Licensed Salesperson - REAA 2008

Selling Tips

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Ten Top Tips to Prepare for Sale


Here are a few simple ideas to help you turn your home into an irresistible and marketable property.

Whether it’s a modern townhouse or a little old cottage with original features, some of these tips may be useful. You don’t have to spend a lot - there’s plenty you can do for free or at minimal cost.

It is worth spending a little time preparing now, so that when the time is right, you and your home are ready!!


We all have a lot of stuff. So rather than waiting until you move, have a good clearout now and give yourself a head start on the packing -

  • Sort & tidy wardrobes, cupboards, cabinets and bookshelves.
  • Clear out the garage and shed of all those things you never use.
  • Remove piles on the floor, under beds or cluttering surfaces
  • Pack away the family photos, any treasured or valuable items. and other items you know are cluttering up the place and store in boxes neatly in the garage.
  • Take everything you no longer want or use and donate it to charity, have a garage sale or sell it on Trade Me
  • Not only does the house look better to prospective buyers, you will also feel better prepared for when you sell!!


    It is good for potential buyers to be able to imagine themselves moving into the house and making it their own.

  • Pack away personal items such as old wedding and baby photographs displayed on furniture and hanging on the walls.
  • As strange as it may feel, it can be helpful. That way potential buyers won’t be distracted by your personal history and instead focus on the property.


    Have a good look around, inside and out, and make a list of things you may need to do. No matter how small and insignificant a fault may be, potential buyers can sometimes focus on the fault rather than the property, so it’s worth doing. Where possible repair:

  • cracked windows (check your insurance policy – they may do it for free!)
  • dripping taps and overflowing gutters
  • doors or drawers that stick, wobbly tiles or hand rails
  • or anything else you may notice that isn’t quite right - if you notice it, chances are so will a potential buyer.
  • This will help ensure buyers will be looking at all of the good features of your property.


    The front of your property gives the first impression – if the front area looks inviting, there is more chance buyers will want to see more inside.

  • Mow the lawns, weed & mulch the garden, and trim trees & shrubs
  • Water-blast or clean paths, fences and decks
  • Wash the house and windows, & clean out the gutters
  • Touch up any paintwork that is noticeably tired, especially in areas of focus such as the front door.
  • If it all seems a bit daunting, invite some friends or family over for a working bee and reward them with a barbeque once the place is tidied and looking great.


    Potential buyers will often open the doors to your cupboards, wardrobes and kitchen cabinets. They want to see the size of the storage spaces & style of shelving, and work out how they might be able to store their things.

  • Try to imagine how a stranger might view each space when they first open the door.
  • Ensure the contents of your wardrobes, linen and kitchen cupboards are all neat & tidy and aren’t bulging with contents.
  • Packing away out-of-season clothes will help give your wardrobe a spacious look.


    If a buyer never sees it, they can never want it. Examples could be:

  • A favourite set of curtains
  • A lightshade that took you years to find and you must keep
  • Your grandmother’s chandelier
  • A built-in appliance you must take with you
  • If you really can’t bear to leave something behind, it’s best to remove it now and store it out of sight to avoid possible issues when the time comes to sell.


    Treat yourself now!! These can refresh and transform rooms and create focus & flow through the house, esp if simialer colours are used – just like in the magazines. Think about some:

  • New duvet covers & cushions on the beds
  • New cushions & throws in the lounge
  • A few new fluffy towels in the bathroom
  • You don’t need to spend a lot. There are always sales to take advantage of and the best thing is that you get to take them with you!!


    Once the house is on the market, it makes all the difference if you keep it looking fabulous for every viewing. Ensure:

  • floors are clean and vacuumed
  • the windows and furniture are gleaming
  • beds are made, toys and papers are away and everything is tidy and smart.
  • paths are swept, and lawns are freshly mowed
  • This all creates an atmosphere of a home that is loved and cared for. Remember – you may see it every day, but each new potential buyer is seeing it for the first time.


    First impressions count – and they are made quickly and often subconsciously.

  • SIGHT – Tidy, clean and uncluttered makes an important first impression.
  • SMELL – Good smells only! Pets smells are a no-no! If needed, freshen curtains, carpets and furniture as best you can. Fresh flowers always smell wonderful.
  • TOUCH – Any surface that may be touched or walked on should feel good i.e clean door handles, firm handrails and sturdy tiles underfoot.
  • SOUNDS – When viewing a property, silence really is golden. Leave the radio or TV off.
  • TASTE – Is very personal - and thank goodness we are all different. So think about the impression your personal taste may give a buyer. If it’s really bright or bold, you may want to consider some changes to help your home appeal to a wider range of people.


    Your home is probably your biggest asset. It is important to entrust it to someone who really cares about getting the best result for you in every way. A great agent will look after you through every step of the process. They will:

  • advise you on the things you may need to do to prepare your property for sale,
  • discuss with you the best time to sell (if you are flexible)
  • show you the options on how best to market your property within your budget
  • give you an honest appraisal of the price your property is capable of achieving
  • promise you privacy, discretion and absolute confidentiality
  • offer a proven commitment of achieving the maximum result with the minimum of fuss
  • Look for a local agent you feel comfortable with, who knows your area well and has high exposure in your local marketplace.