Tradition has it that spring is the best time to sell, but many would-be spring sellers leave their run too late, underestimating how much time it takes to get their property ready for sale.

Marketing your home is the same as marketing any product. The one that shines the most and offers the features that match your requirements and that represents value to you is the property that you will engage in.

As a real estate agent, I offer the ultimate advice to make your home shine. It is the ‘wish list’ from my perspective in getting the vendors I work with their best financial result.

I am always aware that my ‘wish-list’ carries with it cost, time and money, so often we will dial it back (or up) considering each individual’s time and resources.

A home that is well maintained will always give purchasers peace of mind that future maintenance expenses will be minimal. Those that follow through on the entire ‘wish list’ always seem very appreciative of the energy that they put in when we achieve a sell price far above their expectations. Every recommendation is based on minimising your personality from the home and allowing the purchaser to visualise themselves living in it. This often requires a blank canvas.

Recommendations Can Often Include

  • Painting- Touch-ups, those little patch jobs, that colourful wall.
  • Recarpet- This is recommended case by case. You may need new carpet but if the rest of your home is dated new carpet can send alarm bells (quite the opposite of what we are trying to achieve)
  • Kitchen cabinetry-A blown out cupboard showing signs of moisture retention by a puffed out kitchen cupboard can suggest water issues.



Garden tidy up

The garden no matter how large or small needs to be trimmed to garden tour standards. A well-presented garden shows care and attention by the homeowner. The trim needs to be a couple more inches than you usually would. You want it to look like you have just had it done.


Windows Cleaned

The windows need to be cleaned inside and out. Often vendors will try and do this themselves however the streaks will always show! The window cleaners have something magic that they put in the water, and they aren’t telling us! An average house will cost between $250.00 and $450.00, and the investment is well worth it.


House Clean and Driveway Water Blast

The house and roof need be cleaned. Again, getting a professional in will ensure that polished look. Remember you must prepare for the building inspector to get up there and report on whether you have cleared out your gutters in the last 5 years!


House Spring Clean

Again, there are professionals that will come in and give your home that Spring clean look outside of spring. Detailing architraves, on top of the fridge, ovens, extractor fans, shower drains, rangehood make all the difference. Every surface needs to be considered.


Light Bulbs

All the lightbulbs must be operational in every room. This is also a requirement for settling.


Packing prior

Moving starts now! Begin by preparing with 3 piles.

  1. The ‘throw out’ pile (definition; anything you haven’t used, touched, or worn for two seasons) You’re never going to use it, wear it, or touch it.!
  2. The ‘never use but worth something’ pile. Consider trade-me, charity shop, next door neighbour, gifting, but part with it.
  3. The ‘coming with you’ pile. If you have 2 dinner sets and you’re going on the market pack one and leave one out. Reduce belongings whilst on the market. If you can prepack a lot of your belongings for the move, then the actual day will be so much easier.

Use your garage

I am often told by the wife that hubby will clean up the garage. I say use the garage instead. Buyers know you’re moving. A garage is a garage. Women want to know how far to carry the groceries from the garage and men want to know how much stuff they can fit into the garage! That is the function of a garage.

So, start packing and pack it into your garage nicely stacked on one side.

I might recommend carpeting the garage. It makes for another living space, dance studio, gym, break-out room and in today’s Covid environment this is a value add. An average double sized garage costs around $1300.00.


Get rid of your children’s storage

Remember you’re not the local storage facility. Kindly contact your children them to let them you’re moving and best to come and collect what they want.

All of these suggestions are personal recommendations, but its all worth it when it delivers a positive result!


Helpful Tips

Check Your Title

We often list a property and then find out that the title is defective. (The footprint of you home does not match the dimensions with Land Information New Zealand- LINZ) The greatest challenge for the vendor is that banking requirements have tightened up in the last 5 years and where a bank would have lent with a defective title then, now they won’t! You may have purchased your home back then, unaware that the title was defective.

This is too common on cross-lease properties. Part of your lawyer’s due diligence should be to check this for you.

It will ALWAYS present in the sales process. The purchaser will always have their lawyer check the title. On finding it is defective they will often walk away from the transaction and you are left with a minimum 3 month process of getting it rectified which means we lose buyers. Some purchasers will still engage and there are companies that have fabulous processes to rectify whilst we continue the sales process. It is better that we disclose a defective title prior to going on the market.

Choose a lawyer

By the time you’re talking with me you should have a lawyer either from a prior transaction or referral. I can always recommend one to you. (FYI; Their rates can vary depending on whether you have a mortgage on the property or not)


Do a building inspection

I will always recommend to vendors who have a plaster cladding home to get a building inspection prior to going to market. If there is an issue it will present and usually with a purchaser’s inspection. Building inspections are designed to point out EVERY reason not to buy the house not every reason to buy the house. They all carry large disclaimers and highlight any renovation/ building work done prior to the new building code of 1992, and how that would now not comply. There is often nothing wrong with the work it simply wouldn’t comply now. So, purchasers have to weigh up the risks involved. Any highlights around water ingress, high moisture readings simply make the buyer nervous and often given their own knowledge being very limited choose to walk away. By getting your own report on your property first you can mitigate these risks for the buyers from the outset.

It is not always cheap getting your house ready to present well. But it is worth every penny!

Agency and Agent selection

Using a Real Estate Agent is not cheap. Choosing the wrong agent for the job can cost you money (in the result) and not save you money. Consider asking yourself why that agent that has reduced their own commission is offering free marketing?

I talk a lot about discount mentality. This behaviour is not exclusive. It is where an agent will discount their commission or offer advertising subsidies to ‘buy’ the listing. Discount mentality usually flows through to what the vendor will say you are willing to take or, what the buyer is willing to go to. At the levels that we negotiate $10 of thousands of dollars can be either added to your end result or not depending on the agent’s skill to negotiate on your behalf. In any area of life there are humans who are below average, average, and above average. Make sure you get the experienced, ambitious, above average agent negotiating for you!

Reference Helpful Helpers

I have been publishing a booklet called ‘Helpful Helpers’ for several years which recommends highly skilled tradespeople and professionals to assist you in improving and maintaining your home. Just drop us a line if you would like us to send you one.

If you’re thinking about listing remember Buyers want what you’ve got.. let’s get it on the market! 

Text ‘let’s get it on’ to 021 407 416 to secure your Level 3 appraisal appointment.

Keep smiling,

Kelly Midwood