Most people know that to prepare their home for sale they’ll want to present it at its best, but it is hard to know how far to take it.

The first step is to declutter as much as possible. People want to see the home for the amount of space and excess decoration and furniture can often distract. We all accumulate “stuff” over the years, this often lives in the shed, or the spare room. As you’ll soon be moving home this is a good excuse to get rid of that “stuff” you won’t need at your new home. Hold a garage sale and take a load or two to the dump, hire a skip or hire a storage locker for your must keep items.

The garden is a big part of the “First Impression” as people pull up in their car, so make sure it’s a good one. If you haven’t got a green thumb then consider hiring help for this step. As a bare minimum weed all the garden beds thoroughly and mow the lawns. Take it that step further by trimming bushes, but not too much. Create a neat finish by spreading some mulch in the garden beds. Also consider adding colour by planting some “potted colour” from your local nursery. Make sure you maintain the yard for the open inspections, sweep the paths, keep the weeds under control, regularly mow the lawns and put all items lying around in the shed.

Now its time to give the inside a good top to bottom clean. It’s important that the easily forgotten things, like exhaust fans and rangehoods, inside of cupboards (yes, sorry some people will open your cupboards), on top of the fridge and air conditioning vents are given a thorough clean. Also it might be worth cleaning discoloured grout and washing walls.

Sometimes washing the walls won’t be enough and it might be time to get the paint out. Painting is definitely a job that can be done yourself, but it is important that its done well. If you are going to repaint, keep it simple and neutral. I’m a big fan of colour in a home but not everyone has the same taste, so appeal to the masses with a simple clean off white.  

Over the years of home ownership it is easy to put certain jobs on the back burner. Some of these can be left to the new owner, however if there is damage or wear and tear that needs to be repaired because it will cause further damage or looks bad then it is time to get the tools out. Home buyers will often be looking for a reason not to buy a house or reduce their offer and a rotted verandah post could give them that reason.

If your home is dated, perhaps an 80’s kitchen or bathroom, it can be tempting to renovate these areas. Whilst this would certainly make your home more appealing it is often better to leave these to the new owners. Your taste may not suite everyone and the large cost and inconvenience will not always see a good return in increased sales value. However, if you are not planning to sell for a couple years then now could be the time to renovate. You’ll get to enjoy your new kitchen or bathroom and will see a small return when you sell.

Now that your home is clean, tidy, and fixed up, its time to add some style. If you have already moved, or it’s a vacant investment property then full furniture hire and styling will take the house from an empty, echoey building into a beautiful home that someone will full in love with. If you are still living at the property some finishing touches can make a big difference, a few new decorations, perhaps a modern print on the wall or simply some fresh flowers in a vase.

With the help of a good agent you’ll be able to work out where you need to draw the line. They will also be able to help with recommending and organising professional help when needed.