When it comes to selling your house and to attract top dollar, preparation is so essential for a variety of reasons. But the main reason is to create the right buying triggers and put you in the best position with your prospective buyers…and therefore achieve the best price possible.
Understanding these psychological triggers is incredibly important, as they have a huge bearing on the outcome of your sale. There are of course a number of ways to create these triggers, but today, we’re going with the basics – “What do I need to do to get my house ready for sale?”
If we could simplify it as much as possible, I would say start here with these three simply directions:
If it is broken, fix it…..if it is dirty, clean it …….if it is cluttered, declutter.
Sound simple right? But let us jump into an example of each, which hopefully then will help you to start thinking a bit deeper.
If it is broken, fix it.
As part of our human nature and protective mechanisms, we are always looking for potential problems so we can protect ourselves from harm/danger/issues down the track.
So, if there is something in your house that is broken or doesn’t work, the immediate concern for buyers is :what will it cost me as a buyer to fix this?” Now, one issue may be ok; two may be palatable.
But if you have several issues, the concerns start to run deeper. Does the owner not maintain their home? If I found 3 problems so easily, what other problems have I not seen? This will start to create doubt in their mind, which will either result in no further interest or the buyer erring on the side of caution and submitting a much lower offer, just in case these potential problems arise.
And perceived issues are not limited to bigger items only – the small issues can also cause problems. If lights are not working, doors or rollers are sticking that should have been replaced, taps are leaking….all of these smaller things will still create seeds of doubt which will affect your price and time on market (which as we know can affect the price as well).
So please, if it is isn’t working as it should, take the time and effort to fix it properly.
If it is dirty, clean it…..
The hard thing with this one is that one person’s clean can be another person’s dirty. So, the simple answer is to clean like you have never cleaned before – you cannot be too clean. If it should be shiny, make it sparkle. For example, stainless steel range hood – make that look like new. Tapware, handles. Please clean all the dirt out of light switches. The list goes on.
You want the buyer to feel the home is well maintained – that they feel comfortable and enjoy being there. This all helps with the final price. Remember aspects of your house that are a bit dated can be forgiven if they are in great condition and clean. It’s all about creating an ambiance where the buyer both feels comfortable and KNOWS the owner looks after the home.
If it’s cluttered, de-clutter.
This is probably the hardest one to be objective. I know some people love their display case of knick-knacks or like having every appliance on the kitchen bench. But decluttering is vital.
Firstly, let’s look at different types of clutter. And remember clutter doesn’t always mean dirty, it can just be lots of stuff and/or visually cluttering.
For example, you can have a teenager’s room with dirty clothes strewn everywhere, old pizza boxes, wrappers, shoes, etc. This can be both a dirty/clean thing as well as visual. I don’t think anyone wants to walk into a room with three-day-old sports socks looking at them.
You can have a situation with too much furniture. This can make a room feel smaller than it is. In the case of a bedroom, having additional drawers in the room (say where there is an existing built-in robe or walk-in) isn’t just a matter of the room looking smaller, but can also give the impression that there is not enough storage space – thereby creating a negative illusion.
There is also visual clutter. The best example if can give is glass display cabinets. Standard cupboards are great because they hide what’s inside. Display cases don’t. All that extra ‘stuff’ makes the room look busier than it is. Ideally, you will have a decluttered space with just a few splashes of colour, so that the buyer can picture their own things in the space, and imagine themselves living there.
But as we said earlier, this is hard to self-assess so try putting yourself in your buyer’s shoes. You have that display case because you love the things that it is displaying, but to them it is unneeded clutter. For you, the toaster, kettle, coffee machine, knife block, cookbooks, hanging pots and pans are all convenient to have within arm’s reach, but the buyer sees a lot of stuff and like the bedroom example, might assume (consciously or subconsciously) there isn’t enough cupboard space. Plus the bench space looks so much smaller than it is. You don’t want the buyer to think “hmmm, the kitchen is too small, maybe I will give this one a miss.”
This is a hard one as there is a certain look that attracts buyers – “minimal” is the closest description but certainly not sterile – that fails for other reasons. This is probably the one we get most called in for advice. And interestingly, once we guide the owners on what to do specifically, they come back after completing the declutter and can see what we meant and they now understand. They also often comment it doesn’t look like their home but a magazine home. Awesome!
So remember to fix, clean and declutter which will help you on your way to achieving that top dollar for your he.
Remember if you would like more information or would like to chat about how best to prepare your home, contact us on 0411 532 333 or register for an appraisal. We’d love to help.
Written by Shawn Kristofer