They say you only get one shot at making a great first impression, and first impressions count, particularly when selling your home. Here are some simple things you can do to give yourself an advantage in a competitive market.

Small Projects – Outside

No matter how neat and tidy your home is on the inside, street appeal can have a massive impact on a buyer’s decision.

Replace peeling paint on external walls, guttering, and eaves. Clean brickwork with a high-pressure water cleaner. Replace broken or rusty gutters and downpipes. Clean windows and fly-screens; replace screens if necessary.

Gardens should be neatened and lawns well-mown and green if possible. Fences are best painted a dark colour, particularly if tall and in the back yard – a dark fence will blend into the foliage of garden shrubs. Some cheerful, well-kept greenery and colourful potted plants around the front door can add a welcoming touch.

Small Projects – Inside

Repair any damage to walls and ceilings and repaint. Hardware stores are skilled at matching paints, so it’s not always necessary to repaint entire rooms to spruce them up.

Consider replacing worn carpet or vinyl floor coverings, and ensure everything and everywhere is clean.

If you only do one thing before you list your home for sale, do this one – clear the clutter from every room. Be methodical and do it room by room. Get rid of everything you don’t love or use. If you can’t bear to part with the items you’ve boxed up, store them somewhere offsite.

This goes for furniture too. Decide which pieces are essential and remove those that are not (store offsite, sell, or donate). Every extra metre of clear floor creates more space for a potential buyer to love.

We all tend to push our sofas against the walls, but try rearranging furniture away from walls and creating areas of traffic flow between pieces. It will make a room seem larger.

Remove drab and heavy curtains. Ensure windows give as much light as they can. Not every room can always be lit with natural light, so use a variety of light sources – accent lighting, overhead, and table lights – to create interest and atmosphere. Mirrors, glass bowls, and even silverware can be used to diffuse light around a room.

Please remember, although we love our pets, they are not the best accessories to keep inside your home while it’s on the market. Clean up after them and ask a friend to pet-sit until the inspections are over and your sale is finalised.

Need professional advice on making your home look its best?

Nowadays, many home owners wishing to sell their property quickly and at a higher price take advantage of the services offered by interior or home stylists. Home styling improves the aesthetics of a home at a fraction of the cost of remodelling and renovation. When styling for a sale, your stylist will work closely with your real estate agent’s photographer to ensure your home presents its best possible face to the market.

Already moved on and have an empty home for sale?

An empty home might appear larger than one full of furniture, but it will be lifeless, and lifeless homes don’t sell. This is where staging comes in. Property staging involves moving in hired furniture and accessories such as artwork that suit your home and make it appeal to the tastes of your potential buyers. The investment frequently pays off, with staged homes going under contract quickly and at above market expectations in many cases.

Another option to consider is virtual staging and the inclusion of a floor plan of your property which is displayed with your homes photos online.

Your real estate agent is happy to supply recommendations on local home stylists and stagers, and to provide testimonial examples of their services.