Presenting your property for sale

If you have ever done any form of marketing, chances are you will have come across the ‘4 Ps’: product, price, promotion and place. The theory being, if you get the product right, the rest is relatively easy. 

When it comes to selling your home, it pays to think of your house as a product, which has features and benefits over and above just shelter from the elements. It goes without saying really that the more desirable the features and benefits your property, the more people will be prepared to pay you for it.

The truth is that people tend to buy with emotion and then justify it with logic later. So, the key is to get your property as close to what your potential buyers think they want, without the cost exceeding the value added to your property.  This far from an exact science, however, there are a number of ways to add value for not much cost.

  • Having the place tidy and de-cluttered. Obviously this just requires a bit of time and effort, but it has huge returns, the main benefit of which being that your property looks more spacious.  In some cases, people may even get to see what colour the carpet is in your playroom.
  • The biggest bang for your buck comes a fresh coat of paint on the inside.  Light and neutral colours may seem boring, but they generally make rooms look bigger and lighter. Dark feature walls can make an effective statement, but be careful where you use these, as they can make rooms seem smaller and darker. A room can always be ‘jazzed up’ with bright, colourful furnishings and virtually everyone’s furniture goes with light neutral colours, so it makes it easier for prospective buyers to imagine themselves in there.
  • Staying with the inside of the house, staging is now very much a common practice and acceptable in Auckland. While you may love that comfy old sofa or chair, they could be knocking thousands off the value of your property, dragging down the impression of your living room or making the room seems smaller if it’s an inappropriate size. You may not need to change or move all of your furniture; our people can often work with what you have and simply move or replace some pieces to make your home look like it’s fit for the pages of a glossy magazine.
  • Light fittings are inexpensive, yet can make a big difference. Especially if you have gone to the trouble of fresh paint, those old light fittings will likely stand out like a sore thumb. Similarly, pre-made curtains are relatively low cost for the visual benefit that they lend to a room and the overall appeal of your property.
  • Kitchens and bathrooms are generally considered to be high-cost areas to renovate, however, provided plumbing and electrical wiring does not need to be moved, it may be worth going through the exercise and doing some work in this part of the house.  Make sure you get the appropriate consents, as needed, or this will come back to bite you.
  • Moving to the outside of the house, the same story with paint applies.  Your exterior of the house may not even need a paint; in some cases a chemical wash is all that's needed to make the paint look fresh. Waterblasting decks and paths will also make your property more saleable, adding perceived value in the eyes of prospective buyers.
  • Curbside appeal is important, so manicured lawns and good landscaping is vital. The fence, letterbox and entranceway should all be in good condition and looking attractive. Eyesores should be removed immediately.
  • The same applies to the backyard.  The financial benefit of good landscaping is highly underestimated, especially if your property has good indoor-outdoor flow. Often landscaping takes a few years of growth before it looks its best, but there are ways around this; for instance, planting more mature trees and shrubbery, so the financial benefit occurs at the time they sell.
  • This may seem extreme, but the look of your neighbours’ house will impact on the value of yours, as does the neighbourhood in general.  Obviously one has to be tactful in this area but even if you have to mow their lawns or cover up some tagging on their fence, it's worth it in the long run.
  •  Rental properties often need some extra ‘TLC’ too. In some cases, even after factoring in the lost rental return, you may be financially better off moving the tenant out to give the property a decent ‘spruce up’ before putting it on the market. In other cases, your tenants can stay on, but an incentive like a rent reduction, while the property is on the market, can help them to cooperate around access to the property.
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Home & Income Investment Property

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