It's a big decision to put your home on the market and go through an auction. You want to make sure that you have done everything you can beforehand so that a prospective buyer is interested in your property, which will lead to bidding wars and higher prices. Here are some tips for preparing your home before it goes up for auction.
1. Clean thoroughly
Prospective buyers want a home that is preferably ready-to-move-into. The quickest way to do this is by having a thorough clean before you put your property on the market.
Make sure windows are clean, inside and out. Clean any stains or marks on walls/ceilings. Some potential buyers may even inspect kitchen drawers, under the sink, and inside the oven to get a gauge of how well the property has been maintained.
Therefore, first impressions matter and this means that floors, carpets, stairs, ceilings, walls, curtains, mirrors and anything around the property that is visible must be clean.
2. Declutter unwanted items
Declutter by getting rid of unwanted items such as old furniture and other clutter from the property. This will not only help to bring more buyers but also show potential bidders what they can expect if they buy your house!
You may declutter using a professional rubbish removal service such as 1300 Rubbish to help you remove excess furniture, in particular, bulk items that you have collected over the years.
Alternatively, you can take photos of unwanted furniture and list them on free marketplaces such as Gumtree, Facebook and other similar services. This way, not only do you declutter but make a bit of coin from doing so!
3. Hire a professional stager who can come in with their own ideas for how to make your home more appealing
Building upon the previous tip, remove personal items from the home that don't fit with your target buyer persona (i.e., kids' rooms if you're selling to empty nesters).
Essentially, make sure that all rooms are decorated to show how they can be used by the new homeowner. For example, a bedroom with no bedding or furniture has zero buyer-appeal whereas a bedroom with staging elements (light fixtures, mid century furniture, rugs etc.) can trigger an emotional response from prospective buyers when they inspect the property.
A professional stager can come in and help you to declutter while also adding the finishing touches that will appeal to your target buyer. They will also be able to give you tips on how best to stage each room in order to get the most interest.
4. Repaint interior rooms if necessary and choose a colour that will appeal to the widest range of buyers
Give all rooms in the home new paint jobs if necessary. You don't have to completely repaint every wall, but choose a colour that will appeal to the widest range of buyers.
If you are unsure about the best colour, then get a neutral paint that will appeal to all buyers. This way, if a buyer has their own ideas for the home then they can choose to repaint in another colour or thus add value.
Some good examples are soft magnolia walls with darker contrasting walls. Or, a beautiful white on the main living areas and bedrooms with pops of colour in accent rooms such as bathrooms or an office.
The colour schemes don't have to be too extravagant but should reflect the fact that you are serious about selling your home!
However, colours to avoid are lime green, bright pink or anything that is jarring.
5. Renovate as needed if you feel like certain aspects of your house need work such as plumbing or electrical issues.
Little things such as a faulty light fixture (that might look like an easy fix to the average homeowner) could end up scaring away buyers.
It may cost money now but result in getting higher bids at auction as prospective buyers can literally see what an amazing opportunity this is and how much it could potentially add to their lifestyle (because no further work is required to make the home ready for them).
It may seem scary or expensive but it will be worth the investment if you are serious about selling your property.
Similarly, you may also like to consider renovations such as repainting walls (again, using neutral tones), updating bathroom suites and kitchen appliances.
6. Repair any broken items around the home
Little things such as a faulty light fixture (that might look like an easy fix to the average homeowner) could end up scaring away buyers because in the mindset of a home buyer, they may think "what else is wrong with this property if this simple thing has not been fixed?"
7. Hire an experienced auctioneer
Lastly, hire an experienced auctioneer to present your house so that you can get the highest possible price. A good real estate agent will be able to recommend a few that they have used in the past and you can pick one that you think is best for your property and target audience.