Tips for selling

Selling Your Property

There’s no second chance at first impressions and when you’re offering your home to potential purchasers first impressions are absolutely crucial. 

You want them to fall in love with your home, to imagine their family living in each of your rooms and to be so inspired by your layout and lifestyle that they want to make it their own. 
Because of that, it’s worthwhile trying to look at your property with fresh eyes and that’s where a great agent can really help you. Use their knowledge and follow their suggestions; an agent with an eye for detail and a taste for fashion can offer ideas that might increase your sale price by thousands of dollars.
All of us have idiosyncrasies in our homes - jobs we’ll get around to, fixtures that seemed like a good idea at the time and décor that’s tired. It’s easy to overlook them or just put them off for a rainy day.
Unfortunately potential purchasers will see all of the blemishes and unfinished projects as reasons not to purchase your home. Some are extremely easy to fix, others may need a qualified tradesperson.

What's Easy?

De-clutter your home. It’s human nature to aspire to live in organised, uncomplicated surroundings, so offering a house that’s free from clutter to purchasers automatically makes it seem attractive and spacious. Clean off any horizontal surface (tables, desks, benches) and store the items inside cupboards, under the house or in your garage. 

Move unnecessary furniture to create areas that are easy to navigate.  Purchasers like to consider how their own furniture will work in your home, too, so presenting open spaces allows their imagination to go to work. If necessary, hire a professional storage facility to stow your extra furniture for a month or so; it’s cheaper than you might think. 

Keep your home clean. Dirty dishes shouldn’t be left on the sink, beds shouldn’t be dishevelled and dirty laundry shouldn’t be left on the floor.

Repair small problems – oil any squeaky hinges, patch small holes or gaps and replace broken fly-screens.

Replace any light-bulbs that have blown and make sure light switches are clean from grime.

In the yard, make sure the lawn is mowed. Weed the garden, trim wayward tree branches, rake up leaves and get rid of any piles of rubbish. Make sure all your tools are neatly packed away in the shed or garage.

Other Jobs to Consider

Think about repainting a wall if it’s badly scuffed or the colour is out of date. Neutral colours suit most people’s taste in furnishings and artwork, so they’re a safe bet.  

Old wallpaper can date a home to the 1970s or 1980s so consider getting a tradesperson to strip it and repaint with a more modern neutral colour.   

Plastic drawer handles and cupboard handles can add an old-fashioned appearance to a home as well. Consider getting a tradesperson to replace them with something fresh. 

Flooring is also very important. Scratched, scuffed floorboards or threadbare carpet can turn purchasers away. Consider asking a professional to re-polish your timber flooring or replace carpet that’s seen better days.

Smarten your décor with pillows, throw-rugs or paintings. You might even consider borrowing some artwork from friends and relatives.


If no one knows you’re selling, no one is going to make an offer.
It’s essential to let people know you’re on the market but that doesn’t have to mean expensive advertising. Talk to your agent about how to target the audience you’re after; for instance first-home buyers generally aren’t looking at million dollar homes and elderly buyers probably won’t be interested in multi-storey properties.
Internet exposure is essential in modern real estate sales, which is why we offer nationwide sites like and as well as local sites such as In addition we send out electronic brochures to our databases.  
You can also use printed advertisements in the Canberra Weekly or The Canberra Times and, of course, we offer window-mounted property brochures, brochure handouts at exhibitions and DL-sized mail drops. 
Ask your agent for their thoughts on your best approach. Every house sale is different and there are often special needs. Some people are extremely private and don’t like open exhibitions; in other situations there may be a tenant in the property whose legal rights need to be observed. 
At Rutherford Johnston, we’re flexible enough to meet any requirement.

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