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Seller's Checklist

The quick checklist below will help you make a real difference in attracting buyers. Consider what you have time and can afford to do – and get friends and family in to help!

Clean

  • Remove odours
  • Wash or paint the walls
  • Wash the windows – maybe get a professional in to do them inside and out
  • Launder or dry clean rugs and drapery
  • Clean carpets
  • Clean baseboards
  • Clean mould from walls and ceilings
  • Clean stainless steel tubs
  • Clean exhaust fan covers
  • Clean all light switches – make sure they are free from dirty marks
  • Give every room in the house a thorough cleaning after removing all the clutter
  • Remove grease or oil spills from carport or garage floor
  • If you’re pushed for time, hire professional cleaners and/or painters to get your house ready.

Increase kerb appeal

  • Make the front porch look as inviting as possible
  • Fertilise, edge and mow the lawn
  • Rake debris from the beds and add fresh mulch
  • Consider new landscape plants that add a pop of colour to the yard
  • Tidy and sweep outdoor entertaining areas
  • Use some plants in pots around the verandah and balcony areas (for instant cheer, use potted bloomers)
  • Keep toys, bikes, and gardening equipment out of sight – if necessary buy some cheap, exterior storage containers to hide those everyday items.

House repairs

  • Check the foundation, steps, paths, walls and patios for cracks and crumbling mortar – repair if necessary
  • Inspect doors and windows for peeling paint – repaint if required
  • Apply a fresh coat of paint to the front door
  • Make sure the front door doesn’t squeak. Check all doors and windows throughout the house and oil them if they creak.
  • Replace old, rusty or broken window and door locks
  • Pressure-clean eaves and concrete or paved areas
  • Purchase a new front door mat
  • Check and repair damaged or unsightly tiles and grout
  • Have cracked tiles replaced. If you can’t match the existing tiles, use suitable feature tiles or remnant tiles. Another option is to hide a cracked tile with a kitchen or bathroom fixture, such as a mirror
  • Oil any cabinet or closet doors that stick
  • Repair dripping taps and shower heads
  • Replace old or damaged mirrors
  • Refurbish kitchen cabinets by painting and adding new handles if required
  • Clean or replace dirty or worn linoleum, or tiles, and refurbish hardwood floors if needed
  • Check for signs of dampness and mould. Consider putting in vents to improve sub-floor ventilation – this may seem a lot of trouble and expense but it’s well worth doing
  • Check garage doors are oiled and check automatic doors are in working order.

Declutter

  • Remove booby traps in the house such as extension cords, slippery throw rugs and low-hanging overhead lights
  • Clear off kitchen and bathroom counters, leaving only decorative items
  • Appliances on the kitchen bench should be kept to a minimum – only leave out the ones that are attractive. Store other appliances neatly in the cupboards
  • Clean out and rearrange medicine cabinet, closets, cupboards, pantry and drawers to make them look roomier
  • Remove or store personal items such as family photos, refrigerator clutter, certificates and awards, books and DVD collections
  • Make sure that bedroom table tops, dressers and closets are free of clutter
  • Remove any excess furniture clutter
  • Don’t overfill your garage, attic or basement. Consider short term storage or relocate excess items to friends
  • To minimise clutter consider selling all items you no longer need. A garage sale is a good idea
  • If you have to keep it, store old cars and junk with friends or in short-term storage while the house is on the market

Staging

  • Kitchens should be spotless, so no dirty dishes in the sink
  • Present the kitchen with a vase of flowers or a big plate of fruit
  • Brew some fresh coffee or bake some scones or bread just prior to the inspection for a homely smell
  • Remove or replace large furniture and other items that make rooms appear small and cramped
  • Rearrange rooms to advertise their purpose (eg. remove exercise equipment from the office)
  • Add lamps and soft lighting for a welcoming mood
  • Throw down a runner carpet in the hallway to add softness and warmth
  • Place a vase of fresh flowers on a table to add colour and life
  • Introduce quality fragrant products such as potpourri and oils, scented candles, drawer liners and pomanders - choose products with natural fragrances such as citrus, lavender and sandalwood rather than artificial scented deodorisers, which can cause allergic reactions
  • Remove any magazines from the toilet
  • Hang some fresh curtains
  • Store excess furniture with friends or in short term storage. This will create a more spacious feel
  • Use quality, neutral or white bed linen
  • Introduce colour through cushions
  • Buy quality towels for the bathroom and display them only when the house is open for inspection
  • Replace old bath mats and shower curtains with new neutral coloured ones
  • Hang some fresh curtains, get rid of heavy drapes and replace with fabrics that blend with surrounding walls
  • Keep curtains and blinds open to allow as much natural light into the house as possible – buyers will be turned off by dark, gloomy rooms
  • Check that all light bulbs and switches are working and switch lights on during an inspection
  • Remove your car/s from the carport or garage.