John Chapman
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Getting Ready to Sell?

27 February 2020

It’s said a ‘Buyer’ might make up their mind in the first 15 seconds!!

Certainly ‘first impressions’ are important!

So let’s look at the front gate, even the📮letterbox!

Front door🚪? Flyscreen? 🌳🌷Front garden??

If these are in need of repair or paint, how has the rest of the property been maintained??

Now what about a coat of paint?🌈

Do up the bathroom 🚽? Kitchen?🍴

Hire some ‘amazing’ furniture & pot🌴plants?

In the City they do that!!

But it’s all chrome & glass!

The buyers expect that there is absolutely “nothing to do”!

They want to see the home beautifully decorated and furnished!

NO! NOT up here!

95% of ‘buyers’ are ‘Sydney Escapees’

AND they want to leave their own imprimatur, their personality, on their ‘new’ mountain home.

They’ll decide the colour of the walls, the ‘all important’ kitchen layout, tiles, stove, and that bathroom🚿…..


My Valuer Associate reminds me often –

You spend $10,000 on the bathroom🛀,

$15k or more on the kitchen –

Almost certainly you have NOT increased the Sale $ price’ by that total amount, maybe none –

You’ve simply made your Salesman’s job of achieving whatever his skills were going to get anyway, easier.

– that’s probably it!!!


SO, What do we do??? – The Answers


1. Paint, renew that letterbox📮

It’s not just the letterbox!
This aspect is called “street appeal”.
Stand outside your property, maybe even from the other side of the road and back, not with your usual eyes, but to be the incoming stranger, the “Buyer”.
What do you see? What can be brightened up immediately at the front gate?
Is it the front gate itself – that old latch or bit of rope, or is it the letterbox, or is it that a bit more gravel in the early part of the driveway would help.
We want this property to look as though it’s cared for.

2. Have a few hours in the front yard🌳

No, not sunbaking, but again imagine yourself as the stranger, the “Buyer”, and have a look around.
Are the edges of the garden beds being improved?
What about weeding and mulching?
Would it help to go down to the Nursery, spend the tiny amount of $ money on some colour – Petunias, Pansies, some small flowering shrubs, Dahlias can be sensational.
The lawn will need to be mowed – perhaps a round of “Weed and Feed?
Fertiliser and watering regularly for two weeks will make an enormous difference.

3. Look 👀 at that front door🚪

It’s so often that dogs have scratched it, or the flyscreen is torn, or the paint has well and truly faded.
Perhaps the front door sill has long since lost its stain or paint.
Perhaps even a good clean and a bit of polish on that face will make the whole, initial thing, look presentable and welcoming as a “home”.

4. (Agh!!) Let’s clean 🧼 the windows!

Agh! Indeed – none of us like cleaning windows. The good news is that dirty windows don’t show in photos.
However, they do show to the human eye, certainly to a prospective buyer’s discerning look.
Again, it represents maintenance. If the windows are dirty what about the carpets, ? , perhaps walls… and so on.
Would a relatively inexpensive clean up of the carpets help?
Curtains pulled back and tied with new “ribbons” – let that sunshine in!

5. Now around the house & backyard🧹🧹

Now let’s do a lap of the house and look for those spider webs, dirt splashed up from the garden on to the paint.
How about little bits of broken “this & that” are so easy to repair?
Out to the backyard and gaze down it, then walk to the bottom and gaze back up.
What do we see as a stranger, the “Buyer” – can there be a little pruning, garden bed made more obvious, even cheaply have some bricks put at an angle around it.
Mowing, “Weed and Feed”, watering for the two weeks will amaze.

6. Make the place brighter!!Replace light bulbs, up the wattage💡💡

The standard real estate practice is to turn every light in the house on.
This is because buyers focus on “LIGHT”.
Even the brightest places can be referred to by some buyers as “dark” – it’s really surprising.
Of course, when you’re actually living and using a house some rooms with dimmers or small bulbs are lovely – not for ‘Open Houses’.
The broken ones should be replaced, the dimmer ones, where practical and cost efficient, be replaced by brighter ones.

7. All rubbish EVERYWHERE gone!🛢

It’s amazing even the use of a sedan motor vehicle can achieve.
Maybe a mate has a ute, the tip’s not that far away.
You are going to have to pack up all your belongings soon enough, so let’s start with packing up all the rubbish.
The rubbish of course can include those “knick-knacks” that you’ve been meaning to throw out for a long time.
They’re actually simply cluttering the look of the benchtops that have to be cleared for photography.
Outside of course, and even under the house, incoming buyers can insist legally that this rubbish be removed –
Rubbish in the house, in the yard, or even under the house, is not “vacant possession” and by the Contract for the Sale of Land removal can be insisted upon.
So, let’s do it now!

8. Clean out gutters🏡& check tiles

The Building Report will comment almost certainly on the gutters, broken tiles, and that sort of thing around the roof.
Broken tiles may actually lead to internal water damage which again will be there, glaringly obvious, in the Report.
So, let’s do what the fire authorities wants us to do anyway, clean those gutters, check the tiles and replace broken ones.
The expense here is tiny compared to it becoming an issue in the Report.

9. Look👀 at ‘silly things’ the Report on Pest&Building might see & fix

This is simply good housekeeping.
Is there a cracked light switch, a wire exposed that “you’ve been meaning to fix”.
A sale has even been lost when a small bucket was left on the roof from when the tile was cracked, replaced, but the bucket left! “Why was it there” – suspicion!
Is there a window that rather obviously doesn’t close properly?
What about a broken curtain rod or dripping taps – any of those?
If you can get under the house, do so, and have a look around for any minor water or pests or deceased vermin.
Are the central heating “silver foil” tubes all tied up as they originally were?
Can this area be straightened out and tidied up at all?

10. Have a cup of tea️ & rest💤!

All done – deserved!



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