• Terry Hinds Real Estate

Time to Sell? Prep Your Property First

Updated: Oct 12, 2020

Is it time to sell? Get Your Property Prepped First

By Author: Antonia Mercorella, CEO – Real Estate Institute of Queensland

Despite the inevitable doom and gloom predictions due to COVID-19, Queensland property prices are holding firm and buyer demand in Queensland is as strong as ever, particularly along the Sunshine Coast. Confidence is key when it comes to the property market so it’s good to see that consumer confidence continues to hold relatively steady albeit recent fluctuations. Despite an average of approximately 80 points, confidence is definitely on show at local open home inspections.

So, is it the right time to sell? With growing stock availability around the greater Sunshine Coast at the moment, it’s still a seller’s market that’s definitely in need of a lot more listings. But before you engage an REIQ accredited agent to sell your property and start mentally packing, there’s still some important work to be done – chiefly, your property presentation plan. How your property presents to prospective buyers is really one of those ‘make or break’ fundamentals toward securing a quick sale and achieving the best possible sale price. So, pay attention to these three key areas when prepping your property for the market.

Firstly, tackle those simple repairs you’ve been putting off for too long. Wear and tear is inevitable. However, your interpretation of minor wear and tear may be viewed differently by a fastidious or cautious buyer. Broken door handles, chipped tiles, cracked windows, damaged walls, scuffed paintwork, stained carpets and other obvious signs of damage instantly alert buyers there’s work needed. It also alerts buyers as to the level of care you have for your property. The more minor issues, the more it says the property hasn’t been well-maintained and this may cause suspicion of more serious hidden problems. If you’re handy with the tools, many of these small DIY jobs can be completed at little cost. If not, for a few dollars more, hire a local tradesperson to help – it’s still a low-cost option when you consider what’s at stake.

Secondly, clean up. Then clean more. The best presented properties are those free of any clutter. Sort out cupboards, clear off shelves, tidy up any general mess and remove any non-essential items so as to enhance the size of every space. A thorough clean of your property, including areas such as under the kitchen and laundry sinks and linen cupboards, provide a subliminal message that your property is well cared for. To gauge the level of decluttering required, check out local listings in your area to find out what you’re competing with. It’s important not to under-estimate the time required for decluttering either. After all, it took you a lifetime to accumulate most of what you have. Don’t be misguided by the idea it will only take a few hours. It’s simply not enough. There’s no need to dispose of your life’s possessions or sentimental items. Consider off-site storage or borrowing a friend’s spare room in the interim.

Moving onto the final stage of property styling and it’s become a booming industry across Australia in the last decade. As a rough guide, the current cost to professionally style a property starts at around $3,000 to $5,000 for a 4-6 week hire period. Costs vary depending on the size of the property and the quality and quantity of the furniture and accessories. This might sound expensive but it’s widely reported that styling your property can contribute as much as 2.5% to the sale price.

But if your budget doesn’t allow for professional property styling, it’s still possible to achieve affordable style that sells. Select the best of what you already have to create feature statements and borrow what you can from family and friends to achieve an overall theme. You should also consider second hand furniture and accessories that add value to the look of the property and that you can take with you when you move on. Be mindful to select simple accessories (a decorative vase, a presentation bowl, matching cushion covers and bedding linens that work within a set colour palette) that together enhance a space. Consider re-positioning your furniture to influence spatial perceptions too. Styling your property for sale is all about playing to the buyer’s mindset which is why it’s important to target styling choices that showcase your property’s best-selling points.

If you don’t have any furniture in your property at the time of sale, you can still influence the perceptions of interested buyers without detracting interest. It’s all thanks to virtual staging. With more buyers happy to embrace property tech in today’s market, as evidenced during the COVID-19 pandemic to date, it’s possible to create ‘virtual’ home staging with high-end design accents at a fraction of the cost. With a wide range of services and apps available starting from as little as $25 a room, it’s another innovative yet cost-effective way to help prep your property for sale and maximise your sale price.

For more information, visit REIQ website https://www.reiq.com/

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