26 Apr 13
For most of us, making the decision to put our home on the market is not one that is taken lightly. Depending on the length of time the seller has been there, a lot of energy and emotion has been invested in the property. Neighbours have become friends, it's easy to get around because everything is familiar, and of course, there is the pride that most home owners have in the things they have done to make it a home.
Once the decision is made, however, attention usually turns to the state of the real estate market, and the price that the property is likely to sell for. Everyone wants to get top dollar, and the home owners start looking for simple improvements to the place, so that they can attract the best offer. People should never underestimate the impact that just cleaning everything can have on the overall appearance of the property and how that influences the buyer.
First Impressions at Street Level Make or Break an Inspection
Every real estate agent, including All Residential Real Estate, will tell you that street appeal is one of the most important factors in getting buyers through the front gate. If the property is overgrown, dirty, with broken fences and rubbish lying around, it will be almost impossible to get anyone to inspect it, unless the price reflects its condition. No seller wants that, so it's time to take out the buckets, mops and cleaning products and get to work.
The windows should sparkle, so this means cleaning them, both inside and out so the glass gleams and there is no trace of soap streaks. If the rest of the exterior needs it, that too should be washed down and every trace of dirt or mould removed. The curtains and blinds inside the house should be washed, and the curtains ironed before rehanging them. This makes a huge difference to the windows, and generates a fresh, clean smell throughout the house. The agents at All Residential Real Estate also advise to open the windows before an inspection to let fresh air in and remove any stale odours.
Thorough Cleaning Lifts Appearance
Carpets and other floor coverings should be cleaned, and clutter removed from every nook and cranny. Clutter makes everything look smaller, and what buyers want is space. Dust and polish the furniture, clean ceiling fans and light fittings and remove any marks from the walls, doorframes, doors and light switches. Clean the bathroom and toilet thoroughly so that the tiles, basins, baths and bowls are spotless. This will also take care of any unpleasant smells.
Ensure that the lawns and gardens are kept neat and tidy the entire time the house is on the market. This means regular mowing, keeping weeds under control and fertilising so it all looks like a bowling green. Trim back any unruly shrubs and overhanging trees and place pots with coloured flowers in them at strategic locations throughout the garden to add some cheer. Get rubbish removed, steam clean concrete, pavers and tiles and paint the letterbox.
None of these tasks cost a lot of money, but they could add thousands of dollars to the final selling price. Buyers don't want to buy a house then have to do a massive clean-up before they can move in; otherwise, they would be choosing rentals and staying where they are. To find out what properties are on the market go to www.realestatewollongongnsw.com.au.