Achieving the best outcome for your property is all about presentation, promotion and positioning. The effort you make to prepare your house for sale now will not only impress visitors at open-for-inspections, but also result in far more appealing photos — and these days it’s the images people see online that can drive a potential sale forward or stop it in its tracks.

Follow this simple guide to present your home in its best light and you’re already a step ahead of the competition.

1. Make a great first impression

Stand well back from your house and take a good look — if the garden needs a tidy up, the trim needs repainting or the front gate has seen better days, now is the time to get those jobs done. Weeds, peeling paint and sagging hinges all spell work for potential buyers and are an instant turn-off. Instead, aim for neat pathways, mown lawns and a home that looks well-maintained and easy to care for.

2. Clear away the clutter

Unless it beautifies or serves a functional purpose, remove it. Your aim is to show off the space, so avoid too much furniture in a room or knick-knacks that distract rather than enhance. On the flipside, don’t clear away so much clutter that a room looks empty or lacking soul. Seek to make every room look inviting. And don’t forget about verandahs, garages and sheds. Rehome any items you’re not planning to take with you when you move.

3. Make it sparkling clean

Buyers instantly pick up on cooking and pet smells, dusty shelves and bathrooms that are less than fresh when they visit a property so do whatever it takes to clean your house thoroughly inside and out. Windows, in particular, need to be spotless. You might be surprised at how much brighter your home looks when seemingly invisible grime is cleaned away. Cobwebs can accumulate under eaves and around doors and windows without you noticing so be sure to keep an eye out for these when you’re cleaning the windows.

4. Let buyers imagine themselves living there

Personal items and family photographs give would-be buyers a good sense of who lives in the house but it makes it harder for them to see themselves in the space. Remove children’s artwork from the fridge, pack away personal bathroom items, store framed photos in drawers.

5. Style your home for success

The best real estate agents will have professional stylists and home stagers on hand to help ready your home for photography and open homes, but if you’re taking on this task yourself, a quick browse on Houzz or Pinterest will give you valuable styling ideas to make your house looks its best. Simply updating cushions, removing some of the furniture, and adding plants and vases of flowers can make a big difference.

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Market insights and recommendations on getting ready to sell.

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