Yellow Brick Road: Home

Home Preparation Secrets That Every Seller Should Know

In this article:

How to dress your home for sale and make it memorable to potential buyers.

Your home is on the market, and you’re getting ready for the first open house inspection. You know it’s essential to keep it clean and tidy, but what else can you do to make it stand out from the crowd?

Here we share the strategies used by home stylists to help make buyers think your home could be their home.

1. Create a blank canvas

Pack away anything specific to you and your family: photos, certificates, medals, memorabilia and framed prints. Even toothbrushes and razors should go.

Aim to create an environment where buyers can picture themselves living. If your personal effects are all around, it’s that much harder for people to imagine the space as theirs.

Do the same for over-the-top or outdated furniture items and decorations. But don’t par back so much that you strip your home of its livable character. Aim for a contemporary look that broadens the property’s market appeal.


Don’t leave the job of removing wall hangings to the last minute as you may need to patch up picture hook holes with putty and paint.

2. Organise your storage

Don’t think that a mess behind cupboard doors is free from prying eyes. Buyers will open your wardrobes and closets, so be prepared to surprise them – in a good way!

Empty half the contents of your storage spaces to give the impression of space aplenty. Organise and tidy the remaining contents. Ideas include separating items into labelled boxes; grouping things; colour coding; and using drawer dividers.


Be creative with storage ideas. Hang garden tools in the garage, and use empty under-bed space to store linen in rolling crates.

3. Focus on curb appeal

If your home doesn’t make a good first impression from the outside, buyers may write it off before they even look inside.

Apart from a well-maintained garden and exterior façade, don’t forget the little details that might turn buyers off like clogged gutters, peeling paint, mildew on window sidings and overfilled garbage bins. Ideally, move the bins out of sight, especially if they’re positioned near the home’s entry.


Make sure buyers can clearly read your house number, and purchase a new welcome mat if yours is old and ratty.

Take the first step

4. Clean inside and out​

It’s obvious you need to present a clean house for a property inspection, but we’re not talking about a standard weekly clean. Instead, think spotless and sparkling. The cleaning you only ever do once a year or not at all: washing windows; cleaning under and behind furniture; wiping marks off walls and dusting shutters, ceiling and light fixtures.

Pay special attention to the bathroom and kitchen. Get rid of mould from grout, rub surfaces until they shine and neatly arrange towels. You may need to hire professional cleaners or enlist the help of friends and family.


To avoid smearing when cleaning glass: use newspaper dipped in water or a cleaning solution. Wipe dry with more newspaper.

5. Let go ​

It will be that much easier to do all of the above if you relinquish your emotional hold over your home.

You’re selling and moving on, so now is an appropriate time to put your seller’s hat on, not your owner’s hat. Look at your home as would someone seeing it for the first time. Ask yourself: are the best features highlighted? As a buyer, what would turn me off? Are there minor repairs I could make to help create a better first impression? Is too much clutter detracting from the features of the home?


Ask your real estate agent to give you feedback after the first open home inspection. You can further tinker with your home’s presentation by hearing what prospective buyers had to say about changes they would like to see.


Useful reading: What Agents Can Teach Us About Renovating to Sell

**The information on this article contains general information and does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. If you require further information don’t hesitate to contact the branch directly.

Feature articles

Why & How to Manage your Mortgage after Settlement Monitoring your home loan after settlement is essential to capitalise on saving and quicker homeownership opportunities. Here's a quick guide on things you need to keep in mind.

A Guide to Mortgage Pre-approval In addition to providing a clear idea of your borrowing capacity, a mortgage pre-approval can also expedite property purchase. Here a few things you need to consider before applying for one.

What to consider while switching to a lower fixed rate If you're considering switching from a variable rate to a fixed rate loan in the wake of the recently announced RBA rate cut, be sure to weigh the saving benefits against possible trade-offs like no offset account and redraw facility.

What the November RBA rate cut means for borrowers Here's a quick guide on how to benefit from the recent RBA rate cut on 3rd Nov 2020

Decoding property price rise & the latest RBA rate cut Here's why gradually rising property prices and all time low interest rates make it perfect time to hop on to the property ladder.

View all articles

Enquire now