Presentation can put your home above others

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First impressions count, and none more so than when trying to sell your home. Leave the lawns long, the cat’s litter tray overflowing, clothes strewn across the floor, or kitchen benches laden with dishes and you may struggle to sell or get the best price. LEIGH SPENCER shares presentation tips from those whose job it is to help sellers get it right.

IT only takes a moment for a potential buyer to decide whether a house is for them, Ray White Invercargill principal Philip Brough says.
‘ One thing that always comes through and that the purchaser can sense, appreciates and buys into, is an owner’s pride about their
property. ‘
— Ray White Invercargill principal
Philip Brough
‘‘Buyers’ emotional investment in a property happens the moment they see a house for the first time.’’
Mr Brough said while there were many reasons a person liked a house, a well presented home would ‘‘sell itself’’.
‘‘One thing that always comes through, and that the purchaser can sense, appreciates and buys into, is an owner’s pride about their property.’’
That pride was often reflected in attention to detail — like making sure maintenance was up to scratch, with no grass growing in the spouting or paint peeling on eaves and fascia boards. There were other cosmetic considerations like making sure walkways, patios and decks were waterblasted so they looked new, fresh and clean.
Gardens and lawns also needed to be tidy or sellers were inviting ‘‘bargain hunters’’, he said.
Mr Brough recommended home owners with a lot of clutter store surplus possessions in the garage rather than in the house, because people tended not to buy a home because of a garage.
Presenting a home in the best possible light could often be the difference between total success or total failure — receiving a buyer inquiry or not — Professionals Mac-Pherson Real Estate general manager Jon Irving said.
And creating that platform for success required co-ordination, teamwork and experienced marketers, he said.
Two of his company’s marketing consultants Nicola Lindsay and Jillian Clayton, who between them have more than 20 years’ design and marketing experience, have information for clients that offered helpful tips on decluttering, redressing and letting owners know what should go and what should stay.
To ensure potential buyers got the best first impression, the outside of the home had to be appealing, Mr Irving said.
With this in mind, it was important home owners made sure gardens and lawns were maintained, and required repairs did not detract.
Interiors could be freshened by changing bedspreads and decluttering, he said. However, immaculate but dated homes were best left undisturbed because it ‘‘would not put people off’’.
Being able to visualise the end result when dressing vacant homes for sale is a skill activeINTERIORS owner Lynn Mouat has mastered.
Dressing a property for sale took between one to one and a half days, she said.
For homeowners wanting to dress their home themselves, she recommended:

• Decluttering

• Cleaning both inside and outside

• Repairing any obvious defects (ie holes in walls/doors)

• Removing personal effects or items you don’t want displayed

• Ensuring open homes feel homely (ie opening windows and having fresh vases of flowers in summer, and having the home heated and the lights on in winter)
These things were important because potential buyers could often not see past an untidy house, she said.
She recommended vendors talk to their real estate agent.
‘‘Agents know the best fit with regards to how a house should be taken to the current market place.’’

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