Ned asks:

‘I’m looking to sell my home soon. Any tips for presenting a property for inspection?’

Jane says:

The property inspection is the first opportunity for the potential buyers to get a really good look at your home. What you do with this opportunity can really make a difference. Using some of the following tips may increase your chance of a quick and profitable sale.

Make sure it’s all clean and tidy, not just the areas you think might be looked at the most.

If you’ve been renovating, there should be no indication of any repair or construction work. Everything – including the yard – should be spic and span. Remove any sign of pets being inside the house. Make sure windows are washed, cupboards are tidied, gardens are weeded, grass is mown, bins are emptied. This creates a great first visual impression for potential buyers.

In addition, make sure it smells good. You don’t have to go overboard with the deodorisers, but the home should smell fresh and pleasant. Try perfumed candles or plug-ins. As we all know, bad odours are a big turn-off.

The home should be light and airy. Make sure there is plenty of natural light entering each room. Pull curtains, raise blinds, and let the sun shine in! If the weather isn’t agreeable, ensure the inside temperature is comfortable and welcoming. Adding vases of fresh flowers, bowls of sweets, happy family portraits can contribute to the ‘homey’ feeling of the property. The aim is to show that your home is loved and cared for.

Complete any small repairs that are needed, such as chipped tiles, flaking paint, dripping taps, carpet stains.

Remove unnecessary items of clutter from all rooms, and arrange furniture stylishly. Rooms shouldn’t look crowded or unliveable. You may like to consult an interior designer for some tips on this – after all, you want to show your home at its best!

Make sure that your house and yard are safe zones, not full of hazards that visitors can trip over or hurt themselves on. Secure your valuables in a safe location that is out of obvious sight. Keep cash, identification and credit cards on your person. At the same time, make sure the agent has keys to all additional locked areas that may need to be inspected, such as garden sheds, garage, and granny flat.

Be absent during the inspection, but provide the agent with relevant paperwork. This gives the potential buyers a more relaxed opportunity to examine and discuss the property, while the agent has documents to show improvements completed, and other pertinent work such as pest and building inspections. Buyers don’t want to feel inhibited when deciding if they like the property, and you probably don’t want to hear their criticisms either – you can get feedback on this from the agent. Stay away for the duration, taking any family pets with you.

To sell your home, you must treat it like a product, and display the property at its absolute best during an inspection. With a bit of thought and effort, you can improve the chances that potential buyers will want to make a follow-up visit, and perhaps sign that all-important contract of sale!

Jane Eyles-Bennett is an interior designer & renovation consultant. She’s the creator and driving force behind Hotspace Consultants and has consulted on more than 550 property renovations.

Posted by Jane Elyse-Bennett – Domain (Fairfax) on 26th October, 2015