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Preparing Your Home For Sale

Preparing Your Home For Sale

Before we went away, we shared that we had been thinking about selling our home. With 3 teenage boys, all keen for more space, a building business starving of storage space and 4 kids set to have their own cars within the next 4 years, the time has come for us to look at small acreage living. This week I have begun getting ready for us to go live on the market and have complied a handy list to help you get preparing you home for sale.

preparing your home for sale

Preparing Your Home For Sale

First Impressions Count

You have 8 seconds to make your fist impression a lasting one for all the right reasons. When preparing your home for sale, begin with your street appeal. Tidy up your yard, freshen your garden, add some new mulch, give the old tired fence some much needed paint, whatever is needed to ensure your home looks it’s best from the moment your  potential buyers arrives, now is the time to invest the time, effort and money to do so.

Second Impressions Count

Now that your potential buyer is out of the car, the very first part of you home they step into, becomes just as important as the street appeal of your home. Your entry should be warm and inviting, bright, clean and clutter free. Put away the shoes that usually crowd your door, add a plant or some flowers and a fresh smelling candle is always well placed.


Decluttering is the single most important job within the home. Over the years that we live in our homes, we all gather “stuff”. Make a start on your packing now, and get rid of your excess “stuff”. Anything you can’t hide in a cupboard or a draw, needs to be put away. Now don’t put everything away, just enough so that the space doesn’t feel crowed with you. Be sure your kitchen and bathroom benches are clean and clutter free.

preparing your home for sale

Personal Items Away

You home should nearly be devoid of all your personal items. Photos, school bags, handbags, lunch boxes, kids artwork, pets accessories, washing, ironing, toothbrushes, all of these need to go away for photos and inspections. A note about inspections, these need to be away for all inspections. Time and time again, we have gone back for a second inspection, only to find the house has the ‘lived in appearance’. Buyers want to visualise how they will live in the house, not see how you do.

Bright, Light and Breezy

Half an hour prior to an inspection, open the windows and turn on the lights. If it’s hot, turn on the air conditioning, if it’s cold, turn on the heating. It is important that the buyer feels as comfortable as possible within your home. Make your home as light as possible, turn on lamps or lights where needed to ensure each room is flooding with light. Fresh flowers are a must if you can afford them, if you can’t, “borrow” some foliage from the neighbourhood. This helps to create the fresh feel in your home.


Prior to listing your home, take stock of all the little jobs not yet done, for example, ensure every bulb is working. Patch any holes, fix squeaks and leaking taps, touch up the paint where necessary. Do whatever you need to, to ensure the potential buyer can walk into your home and feel as though it is move in ready.

Kids Rooms

Pay special attention to kids rooms. Decluttering here is equally as important as all other areas in your home. It’s tempting to leave the kids rooms due to it being such a hassle, but to really connect with your potential buyer, it really is a must to declutter this space as well.

Back Yard and Garage or Shed

These are often neglected areas of your home in the tidy up stakes. Give you garden a good tidy up, keep the lawns trimmed and if you have pets, ensure all of there mess is cleaned up, prior to every inspection. Spending a few hours clean and rearranging the shed will also be a great investment in time. We all love the ideal of a perfect garage or shed, in reality it is rare. Connecting with your buyer in this area is as important as all other areas of your home.


I am a firm believer in staging or styling your home for sale. Generally styling packages will cost around $3k-$5k, but honestly the return on investment will be worth the bother. Alternatively, if that expense is our of your reach, ask a consultant to walk through your home with you. You’ll be surprised what their fresh eyes can achieve in about an hour. You would expect to pay between $150 and $300 for this service. A small cost for the potential benefit.

Leave Home

Vacating your home while inspections are taking place, is the single most important thing you can do, BUT be sure you take your animals with you. A potential buyer will not be able to talk freely with their significant others, while you are present, furthermore it is almost impossible to picture yourself in a new home with the old owner still in the same space.

Selling your home can be a daunting thought, however with some careful planning and a little work before listing, you can expect your home to sell quicker and for more than without the little bit of work.

Have you bought or sold recently? What’s the weirdest thing you’ve seen when inspecting a house for sale?

Nicole xxx






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  1. Good tips – I hated selling our house. So much to do and so much stress!

    1. There is a lot to do, but I hate moving more than I hate selling. YUCK!

  2. Once when the house we were renting was on the market (and it was an awful house) I decided to be a pain and follow the real estate agent around. They were bad at legally complying with entry notices so I “helped” them with the showing haha.

    The real estate agent was pointing out “features” (we really didn’t have any) and trying to make them see what the house could be… so I followed them around pointing out what needed fixing, the weird quirks (like we weren’t allowed doors because the owner didn’t like doors, yes I wish I was making that up; you could only fit the tiniest fridge in the kitchen etc) and you could see the real estate agent’s fury rising. It was hilarious.

    (That’s what you get when you don’t comply with the entry notice laws around me haha.)

    So yeah, I agree it’s best to leave the house when the inspection is going on when you actually want it to sell haha! Or make sure the agent is nice to the tenants in place 🙂

    1. HA! You showed them. What’s with the no doors thing? That is super weird.

  3. Such good tips! I hope your sale is quick, painless and profitable and that you find the new house of your dreams very soon! xx

    1. Thank you Sammie, that is very kind of you. xx

  4. I’d find decluttering and cleaning our garage to be the biggest challenge prior to selling our home.

    1. I am fortunate that our home has been a display home, so it’s relatively clutter free. That said the builder has a huge job moving the building materials. yuck!

  5. Decluttering, gah! I’m moving that when we move (long-term plan – no immediate plans!), we have enough in the kitty to move before the inspections begin. We’ll keep some furniture hanging around so people can visualise living there, but the STUFF of the everyday will hopefully be elsewhere!

  6. Great ideas here, will definitely earmark for when it comes time to move on from here!

    Our agent last sale told us to reprint our front door in a fresh interesting colour. That gave buyers a reference when comparing houses they’d seen on a Saturday (for instance, “Amy favourite was the one with the mint door”.

    Weirdest things I’ve seen?! Ugh, bizarre and basic “plumbing” (a milk carton next to the loo for God knows what).

  7. Wow so you’re doing it! What a big decision Nic, but I’m sure a well thought over one. How exciting and busy your life is about to get (as if it wasn’t already I suppose) All the best, but I’m sure you’ll have things sorted in no time. Great tips, if we ever find what we’re after and need to sell (we’re so fussy) xxx

  8. Seriously, all of those things is the very reason why we’ll probably never sell, we’re just too lazy, LOL! Honestly though, the thought daunts me, and because we got such a great deal on our house and only have a small mortgage now I’d much rather just stay here and do a knock-down/rebuild if we ever do seriously need to fix things. Because even if we sold our house for 3 or 4 times what we bought it for, due to urbanisation there is no way we could afford a quarter acre property in this location now, in fact I don’t even think they exist anymore around here for less than a 1.2 million!

  9. […] preparing our house for sale, we needed to de-personalise. The first thing to go was our family photos, well most of them, and […]

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