Prepare Your Home For A Summer Sale - Our Week By Week Checklist

Prepare Your Home For A Summer Sale - Our Week By Week Checklist

Sarah Lefebvre
Sarah Lefebvre
04/11/2020 | 5 MIN READ

With summer just around the corner, if you are considering selling over the warmer months it’s a good idea to get started now on preparing your property for sale. 

 

Summer is all about showcasing your homes summer living features as well as making sure you tick the box on some standard home preparation principles. Here is a look at what you should be doing in the 6 weeks leading up to your first open home inspection. 

6 weeks before open homes start - plan and organise any pre-sale renovations and repairs

Walk around your property with fresh eyes. Pretend you are a buyer inspecting your property for the first time and write a list of all the issues with the property that you spot on your walk through. Whilst you may not normally notice the broken latch on gate, or the loose paver on the path or the broken roof tile, potential buyers will, and you want to fix these issues before your first open home. 

 

Once you have your list, start categorising them into jobs you can do, jobs another member of the family can do and jobs that require an expert. For the jobs that need an expert, get onto organising that now. It can take a while to find and book a tradesman and some jobs, such as fixing decking, painting the house or fence, sanding and refinishing floorboards etc can take a while so you need to get organised now.

 

For the jobs you and your family are going to manage, make sure you add a due date to each task to ensure there is a steady list of jobs to be done each week rather than a mad rush at the end. And most importantly start the jobs now!

5 weeks before open homes start - declutter, store, donate, sell or discard

This week is all about decluttering the home and removing most of your personal items and potentially some of your larger pieces of furniture to create a flow through the property.

 

Pack and purge is what we like to call it. This week go room to room and sort items into different piles. 

  • Personal items and furniture you want to keep, but remove for the open homes, need to be packed and stored until after the sale. Consider organising a short-term storage facility to keep these safe for the duration of the sales campaign,  or better still ask a friend or family member if they have space to store the items for a few weeks
  • For the items you want to get rid of group them items into 3 piles - 1. Discard, 2.  Donate or 3. Sell and start going

Once you’ve decided what is to go where, make sure you action the groups appropriately. 

  • Drop items you’re donating to your local charity bin
  • For the items you are selling; photograph them and get them up on Gumtree or eBay
  • For items you’re discarding, contact your local council about what options they offer here. Some councils offer free collection of household clean out items or alternatively they can direct you where to take the items
  • Finally, for those pieces you are keeping but want to store while you sell, pack these up and take them to the storage facility or to your friends or family’s garage

4 weeks before open homes start - landscaping the garden & patch and paint

Whether you have a small or large outdoor space, it’s important that you showcase it; particularly if selling in summer. Buyers look at decks, verandahs, courtyards and gardens as extensions of their homes. A place to entertain family and friends and enjoy our beautiful climate.  Making the most of these areas is important if selling during the warmer months. 

This week it’s all about getting your hands dirty:

  • Weed the garden beds
  • Mow the lawn and add top dressing if it has been hammered over winter
  • Trim all the greenery
  • Edge your walkways
  • Plant new flowers in the garden beds
  • Spread fresh mulch
  • If you own a pool, clean the pool fence and around the pool, and if you haven’t already, get the chlorine levels ready for summer so the pool is sparkling
  • Look for every opportunity, a small nook, landing near a door or unused outdoor space and consider adding a relaxing chair so buyers can envisage themselves sitting there reading a book, enjoying a glass of wine or soaking up the sun.
  • If your outdoor furniture is looking worn and tired, consider upgrading it, or perhaps hiring outdoor furniture so you have fresh, clean and crisp pieces that really showcase your summer lifestyle

If this seems overwhelming, consider hiring a professional gardener to help you. Depending on the size of your garden, they should be able to get through a lot in a day and this can have a big impact on your sale result.  

3 weeks before open homes start - Deep clean & curb appeal

With the home looking more spacious and it being easier to clean, now is the time to start cleaning every nook, surface, cupboard and drawer. 

