Get ready for sale.

What to consider to achieve a great result
Many buyers want to move in without making changes, which means that if there are holes in the walls or any other small damage exists, this is the time to take care of any repairs which need carrying out. The more effort you put in at this stage, the better results you can achieve.  Many of the items mentioned below will be part of a pre-settlement inspection, so it's a good time to check them and carry out repairs as required.

1. Internal focus

Check walls for any cracks and holes and fix these. Some cracks may be foundational so consult an expert just in case. Paint some walls if required. Warm, neutral colours are a good mixture of generally appealing and easy-to-imagine replacing. Consider colours such as soft or grey blues, beige, or pale greens. The key to achieving your goal of selling a property requires a subtle touch, in this instance expressed through subtle colours.

Arrange lighting - a buyer won't be interested if they can't see the property easily, so you now need to light everything up. The best way to ensure the property is sufficiently lit is to simply open all curtains and blindsIf this isn't enough to illuminate the home, add artificial lighting where necessary. At minimum, check that all lights around the property are in working order. 

Assess the view from all windows - now it is time to judge the view out of each of your windows; no home staging guide would be complete without a fitting backdrop after all. Take note of windows looking out onto sights such as:
Your (or a neighbour’s) bin area
A neighbour’s house, especially bedrooms, bathrooms, etc.
Anything which you yourself would not wish to live with looking at
You might consider using frosting film to block the unsightly view whilst keeping all of the natural light still coming in. Don't worry about potentially changing your mind later on as this can be removed without damage to the glass.

Check the floors - some wooden floors must be replaced if damaged or permanently stained. This doesn't have to be a huge hit on your finances, however. Instead of re-doing the entire floor, locate damaged boards, cut them out and then fit replacements. Next sand the entire floor (renting a sander will save a huge amount of time and effort) and finally stain the entire surface. Although the desired tone may depend on your decor, generally a dark, rich tone won't go amiss. 

Stick to a colour scheme - by keeping to a colour scheme in line with your warm, neutral walls you can create a feel of consistency and permanence to reassure buyers. Neutral colours again tend to work best, unless the property is specifically aimed at a certain lifestyle (for example, more earthen colours can accentuate a home's natural feel if, say, specializing in self-sustainability). You can add splashes of colour in your rooms to keep them interesting. 

Organise each room to serve one purpose - by arranging each room to serve one purpose, you can easily and immediately demonstrate that use to a buyer; there is no confusion in their mind. The aim is to avoid over-cluttering each room but also to utilize your space as much as possible. By keeping to one purpose per room, you prevent yourself from bombarding the potential buyer. They will, in turn, find it easier to imagine whatever they wish to do in a specific room.

Add headboards to beds - sometimes doing as little as adding a headboard can frame the entire room in a better light; now is the time to do exactly this.

Go "green" - a buzz-word among realtors, the property can be easily spiced up by "going green". Whilst this can obviously mean putting plants around the home, it can also be used to describe decorating with recycled objects. By finding places to put fresh flowers around the property, buyers will be given an impression of the property's "personality". This can boost the price whether or not the decorations are included in the sale.


Check the benchtops - the kitchen is a focal point of almost any sale, and any decent home staging, so you need to deal with the surfaces covering most of the room. This can be done in several ways, depending on the type and condition of your benchtops. If your tops are either too damaged, stained or old to compete in the market, consider upgrading your countertop to a higher-grade material; any money spent will easily return its value. If you have wooden tops, they can be revived by either painting or staining. This is vastly cheaper than replacing the whole unit and (as long as the stain is applied in the direction of the grain) just as good. As with wooden floors, first sand and then apply your paint or stain. Most other benchtop materials such as plastic laminate or stainless steel will simply require deep cleaning.

Consider appliances - once again, all money invested in the kitchen will easily return its value and upgrading the appliances is no exception. Ensure all appliances are in good working order as this can easily affect the sale of the property. This includes the oven, fridge/freezer, if this is included in the sale, stove, microwave, dishwasher, garbage disposal and smoke detectors. 


Check the plumbing - at the very least you need to ensure that the sink and bathing facilities are working in full; not blocked or leaking with squeaky or stiff taps. If the sink model is outdated or faulty, consider installing another one. If it is just blocked or a little rusty, clean it off and move on. Try to create a spa-like feel in the bathroom(s). This will not only help to further de-personalize the room but entice buyers into a relaxed and approachable mood.
You can achieve this by:
Adding white or off-white towels
Placing a little greenery around the sink or tub
Installing a fabric shower curtain which fits your colour scheme
A successful bathroom sell can depend on the opinions and desires of the buyer, however, this spa approach can help cement the property in the viewer's mind as containing the suitable privacy and locations to retreat and relax.

2. Exterior focus

Repaint any exterior if required - both you and all of your buyers will know the ideal house with a white picket fence, and so you need to make sure that yours isn't broken and flaking. All broken items should be replaced and all painted items require at least one solid coat.

For example:
Replace any and all broken fence posts
Repair any broken doors
Touch up the outside paint of the house if necessary
Re-stain or repaint both the fence and front/back door if required
Repair the letterbox
Check the street frontage and tidy up to make it look more inviting
Check exterior lighting and make sure it is working
Check gutters and drainpipes for blockages
Check exterior walls for cracks, which could point to structural issues and require a specialist
Check for signs of termites or other infestations and call in professional exterminators if necessary
Check for dry rot and moss - this will require a ladder and some elbow grease, but all gutters and the roof should be checked and cleaned out. Whilst it is true that buyers will (most probably) never ask for a ladder to check out your gutters, any edge will be utilized to haggle the price of the property down. If they happen to spot moss or dry-rot on the roof or in a gutter, you can be sure that they will mention it when discussing the price.

Repair or re-stain decking - you need to check with any decking the property has. Once again following the same principle as with the wooden floors indoors, first sand down any wood and apply a (light) stain after replacing any broken parts.

Finally, you need to ensure that the garden is neat and looking tidy and beautiful - garden improvements can bring anywhere from a 100% to 200% return on any investment funds, so this last step should not be overlooked by any means!

Remember to:
Mow the grass and trim any edges
Weed everywhere
Grow grass to fill any empty patches
Keep it fertilized during the growing season
Replace any dead plants
Trim hedges
Prune trees and bushes
By doing as much as possible to prepare you property for the listing launch, you can be sure to increase its attractiveness to potential buyers and achieve a higher price in a shorter time. 
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