Step 3 – Prepare Your Home for Marketing

Steps to prepare

1. Declutter and clean, clean, clean

A pristine, sparkling clean home says, “I care about this home. I’ve looked after it.” So, the person who purchases this home is going to benefit from the love, care, and attention you’ve given the home during your ownership.

2. Think about who you are appealing to

Think about who you think will want to buy the home and make the surroundings appeal to that potential buyer. Market the home to suit the purchaser.

  • Is it a singles person’s apartment?
  • Is it designed for couples?
  • Is it a first homebuyer’s home?
  • Or is it a family home?

Think about your buyer and the atmosphere you’re trying to create.

3. The front of the home must create a strong first impression

Most buyers, particularly women, make up their mind between getting out of the car and about 30 seconds after walking through the front door. What buyers see in the photographs on the web have to match what they see when they get out of the car. You have to make the impact.

Photos should focus on the strengths and minimise any potential weaknesses.

Make sure the front yard is clean. Lawns should be manicured and lush. Hedges and edges must be trimmed, neat and tidy. Clear out the cobwebs, get rid of peeling paint and grime. Sugar soap or wash the gutters, eaves, fascia’s, weatherboards and Colourbond roofs. The front of the house must be pristine. With tiled roofs ascertain whether it is actually worth the investment of getting it refinished and resprayed. Generally, in most cases, it’s not going to be too obvious in photos, but it may become an issue through a sales negotiation.

Declutter the verandah. Make sure nothing is on there that don’t actually belong there. Paint the doorjambs in a high gloss.

Make sure the front yard is clean. Lawns should be manicured and lush. Hedges and edges must be trimmed, neat and tidy. Clear out the cobwebs, get rid of peeling paint and grime. Sugar soap or wash the gutters, eaves, fascia’s, weatherboards and Colourbond roofs. The front of the house must be pristine.

4. Present the home to suit the purchaser

Once inside the home, minimise the amount of furniture in the rooms and utilise the furniture that’s going to make an impact. You want to create a scenario that will stimulate the kind of emotions that you’re targeting in your buyer.

For example, if you are marketing a home to a family, keep the chalkboard and some posters in a child’s bedroom because you want to create that family ambience.

5. Kitchen

Declutter! A fridge should not be noticeable – it should be white, silver, or neutral. Remove all personal items – the pen-stands, the sunglasses, the phone chargers. Add a few touches, depending on who you are appealing to. Add a fruit bowl or fresh flowers or a plant.

Think about your buyer and the atmosphere you’re trying to create. Clean, clean, clean that stainless steel, give it a good scrub-down. All the surfaces should be gleaming.

Remove the personal touches, whether it’s kids’ report cards or the magnetic stickers from the fridge. Remove the tea towels, remove the pet bowls, and remove the rubbish bin and the dirty dishes from the shots!

6. Lounge room

If you have any kind of view from your lounge room over the backyard, the beaches, or the hills – maximise it. Clean the windows and be careful about window treatments. Remove lace curtains as they date the home and minimise what the photographer can do to show the views. Photographers will lift those blinds up, pull back the verticals, so the backyard, the views, the deck, and the outside entertaining areas can be seen.

7. Bathroom

The bathroom is one of the greatest challenges, because the bathroom is always a work in progress, particularly for family homes. This is one room that should be cleaned by professionals. Bathrooms need to feel absolutely germ-free; they need to be almost clinical. You want to be able to see through the shower glass so that it doesn’t impact upon the atmosphere you’re creating for the rest of the bathroom – it has to be absolutely translucent. Polish the mirror. Make sure that any cobwebs or the dust, for instance on the exhaust fan, has been removed. Any chrome items must be given a good polish.

Bathrooms are also challenging because there are so many bright, shiny reflective surfaces. The quality of the photographer is revealed with shots of the bathroom. Any failure to catch every scrap of grime or dirt or streak will show up in a photo. Decluttering is most important in the bathroom. In such a small space, any clutter is going to be far more obvious. Take out the toothbrushes and any other personal items that may detract.

