When selling, a few simple mistakes can leave your home languishing on the market. Luckily they are easy to avoid, and with a little elbow grease your home will be market-ready in no time.

Neglecting maintenance

It’s easy to let maintenance slide in your house when you’ve lived there for a while: stiff doors, battered flyscreens and a bit of rust just become part of the character of the place.

However, if you’re looking to sell, those little “quirks” make your house look more rundown and ultimately less ready to move into straight away, which could decrease its value.

Fixing all those small problems before you put your house on the market can go a long way to making your home look ready to live in.

Leaving your stuff all over the place

Sure, it is your house, but buyers want to be able to picture themselves living there.

You still live in the house, but excess personal clutter makes it hard for prospective owners to see past your belongings and figure out if the house will suit them.

You don’t need to take down all your family photos, but clearing the front of the fridge, hiding laundry baskets (clean and dirty), and ensuring sports gear and children’s toys have baskets or cupboards to go in will help make your home more universally appealing.

Over-customising your home

Spending a small fortune on a state-of-the-art kitchen or building a high-tech wine cellar might seem like a good idea at the time, but the chances are you won’t recoup the money you spent when you sell.

Worse, any personal custom jobs – like floor to ceiling built-in book shelves – might not appeal to some people, so you’ll be narrowing the pool of interested buyers.

Painting in ‘unique’ colours

With that in mind, your choice of paint can have a similar effect – not everyone wants a yellow kitchen.

People want to buy a blank canvas so avoid unusual colours if you can, or consider repainting in a more neutral palate before you put it on the market.

Forgetting about very first impressions

First impressions always matter, so give your entrance a thought.

Making sure your front gate works properly and fixing your path is a start, and it’s well worth sprucing up your front garden you have one.

For an added wow factor, repainting your front door and window frames will make your house pop.

Not doing a deep clean

While cleaning your floors is all well and good, it’s worth giving your house a deep clean to make it look pristine.

Cleaning all windows inside and out will make the whole house brighter, and making sure all appliances are sparkling, including the inside of the oven, will go a long way.

Doing a deep clean will also help you sort out a lot of miscellaneous junk, making it easier to face your big move when it comes.

Posted by Rachel Clun – The Age on 22nd July, 2015