Tips for selling your home

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The age-old adage ‘you only get one chance to make a first impression’ is nowhere more relevant than the real estate industry.  A few percent either way can mean thousands of dollars difference to your bottom line.

Competition’s tough and margin’s are tight so you need every advantage to make your property stand-out from the pack and a few dollars invested up-front can return big dividends when your home hits the listings.

If you’re considering selling, read on to make sure you get it right first time.


Look with a critical eye at what needs attention and prioritise a list.  An engaging street-view and easy accessibility can’t be over-emphasised. Failure to ‘wow’ them here may see prospective buyers back in the car and tearing off to the next open home on the viewing schedule.  

View your property from the roadside and see what prospective buyers will see as soon as they step out of their car.  Neglect from deferred maintenance can become invisible to occupiers over time but will be readily apparent to those visiting for the first time.  

Pressure-cleaning drives, paths, patios, decks and sidings will immediately make your home look light, bright, fresh and invigorated.  Ensure the entrance porch is clean, uncluttered and if necessary spruce-up with paint and a new door-mat.

Drone photography is fast becoming a standard feature in property photography so be sure to show off your home’s top-side to best effect with a clean roof.

Up to 30% of buyers surveyed said presentation of grounds and gardens were a significant factor in the decision to purchase.  Ideally lawns are to be kept trimmed for the duration of the campaign, piles of clippings removed and trees pruned back to easy manageability.    


We all love our animals but unless your pooch is the most dozy and friendly specimen within the canine genus, relocate him/her for open homes.  A barking dog sets people on edge, they won’t relax and the presence of a barking dog may imply a security issue in the neighbourhood. Also, non-dog-lovers may be sensitive to doggy-odours in the home.   


Kiwis have a preoccupation with outdoor living which is now seen as a natural, necessary and further function of indoor living.  The reason ‘indoor/outdoor flow’ has become such an overworked cliché in real estate parlance is because it actually works. Buyers look for it and expect to see it in some shape or form.  

A well-placed deck or patio is off immense appeal to all buyers and vastly improves the overall saleability and appeal of any property.  Decks can be built relatively easily with a few DIY skills and the scale of economies with buying timber often mean the bigger you go, the cheaper it proportionately becomes.  Check your local Council regulations for permitting requirements.

Potted plants and solar-lighting are in-expensive, easy to install and can work wonders in transforming a deck or courtyard into a mood-infused nocturnal venue for alfresco living.    


If you’re considering interior painting, remember dark walls in anything but the largest room serve to contract space and diminish spatial perception as do feature walls and large pieces of artwork.  

Lighter colours tend to expand smaller areas into a cohesive whole so a smaller house should ideally have similar tones from room to room.  Give thought to rejuvenating carpet and vinyl areas with a steam-clean and polish.

Keep a list of any less obvious improvements (HTS, up-graded insulation, electrical work etc) so they can be communicated to buyers via flyers or listing text.


Perhaps the most important and commonly overlooked aspect of pre-sale presentation is that of de-cluttering.  While accoutrements hold special meaning and memories for occupiers, at open homes they’ll serve only to detract attention away from the home’s more saleable features.  Removing pictures from a small wall will immediately make the wall appear larger. Similarly, on a smaller floor, remove mats and as far as possible move all furniture to the walls to convey an impression of open-space. If need be, put some furniture into storage to make rooms and floor space look larger with easy flow-thru.    


If interiors and furniture are dated and you need to paint, complement the investment by employing staging services that hire on-trend furniture to pair to maximum effect with your new décor.  Not only must the property present well at open homes but also be photogenic for web and print media advertising.

Kitchens are often cited as the most important room in the house.  A tiled splash-back can be a quick and hassle-free method of modernising, adding value and diverting attention away from less desirable features.  

Give a new lease of life to drab cabinetry with fresh paint and new handles.  Rusty, cracked or delaminated bench-tops and dripping faucets are an instant turn-off and should be repaired or replaced depending on your budget.

It’s easy to go overboard in a bathroom and there’s no such thing as a cheap wet-room make-over.  Unless you’re prepared to outlay some serious cash, just keep to the basics – mould-free, clean tub and shower box and ensure any heating is working.


The extent and expense to which you renovate is a complex issue determined by the intrinsic value of the house given its age, location, market trends and targeted buyer demographic.

There’s little point in spending $15K re-carpeting if an overseas buyer will move in and right-away rip it up and replace with tiles.  If you’re uncertain how far to go and how to best to allocate the finances, consult an agent who specialises in your locale and can advise on this critical aspect of pre-listing property presentation.   

Buyers are savvy and know what to expect in relation to their budget but regardless of where your house is pitched on the pricing spectrum it needs to be habitable, comfortable, presentable and fully functional.


Presentation goes hand-in-hand with price-pointing and just as the home’s aesthetic appeal needs to be spot-on, so too does the list price or reserve. Buyers have done their homework and if a house is listed above market rate they’ll either low-ball or wait until it stagnates and come in with an even lower offer.

37% of canvassed buyers said pricing was the most influential factor determining purchase.  Homes that are priced appropriately from the outset tend to attract early and appropriate offers.


Complex issues with a lot at stake and really only one chance to get it right.

As two of West Auckland’s most accomplished and experienced agents, Lisa and I are well-placed to advise on all aspects of presenting your property for sale and how to increase exposure for optimised impact and outcomes.

Feel free to contact either of us for a confidential, no-obligation consultation.