8. Bedrooms

Declutter and clean and turn on the bedside lights as they create a beautiful glow. Contrasting bed linen and the wall treatments work well but be careful. Assess the view out of the bedroom windows – if it’s not a particularly attractive view, take the focus away from the window with a nice big painting, photo or something else that will draw the attention away. If you want to focus the attention on a hill view or a beach view, or just a nice outlook, take away any objects that will distract the eye from the window. Polish the mirrors. Make sure that any cobwebs or the dust, for instance on the exhaust fan, has been removed. Any chrome items must be given a good polish.

9. Entertainment areas

With these areas, try and create a certain ambience that will appeal to your buyer. Think about the atmosphere you’re trying to create. Whether it’s the deck, the verandah, a balcony, how does it integrate with the rest of the atmosphere you’re trying to sell? For example, if it’s a waterfront home, you want to be able to show a balcony set up with a barbecue and chairs so that people can imagine themselves using it with friends on a summer evening.

10. The pool

Make sure you give some attention to the pool – it’s got to be sparkling before it is photographed and when the house goes on the market. Make sure all pool accessories – the empty chlorine bottles, the chemical containers, the pool cleaners, the brooms, the kids’ boogie boards, and the floatation rings are all packed away. Make sure it remains like that for the rest of the marketing campaign.

11. Keep the lights on

Lights are essential – even in the daytime, you’re always going to be shooting with lights on. Most professional photographers are going to create an ambience somewhere between using their flash equipment and utilising the available sunlight as well as the lights.

12. Replace all the faulty globes

Make sure they’re fresh, and if the property is vacant make sure the electricity is still connected.

Preparing & Maximising Your Home for Profit – Step 2


Regardless of whether you’re considering putting your home on the market or completely resolute on the idea of selling, this guide will guide you through the steps to maximise your outcome and ensure the result is the very best one. In the following blog post we will outline everything to help you in this process, over three key phases.

Step 2 – Your plan of Action

Think like a purchaser

The golden rule of thumb is: if something needs to be repaired, fix it! Walk through and be picky – try and see what a potential purchaser will see, not what you have overlooked for years.

Buyers will mentally add up their perceived costs of repairing all those minor flaws and end up with an amount that is generally much higher than your actual costs will be. You may believe the repairs are insignificant, however the buyer may question the maintenance and upkeep of the rest of the property.

Necessary, non-critical minor repairs and perceived owner neglect will either lower the price or lengthen the time taken to sell.

Look at the colour palette throughout your home. If you have used striking, bold colours, it might be time to neutralise them. Your objective is to make your home appeal to the largest possible segment of the market. The market is always driven by buyer demand and a buyer find it hard to look beyond bright carpeting and bold wallpapers.

Plan of action checklist


  • The front of your house is one of the first things a buyer sees. Sweep and wash the driveway and walkways to remove debris, dirt and stains. Remove any oil stains if possible. Repair and patch any cracks
  • Check your fence for any loose or broken posts and replace any rotted wood
  • Check gutters for leaks or damage and remove debris
  • Lawn care: mow high and often. Feed the lawn with fertiliser, treat weeds, and aerate the lawn in high traffic areas
  • Trim your plants back with secateurs
  • Promptly pull out weeds or spray with specialised weed killer as soon as they appear and before they set seed
  • Mulch garden beds to prevent soil drying out too quickly and to hinder weed growth
  • Inspect exterior paint and touch up as needed
  • Clean and seal decks if needed
  • Cut back overhanging trees from the roofline
  • Repair/replace any damaged window screen mesh
  • Inspect walls and ceilings for cracks, leaks, mildew or water stains
  • Clean out your irrigation system twice a year to ensure your plants get the best quality water and at the same time remove material that can settle in the lines and block the filters.
  • (Unscrew the drip or spray outlets, flush the line, then clean the filter)
  • Inspect roof for damage
  • Winterise the pool
  • Reseal concrete areas to prevent cracking and deterioration


