The smarter way of buying and selling real estate

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You can prepare your home for sale by doing it yourself or you can engage an expert home stager. Using an expert home stager is a great option if you’re time poor, spatially challenged or just can’t be bothered with the hassle.
On the other hand, if you like the idea of rolling up your sleeves and doing it yourself and you want to save some dollars, you can achieve great results if you follow some practical and straight forward rules.

Regardless of which approach you adopt; the objective is the same – you want to increase the appeal of your property for prospective buyers. If the market is busy, a well presented home will always have more appeal and will generally sell faster and often for a higher price. If the market is quiet however, a well presented home will always stand out and attract more attention.

DIY home staging 

Doing it yourself is a good opportunity to review what you do and don’t want in your next home, however it can be hard to cast a critical eye over your beloved abode. You need to take a step back, and look at your home from an external point of view, carefully inspecting every part of your home -  from the street view and outdoors, each room and finally checking all storage areas, cupboards and wardrobes. We have seven handy tips to help you out. 

1.    Enhance your home’s street appeal

You want people to fall in love with your property from the moment they walk through the gate or up the pathway. 
So get started by tidying the garden. Get rid of all the weeds, fill any gaps if the garden beds are looking a bit sparse by planting cheap and cheerful flowering bi-annuals as fillers. Chuck out any potted plants that look tired and consider whether a gorgeous potted plant at the entrance will enhance your property’s appeal. 
Mow the lawns, clip the edges, sweep any paths and if necessary water blast to remove mould and discolouration from fences and driveways. Then move onto removing any outdoor stuff that is old, broken, unnecessary or likely to create obstacles for visitors. And don’t forget the principle that less is more. Prospective buyers want to see possibilities and this can be hard to do when their view is obscured by unnecessary clutter. 

2.    Declutter every room, cupboard and shelf in your house

The same rule for outdoors, applies indoors. You want to create a real sense of space, so be absolutely brutal. Prospective buyers want to envisage how they will use the space, which means they don’t want to see clutter on benchtops, every appliance you ever use on display, desks covered in papers and shelves littered with photos of the family.  If you need to hire a storage unit for a couple of months so you can create space in your place, do it. It will be worth the investment. If cupboard space in your home is in short supply, having crammed cupboards will only confirm that this is a problem feature, so clear them out.

3.    Spring clean from top to bottom

Your house needs to sparkle and smell spotless. Remember you want people to focus on the positive features of your house - grubby walls and dirty carpets are a distraction. Approach this like spring cleaning – one room at a time. Polish every surface including balustrades, sinks and taps until the whole house is gleaming. 
And don’t forget the windows inside and out. You’ll be amazed at how much extra light you let into the house by simply cleaning the windows. Once you’ve finished we promise you’ll find it will be much easier to keep your place spotless on the days you’re holding open homes. 

4.    Repairs and maintenance

Start work on addressing any obvious deferred maintenance, replace missing light bulbs, rehang curtains that have come off their hooks, replace discoloured light switch surrounds, wash or dryclean cushion clip covers and double check there is nothing that needs doing that could intrude on a positive viewing experience for any prospective buyers. 
People spot problems very quickly, which distorts their impression of the house’s appeal, i.e. they often over estimate the cost, time and inconvenience to fix a small problem and this can be the difference between a sale and no sale.

5.    Tidy and put away every day

Get into the habit of tidying things away every single day. It’s hard work, but console yourself with the thought that the extra effort will pay dividends. 
That means, removing all personal care stuff off surfaces in the bathroom/s, popping laundry in the bin or the machine, storing the iron and board away, removing dirty dishes in the sink and making sure that all benches are completely clear of draining dishes and any other clutter.
Then you need to wipe all surfaces every day - particularly in the bathrooms, kitchen and laundry.  

6.    Give every room a function

When people buy a home, they are buying space and they don’t want to pay for space they can’t envisage using, so give each room a function and one that they can remember.
If you have a spare room where you regularly dump all unessential stuff, clear it out and convert it into a study, rec room, small bedroom etc. If you use the dining table as your home office, whatever you do clear away the laptop and printer before the start of your open home. Remember a dining table signals that this is a dining area, not an office.

7.    Grow your home, room by room 

Don’t forget, buyers are buying space. So make the most of the space you have to sell.
Think of ways of making each room in your house look bigger. A great way to do this is to thin out your furniture to make the room look larger. 
Another thing you can do, is increase the wattage of all light bulbs throughout the house so you lighten rooms, creating an illusion of more space. If a bed is too big for a room, remove it and put in a smaller bed and remove any superfluous clutter. The trick is to keep the lines of the room clean... lovely clear surfaces and minimal objects. Now you’ll have viewers imagining what they can do with the space.  

