What's happening in real estate
What's happening in real estate

How to make your home stand out from the crowd

Property Brokers  Wednesday, April 13th
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How to make your home stand out from the crowd 

In a changing or buyer’s market, where there are more properties coming to the market each week, you need to make sure that your home stands out from the crowd. Here are my top tips to do this. 

  • Fix the Little Things 

The longer you live somewhere, the easier it is to overlook small repairs. Attending to minor repairs is one of the smartest moves you can do to make your home more appealing to buyers, without breaking the bank. 

The broken doorknob in the bathroom, the dripping tap, the cracked tile in the kitchen, the dead grass patches in the lawn. You may have been meaning to get to all of them, but you just haven’t. Well, now is the time. The more polish you can put on your home through little repairs, the more appealing it will be. Try this: walk around each room in your home looking at all the imperfections. Pretend to be a home buyer for a moment and see your home through their eyes. The more things you can scratch off the list the better. 

Once your home goes under contract the biggest hurdle is clearing the buyers final home inspection. This is the point where numerous sales fall apart or are re-negotiated. By taking the time to take care of the little things, you could potentially avoid either a sale gone bad or more money coming out of your pocket later. 

  • Clean it and keep it that way 

Some people are more particular than others about maintaining a clean and tidy home. Wherever you fall on the spectrum, when you are trying to sell you need to get serious about cleaning and staying tidy. Messy or dirty homes are not appealing to buyers, and at least some of the other homes you are competing with are certainly going to be clean. Depending on time constraints or how big the job is, it may be worth the money to hire a professional for a deep clean. Think ovens, windows, skirting boards, fly poo on light shades and ceilings.  The devil is in the details. Little details like windowsills, light shades, skirting boards and ovens are often neglected but can make all the difference.  I can help with several recommendations for great local cleaners.  

Once the worst is taken care of, make sure you tidy up before each viewing or open home. When you don’t have a lot of money to spend, deep cleaning is one of the best things you can do to make a home more appealing to buyers. The good news? It will also make moving day stress free if the big clean has already been started. 

  • De-Clutter 

Homes have a tendency to fill up over time, especially if you are any kind of collector. Clutter is not a good selling point for a home. Excessive clutter or large collections makes a home look messy and small, neither of which are great selling points. If you have a significant amount of clutter, consider getting a storage unit for your belongings until the sale is complete and you have moved into your new home. Or see if friends and family members could hold onto a few things in the meantime.  

The garage or spare room are not appropriate places to store clutter. Buyers want to see space in all areas of the home. Go room-by-room looking at all the contents and ask "would most other people want this in their home? Is this helping to sell the home?". 

Making your home feel more spacious by removing clutter can do wonders for putting more money in your pocket. Putting unnecessary possessions in a storage unit can really make your home feel so much different to a buyer who is looking for an open and spacious plan. My top tip: get a bigger storage unit than you think you need. 

  • Go For Neutral Paint 

Painting the walls of a home can really personalise a space. But you need to consider the appeal to the wider range of potential buyers, so offer something fairly neutral. If you have brightly coloured walls, consider painting them over with a more buyer-friendly colour. You can always go wild in the next house you buy.  

Being neutral doesn’t mean you have to make your home look sterile – do the opposite. There are some very nice beige and light earth tones that can make a home look really appealing. Top tip: check out the following links to local decorating stores to find out about the latest trends. Resene colour inspiration or Mitre 10 or talk to your local paint shop. 

  • Look to Your Lighting and Fixtures 

Lighting and fixtures can really change the feel of a home, especially one that may be considered dated. Today’s buyers want lots of natural light. They want the home to look like something they would want to own, not something their parents or grandparents owned.  

Consider updating your light fixtures to make rooms more vibrant and contemporary. Do your best to bring in as much natural light as possible. Top tip: trim trees away from windows, remove tired and torn net curtains or anything that blocks the sun from warming a room. Sunshine is always appealing to home buyers, and it makes your home look bigger as well. 

  • Avoid Personalising Too Much. 

Your home is your castle, but when you are trying to sell it, it needs to look like someone else’s castle. Too personalised and the risk is potential buyers can’t see past your likes to fit their likes into a home. 

Top tip: remove walls full of family photos, painted wall murals, model trains or porcelain doll collections, take down prized trophies and framed certificates, and declutter the fridge of magnets and kids art. Not only does this allow buyers to visualise how they will use a space it gives you a head start on packing!  

  • Minimise pet signs and smells  

Pets are fantastic for companionship and enjoyment, but they can be a sticking point when selling a home. Top tip: a deep clean will help remove potentially years of animal fur from the home improving the smell and cleanliness of the house. As an added bonus (as mentioned in point 2, it makes for an easy move once the sale is completed). Also make sure all animals are off site when your home is being viewed.   

Make sure your yard is also ‘pet-free’. Clean up any messes and re-sod your soil if the dog has worn a muddy path along the fence. Patch any holes in the lawn your pet may have created. Tidy up the paint on the scratched front door. Understanding how to move with pets is an important consideration when you are trying to get the maximum return out of your home while also making the process as stress free as possible. 

  • Up Your Curb Appeal 

Buyers will see the exterior of your home first. You want the first impression to be a great one, so work on increasing your curb appeal. Remove clutter from the home’s exterior, touch up paint, add plants and improve the landscape.  

It’s amazing what a bit of potted colour can do to first impressions. You don’t need to go overboard with the landscaping but pull weeds, add some colourful flowers and greenery and lay down a coat of mulch. This should not be too expensive, particularly if you do the work yourself.  

The exterior of your home should be just as appealing to a buyer as the interior. If you are time-poor and would rather someone else did it for you, I can put you in touch with a great local gardeners or landscapers. 

  • Listen to your Real Estate agent  

That’s me, Rose. 


After some tips and ideas to add quick value? Here are some quick tips: 

  • Add a lick of paint to front doors, tired-looking fencing and window frames 
  • Add some shiny new house numbers, doorknobs or knockers. 
  • New kitchen handles can make a huge difference. 
  • Clean and hose down spiderwebs and clean your gutters 
  • Remove rubbish and debris 
  • Replace the toilet seat and shower curtain with brand new ones. 
  • Upgrade outdoor lighting 
  • Tidy your garden and add shrubs and plants if it is a bit sparse. It’s amazing what a bit of potted colour can do to first impressions. 
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Have you considered buying or selling a property? Or do you know of a family member, friend or colleague who is considering buying or selling a property? Contact Rose Olliver to experience next level service.

Rose Olliver
M  021 064 4294
E  rose.olliver@pb.co.nz

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