If you’ve ever had to go through the process of selling your house, you would know that it can be a real bi*tch of a process!! Not only do you have to find the right agent (unless you’re brave enough to sell it yourself) you have to make sure the house is immaculate so that you can get top dollar!
For us to be able to buy our new place, we had to say goodbye to our little house in Macquarie. This was particularly sad for me because of all the beautiful memories we had made there together since meeting. It was less sad for Callum because he has owned the place for over seven years and he was over it.
For me, having never sold a house before, I approached the process a little naively not realising the takeover of my weekends that was about to commence. I told the agent we would be ready in two weeks not realising just how much needed to be done around the place to get it looking schmick.
In case you’re thinking of selling your place in the near future, I thought I would put together a list of tips based on my own experience and some advice from our real estate agent to help you stay sane through the process!
Shop around for an agent
We found this to be the single most important factor in the sales process. Fortunately for us, we had already established a good relationship with our agent and knowing that she was familiar with the suburb, we felt comfortable handing the keys over. However, there are some dodgy ones out there, so do your research! Agent Finder is a good tool to find out who is the top agent for your suburb. Check out their reviews and the prices they have achieved and the reputation of their employer.
Most importantly, meet a few agents and find the one you feel the most comfortable with, find someone you can trust and you feel will represent both your needs and the needs of the buyer. Trust your instincts and you will be fine, a good agent should make the selling process a synch.
Make a list
For those of you who aren’t list makers, now is the time to start. Before agreeing to any timelines, make a list of what needs to be done around the property. Is anything going to be flagged on the building report that will detract from your sale? If so, take the time to fix it up. Take a look at your presumably long list and figure out how much time you need (be generous) – we found organising a working bee (thanks guys) does the trick!
Declutter the space
You want everything gone! Think about how nice it is to walk into a home that is free from mess and clutter and try to emulate that in your own home. Take the magnets off the fridge, remove any furniture that might be encroaching on valuable space, clear the cupboards and remove non-essential appliances from the kitchen. According to our real estate agent, to obtain the best results, they find that the less clutter and fewer obstacles that are in view, the better.
Glam it Up!
Put some effort in before the photos to make your house look picture perfect. Consider long and hard about whether the house could benefit from a fresh coat of paint, this is a really basic, low cost activity that could add $$ to your sale price. Make sure you remove any weeds from the garden, splash a coat of oil on the deck and touch up the exteriors with a wash and paint if needed. Once you’ve brought the house up to scratch, invest some money into styling the place so your buyer feels at home the minute they walk through the door. This could be as simple as adding some candles, a few indoor plants and a throw to make the property feel like home. Try to keep to neutral pallets and remove the personality from the house so that potential buyers can imagine themselves living there!
And on that note, if you are in the fortunate position to be able to move out while the house is on the market, do it! This is particularly the case if you have animals – you might like your dogs and cats, but your buyers may not, it’s best to get them out of the way. Having an empty house will not only make your life that much easier, but it will also allow your agent the freedom to open the house as required and not have to worry about the dirty washing or dishes that could be lurking behind your front door. Having said that, not everyone is able to do this, so be prepared to be very tidy!