How To Prepare Your Northern Beaches Property For Market with Leah Prestia

04 May 2022

When thinking about selling your home on the Northern Beaches, one of the most important things to consider is the preparation of the property for sale. As a real estate agent on the Northern Beaches I see first hand how presentation, condition, functionality and working order has a huge impact on property value and will significantly affect the sale price outcome. Often when living in a property, maintenance, repairs and updating can be overlooked over time causing the property to become tired or run down and in need of a refresh.

So, as I approach the marketing campaign of a property for sale, I often engage with a professional property prepper to work alongside my team. With a strategy, timeline, and budget we can help the owner realise the best potential for the property and launch the property in its best light. I had a chat with expert property prepper Leah Prestia from Presto property to find out her top tips for preparing your home for market.

Leah Prestia from Presto Property property prepper

Leah Prestia

Hi Leah! When preparing a home for sale, where should a homeowner start?

There are so many things to consider when preparing a property for sale, and because each home is unique there is never a one-size-fits-all solution. Engaging a professional at the beginning of the process is beneficial as they can assess and identify what elements of your property are the highest priority to focus on so as to achieve the best sales result.

Often the best way to start is to declutter and deep clean throughout your home. Think about all the items you won’t be taking to your next property, remove any unwanted items as well as clearing out wardrobes and making space in storage areas. The less clutter you have the more you will be able to see what work is needed and what the best aspects of the property are.

What internal elements are most important?

It makes a huge difference in the overall presentation and feel of a home when the internal spaces are refreshed, especially in the high traffic areas. You could start with walls – I would consider re-painting, always choosing neutral colour palettes that brighten spaces and as a safe bet as far as buyer preferences. If painting isn’t an option walls can be scrubbed down with sugar soap, not forgetting skirting boards, doors and ceilings. It’s important to remove any mould and make repairs so that the surfaces are flawless and come up as new after the cleaning and painting.

Rejuvenating floors is also transformative – hardwood floors can be re-sanded back, grout in tiles deep cleaned or re-laid and carpets steam cleaned or replaced.

Before and After:

before rennovation

after renovation

What about the exterior of a property?

There’s a saying, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression”, and when presenting your precious real estate that proves entirely true. Street appeal shouldnt be understated and needs to be inviting, well maintained and attractive.

Firstly, look at your gardens and landscaping. Clearing overgrowth, pulling out weeds, getting rid of unwanted plants and mowing lawns will create space so that buyers can see the size and possible potential of the land. The end of winter is the best time of year to prune and clear gardens as it allows for new growth in spring and summer. A quick tip is finishing off garden beds with a thick layer of garden mulch as this will keep weeds away for a few months while the house is being viewed.

Secondly, focus on the condition and cleanliness of the exterior. Exterior walls, gutters and eaves should be cleaned with a high pressure gurney to remove dirt, mould and cobwebs. Outdoor decking can be fixed or re-laid if needed. Also, consider your driveway, pathways and entertaining areas as they have an impact on first impressions and can also be cleaned by pressure cleaners. When going through the exterior cleaning process check for rising damp, it pays to fix any that is found as damp creates issues such as mould, decay and rot. A buyer could easily discount a property because of the cost and maintenance of repairs or walk away from the property altogether.

Before and after:

before outdoor decking

after outdoor decking

How important are repairs in the preparation process?

If you have any visible problems or defects with the home have them repaired and fixed professionally before going to market. Anything that is broken, damaged, rotting or unfinished can set off alarm bells in a potential buyer’s mind which could cause them to significantly decrease their interest, excitement or the price they are willing to pay for the property. You want to fix every little thing so there are no distractions for the buyer from the overall value of the property.

If a property is in good condition and ready to move into for the next owner, no problems and nothing for them to do, it will maximise the value on auction day.

What would you say about furniture and styling in house prepping?

If your furniture is large or bulky it can detract from precious real estate space and make rooms look smaller, so, I suggest putting some or all of these items in storage to open up the space allowing the buyers to see the potential and opportunity they are buying.

Home Styling is a fabulous way to stand out in the real estate market. There are professionals that can style for you, or you can give it a go yourself. Preparing the styling for sale would favour modern, minimal furnishings with soft finishes, wall art and neutral colours which all add to a calm and inviting feel. Simple small details such as fresh flowers and scented candles are also really nice final touches.

Before and After:

before declutter and painting

after declutter and painting

How much does house prepping cost?

Costs vary depending on the individual property needs and the owner’s personal budget, however the objective of any preparation expense is that the homeowner will get a return on their investment.

Once the preparation work has been completed, not only will the home be sold in its best light, illuminating its value and potential to the buyers, but it will also be a product buyers can turn the key and move straight into.

Find Leah at Presto Property Solutions website, on Instagram or simply call on 0405 545 326.

If you are looking to buy in the Upper Northern Beaches and would like help finding the right property you can contact me on 0424 053 355 or on email.

If you’d like to track the value of your home, compare recent sales and find out how much your property is worth in the current market, you can get your free estimate here.