  • Check smoke detectors
  • Clean and disinfect the dishwasher by operating it when it’s empty and putting bicarbonate soda in the
  • detergent tray and vinegar in the rinse holder
  • Vacuum refrigerator coils and empty waste containers
  • Check doors and windows for cracked seals and peeling paint –
  • repair as needed
  • Dust/vacuum the tops of cupboards
  • Move furniture that you don’t normally move and vacuum thoroughly
  • Inspect bathroom tiles, kitchen tiles and sinks – reseal where needed
  • Soften potentially offending views, but always let light into your rooms, consider replacing heavy curtains with something lighter
  • Wash and clean all windows, curtains and blinds
  • Clean light fittings and skylights. If your kitchen has fluorescent lighting fixtures, use ‘warm-white’ bulbs for a bright appearance
  • Clean kitchen exhaust hood and filter
  • Clean sliding doors and window tracks
  • Clean debris from ceiling fan blades/air conditioner fan blades before using
  • Check taps and plumbing supply lines for signs of leakage
  • Test the pressure relief valve on your hot water system to ensure it hasn’t seized up
  • Repair loose knobs, latches or
  • handles on doors
  • Make storage areas appear generous and well planned, remove and store all out-of-season clothing
  • Remove any items from the floor area of the wardrobes – this will make them seem more spacious
  • Hang an air freshener in the
  • wardrobe for a pleasant fragrance ensuring wardrobes smell fresh and clean
  • Ensure all wardrobe lights are in working order
  • Add battery lights to wardrobes that lack built-in lighting, as illuminated wardrobes appear bigger and more attractive

Notes and Contacts

Getting your home ready for sale can sometimes require the help of specific trades. If you don’t know of anyone who you could use feel free to contact the Reed & Co. Team and we can provide you with a copy of our “little White Book”, a valuable reference tool for the home, filled with highly recommended tradespeople and local professional.

When it comes time to market your property, there are no shortcuts to obtaining a great price.

A lot of preparation has to be undertaken to make sure your property hooks and pulls a potential buyer in. When a buyer sees your property online or in person, she or he must think, “that’s the one!”

Photographs of your property are one of the main ways to draw in a buyer. They matter because they are the first point of contact that a buyer has with your property. Therefore, it is essential that you present your property in the best possible way. Excellent presentation and high-quality photographs seduce a buyer into a home.

Preparing your home for photography or video go hand-in-hand. If you’re preparing a property for photos, that’s exactly the way it should appear for each and every open home, for each and every buyer inspection, and throughout the marketing campaign.

Preparing & Maximising Your Home for Profit – Step 1


Regardless of whether you’re considering putting your home on the market or completely resolute on the idea of selling, this guide will guide you through the steps to maximise your outcome and ensure the result is the very best one. In the following blog posts, we will outline everything to help you in this process, over three key phases.

Step 1 – What to Consider

Your home is your greatest asset

In life and real estate, it is often said that your principal place of residence is possibly your biggest asset. As industry professionals we find this true for so many people in the community who we represent.

With this in mind it is important that you do all you can to maintain the property throughout its lifetime, in order to protect and grow your asset. This way, at the time of eventual sale, you receive the best possible cash profit from your investment.

Your home could deliver you a tax-free windfall

Selling your home is a valuable opportunity for wealth and profit. Unlike other financial investments, your principal place of residence is free from capital gains tax and stamp duty.

Selling is a one-off opportunity for profit

Therefore, a chance of a tax-free gain is rare and should be seized with both hands. Selling is a one-off opportunity for profit Selling your home presents a unique opportunity to make a good deal of money without you having to work hard for it.

