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Tips To Prepare Your Home For OFIs

By Rachael Vrana

Selling your home doesn’t have to be a painstaking process, if you take advice from the experts you’ll be in the best position possible to get your house noticed and get that ‘SOLD’ sign up. We spoke to Bernadette Hayes, Principal agent at Harbourline Real Estate in NSW and asked for her top tips to making sure your property is ready for those open for inspections. 

1. Make the entrance appealing
From the gate to the front door. Most buyers will drive past a property before inspecting it and if it doesn’t have good street appeal they won’t even bother turning up for the first open house. As they say, ‘You never get a second chance to make a first impression.’ If you don’t have street appeal buyers won’t even bother turning up for the first open house

2. De-clutter
Create the illusion that you live in the perfect house. Get rid of all the knick knacks and surplus furniture, they make your property feel smaller than it really is and make it harder for buyers to imagine themselves living in your house.

3. Clean & Improve
Clean every surface, wall, cupboard and window. Make your house shine so that buyers aren’t already calculating how much work and extra money they have to invest in your property to bring it up to scratch. Tiny details such as new door handles on kitchen cupboards can completely transform a dated kitchen into a more modern one.

4. Dress the rooms to impress
If your bedspreads are tired and old, replace them with new clean and freshly ironed ones. Nothing can bring the mood of a room down more than the decor.  A few dollars can completely change the ambience.

5. Carpet or floorboards
If the carpets are old, worn and smells from 30 years of wear, tear and spills, then steam clean them or even better check to see if there are floorboards underneath. This then give the new owners the option of relaying carpet or enjoying the newly polished floorboards. You could also choose to re-carpet as there are some fantastic new inexpensive nylon carpets available which will completely transform your old tired looking house into new.

6. Pets
Remove pets on inspection days. Fido might be the most placid dog in the world when you are around, but when strangers come walking through your house things can change. Don’t let pets distract potential buyers from seeing the entire property and remove  traces of them, both smells and excrement!

7. Lighten up
Pull back curtains, open windows and blinds and in particularly dark rooms turn on some subtle lighting either a lamp or use dimmers. As long as it isn’t blinding, buyers won’t notice that the light is on in the middle of the day as they are more interested in inspecting the space.

8. Don’t sell a house empty
Unless it is a complete knock down and rebuild, it’s worth paying for a stylist to furnish your house to give buyers the impression of how the spaces can be used. Empty rooms look much smaller than they actually are and buyers usually over estimate how big their furniture is so even if you are short of cash, don’t sell your house empty! Beg, borrow and steal furniture from family and friends and you will be rewarded.Furnish your rooms. Empty rooms look much smaller than they actually are.

9. Would you buy your own house?
It’s a question all sellers should ask themselves. If you wouldn’t buy it, then ask yourself why. Then consider fixing those problems. Check everything is perfect on inspection day:

  • Have the bins been emptied, cleaned and hidden away?
  • Is the front nature strip mowed and clear of rubbish?
  • Is there a number on your house or letterbox?
  • Has all the junk mail has been collected?
  • Are your cupboards tidy? (Yes, people will probably be looking!)
  • Is the laundry and clothes line clear of washing?

Don’t make potential buyers think about the realities of everyday life, create the illusion that in your house life is a dream.


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