Selling a home is all about creating the best first-impression, so buyers remember your home in a positive light.
While stripping a home bare, repainting throughout and staging with hired furniture can help a property appeal to buyers, that can also end up being quite costly.
If your budget is tight, you need look at your property with a critical eye, just as a buyer would. Essentially, that means removing potential turn-offs.
Steering clear of clutter, cleverly positioning furniture and selectively choosing how each room is set out can create a favourable impression without breaking the bank.
These are the top seven things you need to remove, replace or repair when selling your home.
1. Big bulky furniture
Spacious rooms resonate with buyers. Make sure it is easy to walk around without them feeling like it’s an obstacle course.
Bulky, dark furniture makes a room look smaller. Photo: Domain.com.au
Buyers want to be able to imagine what the room will look like with their furniture. Monique Dower, Principal, Belle Property, Balmain, suggests removing any large furniture and placing it in storage until you move.
“I have had clients with large, dark furniture. That, combined with the dark timber floor, meant everything blended together into one dark space. Remove furniture such as this and replace with smaller, lighter furniture.”
2. Visible clutter
While the garage can be a great dumping ground, interested buyers want to feel that the house has sufficient storage.
A well-organised garage can be a substantial selling point and keeping it tidy helps buyers imagine the type of lifestyle they may lead if they buy your house.
Avoid leaving storage containers around the house as it instantly tells buyers that the house has insufficient storage. Photo: iStock
3. Gym equipment
While you may be pursuing a body like Chris Hemsworth, the gym equipment you have been using takes up a lot of space and may not appeal to other buyers.
If your spare room is being used as a gym, consider alternative ways to stage the space, such as a home office or an additional bedroom.
Potential buyers may not have the same fitness aspirations as you. Photo: iStock
4. Visible personal effects
Potential buyers need to see themselves living in your house, so sellers should remove obviously personal items to keep it neutral, says founder of Renovating For Profit, Cherie Barber.
“You should remove pictures of your wedding day, or pictures from the hospital delivery room,” she said.
Pack away the family photos when selling your home. Photo: iStock
5. Messy cabinets
Buyers want clean and tidy storage areas, so look around the laundry, and under the kitchen and bathroom sinks to see what can be tossed.
Visible containers of Drano might also send the message that the drains often get blocked, and that rusty steel wool looks messy. All of those extra toiletries can be moved into storage.
Remember, you want to give the impression that your home has plenty of storage, so ensure the closets and other storage areas are not crammed. Buyers will then feel there will be space for storing extra clothes, luggage, Christmas ornaments and linen.
Buyers will inevitably look inside cabinets, so keep them tidy. Photo: iStock
6. Kids’ toys
Although it can be difficult to keep children’s toys tidy, they can make the house look messy.
Limit the number to just their favourites while your property is on the market. This will also mean quick tidy-ups before any open for inspections.
When buyers are looking at individual rooms, they should be looking at the walls, doors, windows, size, not focusing on how to best to avoid tripping over Matilda’s doll collection!
“You can leave a few super-cute toys as these may attract buyers with families,” suggests Dower.
Pack away all but the favourite toys when showing your home. Photo: iStock
7. Pet beds and toys
While Lola may be your best friend, not all buyers are keen on animals in a house. Potential purchasers may have allergies, or think pets un-hygienic.
Obvious signs of pets should be removed, such as pet beds, feeding bowls and toys. If the cat has scratched the door, you can easily sand and repaint the damage.
Not everyone likes pets, so pack away their gear when your home is on display. Photo: iStock
“Stash away the ugly scratching pole as it takes up space and makes the room look smaller,” says Barber.
“Pet beds should also be removed as they may contain pet odours. Many pet owners are oblivious and almost immune to the smells. Ask someone impartial if your house has any obvious odours and remove them by airing out the house weeks in advance before selling.”