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How to get your Belconnen property ready for sale

By Ben Faulks

There could be something in the spring time air. Houses are being sold across Canberra like hot cakes.

According to CoreLogic RP Data, a total of 130 auctions were held during the weekend of 1 November; this figure was only 89 on the same weekend last year. Furthermore, sales have been strong as clearance rates have also stepped up in the local market.

In addition to this, CoreLogic RP Data also found that Canberra recorded a preliminary clearance rate of 68.7 per cent over the last weekend of October. To put things into context, this was the second highest reported by all the capital cities, even beating out powerhouses like Sydney (63.5 per cent) and Melbourne (65.4 per cent)

Perhaps this could be the signal you've been waiting for to put your Belconnen real estate onto the market and make some great profits. With this in mind, remember that the importance of presentation cannot be overstressed.

Judging a book by its cover

Initial impressions are often the most long lasting. When people arrive at your open inspection, the first thing they'll see is, of course, the exterior of your house.

According to home improvement site Ultimate Guide to Renovation, potential buyers spend an average of three to six minutes viewing a home that's open for inspection. Take advantage of every one of those minutes. Whether it's large and obvious features or the finer details, getting every part of your home's outer appearance spick and span should be a huge priority.

A good first impression opens many doors for a vendor.

Mow your lawns, prune any shrubs and as a nice touch, put fresh mulch into your garden beds right before your first open inspection.

The Real Estate Institute of South Australia (REISA) has outlined several tips that will invaluable for presenting your real estate in Belconnen.

Firstly, you'll want to start with the basics: cleaning. This includes wiping down windows and screens and clearing out any cobwebs you can find. Depending on how many trees you have around your Belconnen house, you may want to sweep away and get rid of any loose leaves around.

Next, look to remedy anything that has been worn out over time. This includes making repairs to any woodwork like fencing or letterboxes, and giving a fresh lick of paint to anything that may need it. As noted by Cherie Barber, director of Renovating for Profit, newly-painted walls are commonly cited as the number one way to add value to your property – plus, it's an improvement that won't put a hole in your wallet.

Don't forget to make sure all your green spaces look sharp. Mow your lawns, prune any shrubs and as a nice touch, put fresh mulch into your garden beds right before your first open inspection.

It could also save you a lot of awkwardness and trouble during the viewing to do a comprehensive inspection around the property before prospective buyers come through. Check that there aren't any broken seals on windows and look out for vermin or insects. Make any fixes where necessary.

It's the inside that counts

While an inviting exterior draws potential buyers in, it'll be the state of the interior that'll hold them there.

Start with something simple by getting rid of any clutter and things you no longer need. This could include furniture, toys, books, clothing and random bits here and there that makes the space look messy. Your closets are not excluded from this step, as buyers will look through every space they can. Neat and uncluttered closets will emphasise their spaciousness and show viewers just how much you can fit inside.

There are many organisations around Canberra that you could donate many of these goods to. If there are large items you want to give away, some charities like the Salvation Army can send a truck to collect them from your home.

Even the biggest wardrobes don't look the part when filled with mess.

Next, comes the spring cleaning. Wash windows, launder curtains, dust blinds, clean appliances and fittings and wipe down all surfaces to ensure everything looks sparkling and fresh for the big day.

According to figures from 2007 to 2008, around ten per cent of the population has asthma, says Asthma Australia. The last thing you want is viewers to start having an asthmatic reaction from dust or allergens in your home – it certainly won't do great things for their inspection impression!

Also, if there are any stains or odours coming from your carpets, don't hesitate to have them professionally cleaned.

As mentioned previously, paint any walls or ceilings if they could benefit from a fresh coat. To be safe, use a neutral hue. This will prevent you from turning away any potential buyers who might be turned off by certain bold colours.

During the viewing

Leave windows open to let cool breezes in if you're selling your home in a hotter season.

And what about the big day itself?

There are a few simple ways to maximise the look of your Belconnen house during the open viewing. For instance, open all curtains and blinds to let natural light in. If it's winter, ensure that your property is warm. On the flip side, leave windows open to let cool breezes in if you're selling your home in a hotter season. You want potential buyers to feel as comfortable as possible when inside your house.

When people view your Belconnen property, remember that they're inspecting it with all their senses whether or not they're aware of it. Having a pleasant aroma wafting around your home could do wonders for your inspection. As mentioned by a 2013 Wall Street Journal article, research from Eric Spangenberg, dean of Washington State University's business college, shows that the smell of lemon, green tea, cedar, pine, basil and vanilla are the best scents to have during a viewing.

Now that you have few good tips under your arm, you can be confident when putting your Belconnen home up for sale. Get in touch with Ray White Belconnen for all your home sales and marketing needs.

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