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6 things to do before you list a property

By Matthew McCormack

1. Research & plan

Before you consider selling, research the market, focusing on properties in your area. Is it a good time to sell? Where do you intend to move next? What’s your budget, including moving? You don’t need all the answers, but you should develop a clear set of goals and have a realistic view of your finances before you invest time and money into preparing for sale.

Have you budgeted for moving after you sell?

2. Secure & maintain

If your property needs major repairs, ensure these are taken care of before you look to tempt prospective buyers. Make sure your home can pass inspections with flying colours. Don’t neglect smaller items, like replacing fixtures, patching holes, locks on windows or leaky taps. It’s the details that often make or break a home.

3. Spit & polish

If you’ve been putting off that big clean up, now’s the time. You’ll need a thorough, head to toe scrub to get an accurate assessment of what your property is worth, and have the best chance of enticing a buyer. Wash, buff, wax, freshen up with paint and remove unsightly wear and tear. Remember the importance of curb appeal. Spruce up the garden for optimal first impressions.

4. Make the emotional break

Arguably the most important step before selling your property is being able to bid it farewell and no longer see it as a home. Focus on your future rather than the past, and make peace with your property as a product to be marketed and sold. How will you channel your insights into a targeted campaign for a new owner?

5. Find a great agent

A great agent makes all the difference to your listing, and ultimately, your sale. Ask around and find a reputable agent you’re comfortable with, who understands the market nuances of your area. Flattery is lovely, but you want an agent who’s committed to frank, realistic dialogue about the market and your needs.

Look for honesty, not flattery, in a real estate agent.

6. Dress for success

Presentation, presentation, presentation! Get rid of clutter and overly personal items so buyers can picture themselves in your property. Invite as much light as possible, and remove unpleasant smells (like traces of pets). Get a second opinion to make sure you haven’t missed anything. Your agent and a professional home stager can offer an objective review before your home hits the limelight.

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