Eight low-cost steps to preparing your house for sale

When preparing your house for sale, many of us fantasise of an unlimited renovation budget that will make our home irresistible.
Pumped from watching the latest series of Extreme Renovate Backyard Blitz Master Rules we dream of that extension, new kitchen or the backyard resplendent with a children’s water park.

It’s true, that investing in big ticket improvements will sometimes increase the sale price of a house, particularly if you’re a do-it-yourself renovator whiz who has the time and doesn’t have to pay contactors.

But unless the property was originally purchased at a discounted price, big ticket renovations and their resultant high costs are unlikely to generate increased profit on sale.

So, what’s the alternative?

When preparing your property for sale there are simple, inexpensive things you can do to increase its attractiveness to potential buyers, and some don’t involve a trip to Bunnings!


Consider your house no longer a home, but a retail outlet where customers will come to browse. Everything – from kitchen countertops to bathroom vanities to the garage – should be clear of all unnecessary items. You want potential buyers to focus on the best features of your home not stuff, so pack up, give away or throw away everything that clutters or distracts.


This should go without saying, so we’ll just leave it at that.


When a buyer inspects a house, they are doing more than looking at the shower recess and the floor plan. They are visualising what it would be like to move in and live there, a task made more difficult if you leave personal items such as family photos, personal mementos like sporting trophies or religious décor. Pack these away, and give your potential buyers a free slate for their imagination.

Curb appeal

We all know about the importance of first impressions. What will set the scene for your house when potential buyers either drive past, or drive in to your driveway? Front gardens, driveways, gutters, windows, mailboxes and fences all tell a story, so make it a positive one!


The door handle comes off as you try to enter the bedroom. You turn on the light that doesn’t work and listen as the fan makes an almighty screeching sound as it rotates. Whilst small, these little things can annoy a potential buyer out of signing a contract so make sure everything is in good working order.

Clear pathways

Don’t turn your potential buyers into Jackie Chan. Buyers should not be doing their own stunts just to look through your property. Make sure there’s clear pathways both inside and outside your property to make their visit a no-fuss, pleasant experience.


Time for a light bulb moment! When potential buyers walk into your bathroom and look in the mirror, soft, warm lighting can make it a more pleasant experience than it may be otherwise. In other parts of your house such as living areas, bright, white lighting will make the rooms appear bigger and more inviting. Also, think about which rooms will be best served by leaving blinds either open or closed.


This follows hard on the heels of the “clean” point (above) – a clean house is less likely to assault the nasal passages of unsuspecting visitors. The urban myth is to full your house with odours of home cooking, but the research is in. Over-bearing smells don’t smell good, no matter how delicious. Instead, “hints” of fresh natural odours help to sell, such as orange, lemon, pine, basil, cedar, vanilla and cinnamon.


Spend your home preparation time wisely, and you could be rewarded with a quicker sale or a higher-than-expected selling price.