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Preparing Your Property For Sale

Whatever your motive for selling, the process can either be stress free and lucrative – or tense and disappointing. The good news is that you have the ability to choose. A laid back attitude to selling can result in an average result, whereas a few clever, yet very simple and affordable, sales strategies can help you achieve a winning result.

Firstly, working together with a trusted agent towards a common goal throughout the entire sales process is very important.

Secondly, in addition to the suggestions below, our sales consultants at Ray White Carnegie can objectively assess that attractiveness of your home and recommend more ways to maximise your particular property’s features and minimise its shortcomings. They can also facilitate a stress-free sales process.

Top 10 tips for preparing your home for sale

1. Clean & declutter
Make your move easier by beginning the packing process now. Throw away broken items, donate those that haven’t been used in over 12 months and move into storage items that are out of season or just ‘taking up space’. When you clean, pay attention to the details, such as skirting boards, windows (inside & out), the nooks and crannies of your appliances and straighten up the contents of your wardrobes.

2. Finish projects & repairs
You’ll likely find a buyer more quickly and the sale process will be much smoother if any fix-up jobs and home improvement projects underway are taken care of before you list your property.

3. Do a thorough inspection
To avoid any unpleasant surprises during the sale process, check for water damage, plumbing leaks, any sign of insects or rodents, and ensure your window seals and screens are intact.

4. Paint
While you might love your aubergine walls, there’s a good chance that most buyers won’t. To make your home appeal to the largest possible audience, paint walls in neutral colours in a matt finish. You want to provide a blank canvas that allows buyers the ability to visualise their own style.

5. Freshen up fixtures & hardwares
Dated light fittings and switches, bathroom mirrors, taps, shower heads and cupboard door and drawer handles can all be replaced for relatively little money and make a huge difference in terms of visual appeal.

6. Clean or replace flooring
Carpets should be shampooed and treated for stains. Tile and hardwood surfaces should be thoroughly swept and mopped to a shine. Flooring that is badly marked, damaged or worn beyond repair should be replaced.

7. Create a welcoming entrance
Your front door is the first thing potential buyers will see when they visit your home, so remember to make it inviting. Paint the door if needed, update the hardware, keep decorations minimal, clean and declutter the entrance area.

8. Stage
Place furniture to maximise the feeling of space and light in your home, with an eye to how rooms flow into each other. If your decor isn’t cutting it, moving your belongings into storage and renting furniture and artwork from a home staging service can increase your home’s appeal significantly.

9. Eliminate odours
Masking smells with air freshners isn’t a good idea – they’re often overwhelming and cause allergies in many people. Rather, include freshly cut flowers or the scent of cinnamon (boil quills on the stove and remove the pot before viewings)

10. Get your real price
Look at the comparable listings and recent sales in your area to help you determine how much you can expect to sell for in today’s market. Most importantly, ask for your agent’s advice.


Buyers for good quality property can be found all year round. Many incorrectly assume that spring is the best time to sell. What they don’t realise is that during times with fewer competing properties on the market, their property can actually stand out more.

In addition, with today’s sophisticated marketing processes – and if working with an agent who can develop a well-targeted, effective marketing campaign – the issue of timing is less critical than in the past. However, be aware that timing a sale around key events, such as the AFL Grand Final, Spring Racing Carnival and Easter long weekend, can be a challenge.

The time required to sell property that is accurately priced will typically vary between two and six weeks, but can be much faster at certain points in the property cycle and in high demand areas. Be aware that over-pricing the property can result in it remaining on the property market for a long time, thereby making it appear stale or flawed ad achieving a poor end result.

Prior to placing your property on the market, allow an additional two weeks to prepare both the property and marketing materials.

Method of Sale

There are three popular sales methods to choose from:

– Private Treaty (Sale)

– Public Auction

Each method has its particular advantages. It is advisable to speak to your agent about which method is likely to best favour your particular property and its location.

While our company has successfully utilised all sale methods, we have found that sale by auction is the preferred method amongst our clients. Given an auction is likely to attract many qualified buyers, it allows competitive bidding, which can greatly increase the final sale price. If choosing the auction method, research the success of company’s auctioneers and their level of experience, as a skilled auctioneer can add significantly to your end result. Most auction marketing periods run for about four weeks.


You Don’t Get a Second Chance to Make a First Impression!

The effort you put into preparing your property ready for sale make the difference between achieving a standard price – or a great price! The best part is that it’s not hard, time consuming or expensive. A few hundred dollars spent sprucing up the property over just one weekend will increase its saleability and more than likely increase the sale price.

How’s Your Curb Appeal? Your home’s external appearance has less than 60 seconds to make that all-important first impression. Given this very short window of opportunity, your property’s curb appeal, or its allure when viewed from the street, the Internet, or printed materials, should be captivating. A poorly presented property doesn’t have the emotional appeal required to stir the spirit of the buyers and inspire them to explore further.

Given the difficulty of viewing your own home objectively, ask a friend for honest feedback of its curb appeal – including all the fine details like steps, paths, garden, paintwork, and decking – as well as its interior. Then ask your agent for a professional assessment, decide on improvements, organise a working bee and roll your sleeves up!

Turn-offs for Buyers Include:

Animal odours in the house

Evidence of damp or moisture on the walls

Cigarette or strong food odours

Doors, windows or gates that stick

Cracked glass

Too much furniture, personal belongings and clutter

Stained carpet

Messy gardens that demand lots of effort

Property Styling

A professional property stylist can greatly enhance your home’s appearance and its appeal, whether by simply introducing some simple, but stylish, soft furnishings, or by giving the home a complete make-over.

Because we understand the importance of a home’s presentation for creating a winning edge, we offer our clients the services of our Property Stylist. For vacant properties, we recommend the use of decorator furniture throughout the sale period. Advice on the best type of furniture can also be offered by our stylist.

The cost to furnish a property starts from around $1,000 for a one-bedroom flat. In our experience, whether flat or large family home, it’s an excellent investment for helping maximise the final sale price.