Professional home staging

Home stagers are very skilled at creating exactly the right impression from the moment that a prospective buyer walks into your home until the moment they leave. They are also particularly adept at curating exactly the right look for the house as a whole and room by room, so that it’s perfectly positioned for the type of buyer that will be most attracted to the property.
Every property is different, so they will do a thorough inspection first, confirm a brief and then propose a solution. In some cases, they will remove every item of furniture from the house and start again from scratch. Other times they will replace the odd piece of furniture, rearrange the layout, and focus more on decluttering and assessing what works and what doesn’t. 

Auckland home staging options:

Open homes

Choose the best time of the day to show off your home to optimal effect. You need to think about sun and light. Light and warmth in a living area, for example, is always advantageous because prospective buyers always want to know about north-facing living.

Always air the house a few hours before people arrive, to remove any cooking or pet odours. If you must use an air freshener do so, but never overdo it as people are often suspicious of artificial scents or can even be allergic to them. On the other hand, the smell of cut flowers or fresh coffee are positive aromas that can positively influence a prospective buyer’s impression of your home.  

Music – playing light classical or jazz in the background can also be another subtle, yet positive influence. Half an hour before viewers start arriving, take a final look around – wipe all kitchen and bathroom surfaces and put away personal toiletries and check that all valuables have been securely locked away. 

Draw back all curtains to let in as much light as possible and depending on the season, open windows and doors or turn on some form of heating to take the chill off the air if it’s cold. If you have a radiant gas fire, a flickering flame even at low heat will enhance the ambiance of any room. 

Turn on lights even if it’s a bright day to illuminate the interior to its best advantage.
Another trick is to give all plants and trees, close to the house, a light sprinkle with a hose so the foliage looks fresh, shiny and healthy. This just adds another touch of sparkle to the overall presentation of your property.

And finally check that the entrances, back and front, are sparkling clean and free of any clutter.

Key Tips for running an open home
  • Do not ever negotiate in an open home. It’s important to answer questions by the purchasers at open homes. But don’t fall into the trap of letting a potential purchaser trying to get you to say a price, unless of course your property has a buy me now price. Be polite and say if you are interested please register with Proppy so that they can place an offer online.
  • Always, let the market dictate the price. If a buyer is really interested, they will either place a formal offer, or bid at the Online Auction. (Only then will you know if they are a legitimate buyer or not).
  • Leave it to the Proppy team to talk with the potential buyer around price type questions (remember we are an experienced, and a licensed agency, so we can deal with questions of this nature). By the way, our answer largely will be much the same as above – let the market do the work! We will be informing the buyers with the following information - if you are serious about buying the property then put forward a formal offer through Proppy (digitally signed), and we will ensure it is taken through to the seller immediately for their review. How exciting!
  • Never ever leave valuables out - you can’t be everywhere on the day!
  • As tempting as it is, do let the potential buyers peruse the property without you following them around. Remember, they want to see it, experience it, and get a feeling for it. You are always in control with Proppy, so if you do have aspects of the property that need to be spelled out then do so. You will find it fun! For example, you will know which way the sun comes up and all sorts of interesting things that people turning up won’t. Share your knowledge!
  • Our technology allows us to see who is keen on your property and you can see these analytics on your listing detail page. However, there will be people that may show up at your open home out of the blue - especially when they see our beautiful colourful signage outside your property. Please make sure to take their contact details for security reasons and then also pass the details on to Proppy so that we can call them and answer any further questions that they may have about the property.
  • Hazards! If you have health and safety issues or hazards be very careful to get them identified early. An example, may be a power cord running along the carpet which someone may trip on and possibly hurt themselves. Just be aware of hazards and please remove them before anyone turns up.
  • Do take an entry log of people attending your open home if possible.
  • Be friendly, relax, and enjoy it – remember you know your property better than any agent!

Selling a property with weathertightness issues

Policy for selling a property with monolithic cladding and weathertightness issues:

Proppy will ask you to disclose if you are aware if your house or property has water tightness issues. We will also ask the owner to provide a written statement outlining any alterations or additions they have made to the property and confirming the structural integrity and weather tightness of the property.

This content will then be provided to us and we will pass this onto purchasers during the sale of the property. While all properties listed on have an independent building report, we strongly advise purchasers to obtain their own.

The sale and purchase agreement or auction agreement documenting the sale of the property will include a disclaimer confirming the purchaser is relying on their own judgment and not on any representations made by the owner. 

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