  • Go room-to-room to dust and clean every surface and nook
  • Make sure all your windows and window frames are spotless
  • Vacuum the property and mop the floors
  • Dust the walls and remove cobwebs high on the ceilings
  • Make sure there are no stains, mould, or animal hair on any surface
  • Clean and tidy the cupboards inside and out, as buyers often take a sticky beak inside

Enhance your curb appeal 

Making a good first impression right from the curb is your goal here.  Buyers often do a drive past before working out if they are going to come back for an inspection, so the view of your property from the street, is important. 

Fix your curb appeal

  • Sweep all the paths and keep them swept for the duration of the sales campaign
  • Power wash the paths and fence to ensure they are as clean as possible
  • If you haven’t already weed the front garden and any garden bed visible from the street
  • Mow the lawn and clip the hedges
  • Ensure the letterbox is cleaned out every day
  • Ensure there are no cobwebs, wasps nest or dirt on facia and eaves
  • Make sure the street number is clearly visible
  • Ensure outside lights are working and leave them on during the sales campaign period
  • And clean the windows

If selling an apartment 

  • Sweep outside the front door
  • Ensure windows are cleaned and blinds / shutters are open
  • If you have a visible balcony, ensure it is tidy and table and chairs are positioned neatly
  • Add some flowering plants to the balcony or hang a window box outside the kitchen window

2 weeks before open homes start - Styling and staging

With only 2 weeks to go, and with the property now decluttered and sparkling clean this week is all about pulling it together and styling it to sell.

 

Presentation is a critical part of the selling process. Whilst it is not guaranteed, we have seen styling a property for sale add up to 5% - 10% to sale a price.  Of course, you don’t need to hire a professional, however they can help transform a property to ensure it appeals to a wider market.  Professionals can really help give your property that wow factor. If you want to do it yourself download our room by room Styling to Sell checklist here. 

1 week before open homes start - finishing touches 

With only a week to go, walk through your property again right from curb, into each room and space. Again, take notes of any issues or things you may have missed and action these.  This week is all about finishing off the loose ends.

1 day before open home start 

You want your property to shine tomorrow, so today is all about last minute jobs to ensure your property looks its best:

  • Sweep the path to the front door and that includes outside the front doors to apartments
  • Remove any dead flowers, letters in the letter box, garbage bins and mow the lawn and take any clothes off the clothes line
  • Vacuum the entire home and mop the floors
  • Check all the light bulbs are working and replace any if needed
  • Ensure the kitchen is sparkling including the hot plate, microwave and oven
  • Remove all the clutter from the kitchen bench and only leave a couple of nice appliances on display
  • Add a splash of colour with some flowers, a bowl of fruit and fresh tea towels on the over door
  • Make sure the furniture is positioned well for traffic flow
  • Straighten all paintings and rugs and clean up and remove all toys and pet stuff
  • Open all the windows if possible to get fresh air through the property and deodorise any pet smells
  • Add some luxury items into the bathroom along with some fresh, plump towels

It may be worth heading out for dinner tonight to keep any cooking smells out of the house and to keep the kitchen clean. 

Day of the open home inspection

Get up nice and early and make the final touches to your property:

  • Clean the kitchen bench…one more time with feeling
  • Dry out the sink
  • Add a clean tea towel to the oven door
  • Put toilet seat down
  • Add a new roll of loo paper to the holder
  • Add clean plush towels to the bathroom and hide toothbrushes, combs etc
  • Ensure all the beds are made and styled
  • Turn all lights and lamps on
  • Remove or lock up any valuables
  • Open all the doors
  • Open all the blinds, curtains or shutters
  • Empty garbage bins
  • Put cushions on the outdoor furniture
  • If it’s a hot summer day - turn on ceiling fans 

Final word

Over the 30+ years we have been selling properties, we find as the new year rolls around people often reassess their living priorities and are keen for a change.  We see this with the number of people searching on our website over January and February, looking for properties to buy. With the sun out and buyers often in relaxed holiday mode, if your property offers an inside / outside lifestyle, selling over summer may be the best time for you and your property.  To talk to your local agent about your property click here. 



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