Preparing to sell your home can involve more than simply choosing your agent and tidying up. Taking time to step into prospective buyers' shoes and looking at your property from their perspective, well in advance can pay off. You might be thinking about some renovations. Focusing on what's important when there's limited money and time, is essential.
The question is, what's the best way to get good value from your renovation budget, and ensure you get the best price?
To do this will take some careful consideration about what's important and what's not. First of all, think about the houses you've looked at. And, if you haven't been to a viewing for a while, have a look at what's on the market right now. Step into your buyers' shoes and think about what makes others' homes appealing - what's special and what needs improving. What have others done to make their home sales-ready and create great first impressions? We've talked to Angela Bowers, Branch Manager at First National Marlborough.
"Viewing a property is a bit like unwrapping a parcel - the wrapping is likely to provide hints about what's to come. So, when you're standing at the street, what is it about your place that makes people want to come in and see further - what is its 'welcome factor'?" Angela says.
The front entrance sets the mood for what's to come.
"Of course the garden needs to be neat and tidy, weeded and lawns mown. But there can be more to see when you step back. Maybe you could do something as simple as a new coat of paint on the door - perhaps a welcoming splash of colour. Or add a well-designed covered entry-way or welcoming veranda."
When you've gone to a few open-homes yourself, bring that experience back home and take a fresh look. What works, what makes you feel good about it and also, what can be improved, she says.
"There might be simple things, such as rearranging the furniture to make the most of a view or simply freshening things up with an up-to-date colour scheme and paint-work. Add cushions and throws in keeping with today's trends, but also get rid of clutter."
Ask family and friends whose homes you enjoy for their thoughts on what works and what can be made better. Importantly - make a list of the pros and cons so you can make well-informed decisions.
Many of us use the 'spare room' as the place for all those things we can't find a home for. Or the office becomes a bit of a dumping ground for the kids' toys they've outgrown or just 'stuff' we can't bear to throw away just yet.
"You might have a deck out the back you hardly ever use. Imagine for a moment you're looking at your place as the target for a TV makeover programme. What would they do to make these areas comfortable and usable, whether as inviting guest rooms, a play area for the children, or another living area (whether inside or outside)."
This approach helps make your dollars go further, and will also turn your home into something a bit more special for just the right buyer and create a great first impression.