Typically, every dollar your home sells for over the perceived market value is worth two dollars of your hard-earned labour. Secure the dollars you deserve for the property you own. You get only one chance to sell for profit and then the value passes on to the next owner – so make the most of it!

Clean and tidy homes generally sell better

If you do the work for a potential buyer and your property is clean, crisp, complete and:

  • is well maintained and freshly painted;
  • has manicured lawns and the gutters and downpipes are free from rust and holes.
  • has eaves that are spotless and fresh.

This could have a significant impact at sale time. You have the potential to earn significantly more than you expect. The magic happens when you take the hard work out of the equation. Everyone is so busy, potential buyers are often prepared to pay for somebody else’s sweat and effort. You can profit from that.

A home that doesn’t require work is more attractive

Maintaining and preparing your home for profit is a successful strategy for everyone involved.

Often incoming purchasers are stretched to their limit and would not qualify for a renovation loan. This is the reason why people will pay more for a finished, neat and well-maintained property.

A bank will loan on a property’s actual current value. A bank does not favour lending on unfinished or damaged properties. However, if the property has a clean bill of health, the new purchaser is effectively getting a renovation loan on a product with no risk.

Preparing YourHome For An Open For Inspection


Potential buyers are looking for love at first sight. They are seeking that immediate attraction, something that makes their heart beat faster, complimented by good looks and a little charm. Here are ten tips on getting buyers to fall for your place.

Looking Your Best

Street appeal is so important and first impressions matter. Your home’s exterior is the first thing people see when inspecting so tidy the yard, put out fresh mulch in the garden and add a new latch to the fence so that it opens easily. Give the fence a fresh coat of paint, wash the house and acid wash your pavers or concrete paths.

Meet You At The Front Door

Your agent will greet your potential buyer at the front door. They may take their shoes off and will definitely have time to look around at this point. The front door needs to be clean with a homely touch, such as twin pot plants or as simple as a nice doormat.

Spring Clean

This can be difficult but display your property like a house and not your home. De-cluttering will make the whole house feel larger and take away distractions from the buyer so that they can focus on the house, keep things simple. Remove family photos, take all appliances off the kitchen bench tops and all those sticky notes off the fridge. You should present a blank canvas for the buyer to picture their own lives in.


Let There Be Light

If the temperature is right, open up your windows, French doors and curtains, creating light and breezes. This allows potential buyers to feel comfortable as soon as they walk through the door. Put the lights on, even in the daytime, especially in kitchens and bathrooms, lamps are also effective. A well-lit home is more attractive to buyers.

Expecting Someone

Present the house as if you are about to have friends over. Put a jug of water and nice glasses out. If you have a deck or courtyard, focus your efforts there rather than the formal dining area that is not regularly used.  

In Bloom

Use fresh flowers, they can really lift a room and give it a touch of class. Choose flowers that are in season, single colours, or at most two and use colours that complement the colour scheme of the room.

Bedroom Etiquette

Make sure your bedspread is crisply ironed and the bed is perfectly made. Purchase a new doona cover if the ones you have are old but keep it neutral. A blanket neatly folded at the bottom of the bed is very effective. Ultimately, you want it to look like a hotel so add extra pillows and make your bed the feature.

Styling The Bathroom

Soaps, hand towels, towels, and bath oils should be displayed in the bathrooms again to look like guests are coming over. Buy a beautiful set of towels and new quality soaps that you just use for inspections.

Creating The Mood

Music works extremely well as buyers can freely look and talk about the house without feeling like someone is watching over them.  We want the experience to be as comfortable as possible for the buyers. We also want buyers to linger longer as the more time they spend in your home the more chance of them loving it!

Your Best Hour

Finally, know the best hours of the day to present your house. If your house faces West, it is better to do an open house in the morning. This is important if you do not have an air-conditioner. If your house has a lot of shade, hold open houses in the warmer hours. Work out when the entertaining areas are sunlit but not too hot.