collection of empty bottles. Green Tip: Really, really hot water helps to dissolve the soap. For perfect presentation, call in a pro cleaner.
  12. ELIMINATE   – The Glamour shots of you and family or costume shots (the one where you dressed up like gangsters at Movie World 10 years ago) from walls and sideboards. Potential Buyers want to visualise their own personal touches and pictures, not yours.
  13. ELIMINATE – The kids drawing of you under a tree with a big yellow sun, magnets, sticky note reminders…anything stuck to the fridge.
  14. ELIMINATE – CONFUSION! “What?” Ensure each room in your home is displayed for its intended purpose. If you have the ironing board, fitball and chest freezer in the 3rd bedroom, get rid of them and put a bed in there!  Buyers get confused if the room is not what is meant to be.
  15. ELIMINATE  – Valuables: put your jewellery, mobile phones etc away from temptation. Thefts at home inspections are rare, but DO NOT invite it.

Thanks for your contribution Craig Heppell who is a Licenced Agent, Auctioneer and Property Coach with over 16 years ‘front-line’ marketing and sales experience.

Having marketed, negotiated and sold hundreds of properties as a traditional agent in one of the country’s most competitive markets, Craig now teaches homeowners how to sell their property and avoid the burden of commissions.

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