Presentation is Paramount

With the warmer months ahead of us, the busiest selling period for WA homes has arrived. Many home owners are fervently toiling away to get their homes ready for sale. Not unlike a first date first impressions count, just as you would dress to impress, smell lovely and chew with your mouth closed, your home ought to be preened with the same level of care.


It’s a good idea to start by completing those jobs around the house you have been intending to do for years. Building that garden bed, painting the front fence, fixing the side gate and removing that old couch are all typical examples of small jobs that fit into the ‘I must get to that one day’ category.


When preparing your home for sale, these ‘little’ jobs are important to achieve an expedient sale at the highest possible selling price. This is because buyers typically notice the little jobs too; a rusty downpipe is easily and cheaply replaced yet can loom large in a buyer’s mind as a more major problem and hints that other areas of the property may also be neglected.


Of course, you need to be cautious about over-capitalising when preparing to sell. Replacing a bathroom and renovating a kitchen are expensive and, depending on the property and its location, may prove counterproductive in an effort to achieve the best price. For example, a quality home on a generous lot in Hilton worth $650,000 is probably more difficult to sell at $720,000, even with a new kitchen and bathroom that cost $70,000. This is partly because the property is already well above the median house price for the suburb.

Conversely, an original cottage in Fremantle’s Solomon Street is more likely to benefit from renovations when preparing to sell due to a higher demand for ‘all finished’ properties in one of our most popular streets.

Each property and circumstance present a variety of options for sellers when preparing to sell and opinions from real estate agents on the matter are, as always, subjective. In general terms however, presenting a neat, clean and tidy home is always going to help you to sell at the best price. A client recently suggested ‘Present it like you don’t live in it’, and thats probably a fair description.

Paint out bright colours on internal walls, de-clutter by storing away trinkets and excess family photos, clear the fridge of magnets and kids’ art works and place items neatly in storage cupboards. Paint and gardens are two areas of focus that can make a disproportionate difference to the selling price relative to the cost and effort involved. For vacant properties, hiring some stylish furniture makes a huge difference and almost always speeds up the sale.

It’s also worth considering seeking advice from a qualified home stylist who, whilst relatively expensive, can mean the difference between a quick sale at a selling price possibly higher than expected, and no sale at all. So take some time over the Christmas break to get your home fit for sale. I hope you have a happy and safe festive season.

These comments are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the current opinions and policies of the Real Estate Institute of Australia.

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