Does the thought of selling your home make you want to hide under a rock? You’re not alone! But there are ways to minimise anxiety with a few simple tips.
“Most people find selling their family home more stressful than other major life events,” says agent Suzie Brannelly, and it’s not hard to see why.
The family home is often their greatest asset, so selling it in order to buy another house can seem like a high-risk activity. Having a support team around you will help you feel safer and will increase the likelihood of maximising your home’s selling potential.
We’ve spoken to a handful of experts to get their most practical tips for minimising stress in the selling process, while optimising your potential sale price.
Property stylist Jane Newey of House Interiors says the first thing she tells clients is to “let go”.
It might sound airy-fairy but it’s important to come to terms with the fact that it’s not your home anymore, Jane explains.
Understandably, some people are very attached to their things and a home they may have lived in for many years, but it’s important to not take it personally when an agent or property stylist suggests a change.
When it comes to selling your home there are few people who will be more helpful than a great agent.
Once you’ve found your agent you need to listen to them and take their advice, says Jane.
“If your agent says paint, then paint. They know the area, they’ve got the experience – trust that they know what they’re talking about. If they’re giving you really practical advice then it’s a no-brainer”.
A great agent will not only help with the logistical side of selling your home but the right one will have a fountain of knowledge about the specifics of your area; they’ll know trusted tradespeople and have the experience to be able to give you the best advice.
At the beginning of the process, before the listing goes live, write up a timeline, Jane suggests.
“Figure out what needs to be done and set the plan for when it will happen. Each weekend do one job until everything gets done,” she says.
“Get rid of the kids for the weekend to make sure they’re not around when it comes to the inspection. Send them off on the Friday night before an inspection; it’ll be one less stress for Saturday morning.”
Now’s the time to start getting those jobs done to get your house looking its best. Picture: realestate.com.au/buy
It goes without saying that the house needs to be clean, but Jane suggests preparing yourself for a time of living in a showroom-like space for weeks, if not months, while you have inspections.
Do yourself a favour and don’t throw any parties or host large dinner parties if things are likely to get messy.
Maintaining a high level of cleanliness is important when selling your home. Picture: realestate.com.au/buy
Make life easier for yourselves and postpone these until you can throw a housewarming in your new place.
The best-case scenario during this time is often upping stumps and moving the family out of the space altogether, says Jane.
This will come at a considerable cost, however, so you need to weigh this up with the rest of your priorities.
Jane suggests finding a place to store the family mementos, excess furniture, photographs and less-than-beautiful belongings.
“Find somewhere to put your stuff. Whether it’s in a storage facility or a friend’s garage – take this opportunity to embrace the move and start getting yourself and the family ready for the next stage,” says Jane.
Buyers want to imagine themselves in the house, not be presented with all your family’s belongings. Picture: realestate.com.au/buy
Buyer’s advocate Sebastian James suggests making property reports available for free.
“Consider pre-purchasing the building and pest inspection report or a strata report (if strata-titled) and making it easily available for buyers to download for free,” Sebastian says.
“A lot of buyers are very risk-averse and being transparent as to the condition of the property will help build trust with the buyer, and help them confidently make an educated decision.”
Sebastian also advises against skimping on styling and presentation for listing photos and inspections.
“Nothing frustrates buyers more than listings with poor-quality photos, lazy presentation or a lack of basic information like floor plans,” he says.
“The more information you can provide buyers, the easier it will be for buyers to imagine themselves in the property, become emotionally attached and ultimately make a quick decision.”
Styling a home is more than just making it look pretty; it’s all about showing off the home to its maximum potential.
A stylist will know exactly how many seats you need in a space. Picture: realestate.com.au/buy
While it might be obvious that having a table that’s too big will make a room look small, it takes a professional to see the possibilities of the space in a way you might not be able to.
By adding in the right furniture and decoration, stylists can create cosy nooks and extra entertaining spaces you might not have even considered, which could add considerable value to the home.
Property stylists will help you present all the great aspects of your home to their full potential and minimise anything that’s not a selling point.
If the upfront cost of high-quality marketing, staging and styling is a concern ask your selling agent if they can defer the marketing costs until settlement,” Sebastian says.
“There are some amazing deferred payment solutions for both vendors and agents like ListReady, which help to reduce the financial stress associated with selling – so being cheap for the sake of it and not giving your property the exposure it needs should well and truly be a thing of the past.”
If you’re a household with kids or pets, it might be worth considering enlisting a regular cleaner and not just around the times you’re having inspections.
Keeping the house at the level of cleanliness that buyers expect is no easy task, so don’t be hard on yourself if you find it stressful and time-consuming to maintain that.
Professional cleaners will get the job in half the time and it’ll be easier for you to maintain between visits.