I am often asked about the best way to present your home before it presents to the market and not all of it has to do with clearing out clutter or a coat of paint. A savvy seller will be methodical about how they position their home for sale which can increase its appeal and even the sale price. Below are my recommendations on what you should be doing behind the scenes long before an open home sign hits your front lawn.

Check your title Cross-lease
I know this isn’t exactly a sexy exercise and that the marketing piece of things is much more fun. Believe me though, this is worth every bit of effort. Doing this will allow you to review any encumbrances, easements, or restrictions that may affect your property rights. (Visit LINZ: Go to the Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) website and find the “Search for Land Title” section. Then, search by address and enter your property address to find the title information. Note, there is a small fee per record search.) If you’re unsure about any aspect of the cross-lease title, consider consulting a legal professional or a property expert who can provide you with more guidance and clarification. This is especially critical if you have been in your home for 5-8 years or more. Lending institutions have set lending criterias high and a defective title will stop a sale in its tracks.

Get your maintenance sorted
For those of us on the front line, we cannot speak enough to the value of preemptive maintenance. Of course finances and budgets are always a source of angst for sellers but think of it as an investment instead of an unnecessary expense. A little effort can go a long way in achieving a better sales result in a shorter amount of time. What does this look like? Here is my tick list:

  • Do a hospital grade deep clean that includes getting into corners and moving furniture. It is best to call in professionals for this as they have the right tools and products to get it clean the way it needs to be for potential buyers. This should include light switches and door frames. Skirting boards and windows – both inside and out. Again, call in professionals for this.
  • Get your garden looking good! There are talented landscapers that have “for sale clean-ups”. They will also haul away the debris saving you the headache and backache from doing it yourself.
  • Waterblast the outside of your home and pathways to remove that “damp look”.
  • Did you make some bold design choices such as statement wallpaper or some over the top carpet colours? Removing and/or replacing these items with a more muted palette allows people to envision it more as their own versus a reflection of your personal tastes and personality.
  • Remove any super personal items such as family photos since people buy on emotion and if it looks all ‘you’ it’s hard to picture themselves in it.
  • Ensure that windows and doors open freely and easily and without squeaks.
  • Declutter, declutter, declutter! Organize and start packing up like you are already moving.

My Helpful Helpers booklet is filled with professionals that I trust who can help. Be sure to check out this free resource here.