Downsizing, upgrading, or changing of location? In this article Advocate Property Services Director, JO VADILLO outlines her 7 top tips for ensuring your property is market ready and has the best chance of selling.

When it comes to selling your home you really need to be focused and look at the process like a project with a clear goal (the sale) and a home that is market ready by a particular date.

So that means roll up your sleeves, start making to-do lists and get cracking. Your hard work now can not only mean larger returns but a fast sale too.

Research your local housing market

Make sure you do your homework on checking the value of your home.

Start off by researching what is going on locally in the past 6 months, what has sold and for how much. Go to some open homes and get a feel for what your home could be worth.

You need to be realistic about the value of your home, it will also allow you to see how the agents are managing the open inspections which brings me to my next point…

Find a listing agent

We will always recommend a professional real estate agent list your home. You need a local area expert with market traction and a healthy database of buyers.

A good agent has sales skills plus a knack for marketing and social media expertise too. Don’t select an agent purely on their commission fees – you might just get what you pay for!

Remember you can negotiate on fees and even cut (some) corners on marketing but you want an agent who is focused on delivering the best outcome for you. We suggest a sliding scale commission structure to incentivise agents to get the best price for you.

Declutter like crazy!

Decluttering and organising your space will not only make your home look more appealing to potential buyers but it will also start to get you focused on what is to be kept, stored, sold, dumped.

Always showcase your home clutter free. You want your potential buyers to be able to focus on the actual home rather than overflowing closets that may highlight a shortage of storage.

Call in the tradies

Get that handyman on speed dial.  Start to fix all the little things that have been driving you nuts for months (or years). You know what I mean, the leaky taps, running toilets, cracks in the walls, flickering lights and squeaky doors etc. This should all be taken cared of before listing your home on the market.

Light it up

It is important that all lights in your house are working. Do what you can do to brighten up your house, natural light will make it more sellable. If your living space attracts a beautiful afternoon glow then take this into consideration with the open inspections. Invest in having all windows professional cleaned too, it is astounding what a difference clean, streak free glass makes. Open the curtains and blinds (so long as the outlook doesn’t detract from the home).

Make the house sparkle and remove your personal items

Clean like the Queen is coming over for tea! Have that property sparkle. Lid down on the toilet, empty clothes line, lawn mowed etc.

Hang up fresh towels in the bathroom, the special ones you never use (but really should).

Put away your personal items throughout the house such as any photos, fridge magnets with party invites and Santa photos and so on.

You want your new buyers to be able to see themselves living in your home, not have them look at your framed wedding photos.

You can dress the space up with artwork, fresh flowers, bowls of fruit or select few magazines that are a nod to stylish interiors. If this is all an overwhelm you can get quotes from property stylists who can offer a consult business or come through and completely dress your home for sale.

Whilst there is a considered cost to this the rewards are often evident in the sale price.

Paint the walls

Freshly painted rooms look(and smell) clean. Every single little mark or scratch that have added the years will disappear. A fresh coat of paint will hide wall imperfections.

Stick to a very neutral colour that lifts a room. You cannot really fail with a white to brighten a space and make your walls look vibrant and new.

If your budget is restricted you can do just the main living space and bedroom. At the very least you should clean walls of scratch marks and any evidence of where furniture has rubbed the surface.

Once you have prepped, primed and preened your home you should use this time to also have your broker assess what your borrowing capacity will look like.

It is time to search for the next home or investment opportunity.

Good luck with the sale!!

Jo Vadillo is the owner and Director of Advocate Property Services Pty Ltd. She works with investors and homeowners to source new and existing properties that meet the best investment credentials to build a prosperous property portfolio for their clients. Jo is also a Board member of My Property Circles and runs Property Women, an organisation aimed to educate women on their journey to property success.


Jo is an author, mentor, public speaker, fierce negotiator and a terrible cook. When not immersed in her own property dealings and that of clients, Jo and her husband Greg are big travellers and go everywhere as an entourage with their 3 young sons.

General Advice Warning: The advice has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should therefore consider the appropriateness of the advice, in light of these objectives, financial situation or needs, before following the advice. We recommend that you speak to your accountant and financial adviser to help you determine whether direct property investment is right for you.

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Finance Tips Thinking About Selling? The Simple 7-Steps to Get Market Ready!