Open Home: Is Your House Ready?
Home inspections are like a first date - You only get one chance to make that first impression.
Getting your property ready for inspection can feel daunting, so here are some simple and successful tips to impress those buyers.
1. Clean up
Yes, it’s Captain Obvious, but you’d be surprised. Make sure your whole property is neat and tidy when buyers arrive, including the garden and outside areas.
- Dust, vacuum, scrub, wash, buff everywhere you can
- Clean inside ovens, cupboards and wardrobes, in case potential buyers are particularly curious.
- Remove shoes from the entrance and any other trip hazards.
- Get the big clean out of the way in advance, then keep your place in good condition while your place is on the market. That way, you should only need a refresh to prepare for a new inspection date, rather than a top-to-bottom makeover.
- Clear out the mailbox and empty your rubbish bins – and, ideally, move the bins out of sight (especially if they’re normally one of the first things people will see arriving at your home).
You can always enlist a professional organiser or declutterer if you need a hand, or even ask a friend for a second opinion on the quality of your work.
You’ll be surprised by how much better your house looks after a thorough clean.
2. Invite light and air
- Air out your home thoroughly before the inspection, so it feels as fresh and clean as possible. If potential buyers feel stuffy, they’ll head straight for the door.
- If the weather and security permits, crack open a window or two during the inspections themselves, too, so that there’s a steady flow of fresh air.
- Draw back curtains and blinds to bring in as much as light as possible and show off your house from the street.
Something as simple as these few tricks will do wonders for your space.
3. Help your pets camouflage
Viewers will often be able to tell if a pet resides in the property. One of the most common complaints from potential buyers at open for inspections are those telltale signs you share your home with someone furry. If they’re not your pets, animal smells or stains can actively turn someone off your property.
- Deodorise your property to remove the whiff of little creatures and get someone who doesn’t normally live there to confirm you’re clear (you might be used to it and unable to smell what others can).
- Clean traces of hair from floors and furniture, stow feeding bowls and toys, remove any litter boxes or droppings from the yard, and give your pets a vacation during inspections.
4. Add a few personal touches
Don’t be afraid to let a little of your personality shine through. A personal touch here and there helps your home feel less staged, and will often help prospective buyers to forge an emotional connection with your property.
Fresh flowers are a nice addition, for example, as are inoffensive pieces of art and bowls of sweets near the door that people can dip into on their way out.
Bear in mind, though, that too much evidence of your life in the home can often overwhelm buyers and make it hard for them to emotionally connect with the property. It’s about striking a balance between presenting a warm, homely environment and allowing enough mental space for a prospective buyer to imagine themselves living in your home – and often this means stowing away personal photographs.
5. Eliminate any nasty odours
- People fuss over the visual but often forget that a bad smell can make or break an open inspection.
- Remove smells that are unpleasant, like stinky shoes, and watch out for specific foods that may not agree with everyone.
- Counter the off-putting smells with flowers, candles, air fresheners or even freshly brewed coffee, but make sure that you don’t go overboard, and avoid pungent aromas like incense. You want your property to smell like a home, not a perfumery.
- A home-staging consultant can help with these touches, and can also advise about furniture, artwork and other style elements that will help bring your home to life.
Air fresheners can help mask a horrible scent. Just don’t go overboard.
6. Strike the right temperature
- Keep an eye on the weather and heat or cool your home so that it’s at an optimal temperature for buyers to walk through.
- People shouldn’t raise a sweat or chill, and you need to demonstrate your property can effortlessly cope with the climate around it. You should be aiming to give them a cool or warm blast, depending on what’s most appropriate at that time.
- If heating or cooling is malfunctioning and impossible to fix for inspection time, place fans or portable heaters strategically so they don’t get in the way but still do the job. Make sure that you maintain a comfortable room temperature during open for inspections.
7. Think about security
Be sure not to leave anything valuable in sight. Whether you’re attending the inspection or not, you should take care to remove and protect anything precious or valuable before you open your house up to strangers – just in case one of them is light fingered.
- Take any extremely valuable items with you if you’re leaving the premises for the inspection, or lock them up in a safe or secure cupboard or drawer. If you don’t have an area you can lock away, hide them in the back of a wardrobe or somewhere out of sight.
Agents usually record the details of people coming through your property, to deter thieves and provide some accountability if anything ends up missing or damaged. It is rare for something like this to occur however.
8. Have paperwork ready - Agent and buyer
- Have information about the property available at the inspection.
- Though most buyers don’t get to the negotiating stage during a walk-through, it pays to be ready with all the information a visitor might want.
- Work with your agent to ensure that all relevant paperwork (renovation history, pest documentation, approvals for further development) is on display in the property during the inspection – ready to be reviewed or taken home by serious parties.
The less buyers have to ask, the more at ease they’ll feel in the property and the more time they’ll have to imagine themselves in it.
And, just in case someone wants to snap your property up on the spot, you’ll have all you need to make that happen.
9. Make yourself scarce
Now would be a good time to take the dog for a walk. While your house is getting the once over, you should leave potential buyers to wander your halls unencumbered and relaxed. *Coordinate with your agent and be ready to head out for a short time, taking any other family members or inhabitants with you (including the pets).
- Have a bag ready so that you can leave quickly in the event of an unplanned inspections.
- Don’t forget to do a quick pass through on the way out, clearing away any new messes or misplaced objects, like toys.
If you don’t want to leave entirely, consider setting up an area in the house or yard that can act as your retreat while buyers explore. This way, you’ll be around for a chat if people want to ask about the home or the area, but not so close people feel they can’t browse in peace.
Our agents are amazing at helping you get your house ready for inspections! Send us a message HERE, and we will share our tips!
*The above information has been sourced from Realestate.com.au To read the full article CLICK HERE.