If you’re preparing to sell your home or investment property, don’t despair: despite the fact that it’s a buyer’s market, there are plenty of things you can do to boost your chances of a sale.
 
Tip # 1: Remove your pets
You don’t need to rehome your pet goldfish, but if you have cats or dogs, it’s a good idea to drop them to a friend or relative’s house during open inspections. Better still, take them for a walk so you’re both out of the house when potential buyers are viewing your home. Whatever you do, don’t leave pets in the house during an open inspection, as people could be allergic or fearful of them. It also pays to remove evidence of your pets, such as food bowls and bedding; it’s not only smelly, but might draw your potential buyer’s attention to scratched doors and chewed skirting boards.
 
Tip # 2: Get rid of nasty odours
It goes without saying that you’ll improve your home’s saleability if you create a pleasant, welcoming atmosphere during property viewings. “There is nothing worse than having a home open for inspection when there is a nasty smell, be it from animals or even just a musty odour,” says Raine & Horne Maroubra principal, Paul Spanoudakis. As a rule of thumb, you should air out your home for at least an hour, remove any sources of unpleasant odours and “freshen up the feel of your home by buying some fresh flowers or brewing some coffee to provide a pleasant aroma.”
 
Tip # 3: Clean and de-clutter
A house that has been thoroughly cleaned looks fresh, neat and liveable, all of which is going to help present your home in its best light for prospective buyers. Before an open inspection, clean the house as if you’re having a dinner party with a dozen invited guests: meaning scrub surfaces until they’re shiny and new, and dump as much clutter into draws and cupboards as possible.
 
Tip # 4: Hire a cleaner
If you hire a professional cleaner to conduct a good thorough clean of your home the day before your inspection, you’ll be presenting your property in premium condition. It will set you back around $100-$150, but as an added bonus, you’ll benefit from a sparkling home in the days that follow – and you have a super clean base to work from the following Saturday during your next open home.
 
Tip #5: Spruce up the front entrance
First impressions count, simple as that. “Prospective sellers need to understand that first impressions are everything when selling a property,” says Michael Mallon, principal of Raine & Horne Queanbeyan. “Buyers look at more than one property and if your front lawn is getting a bit long and the paint on your front door is starting to peel off, then there’s more chance they have already lost interest – or that they won’t even bother to inspect the property any further.” If they do inspect, they may use these types of minor flaws to negotiate hard on the price. Don’t give them the opportunity, and instead invest in a weekend of sprucing up the front of your home; from weeding and mowing lawns to painting the mailbox and front door.

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