The 12-Month Countdown! Your ULTIMATE Checklist for Preparing Your Home for Sale!

Maximise your sale price. Leave nothing to chance.


12 Months Til Lift Off:

1. Decide if any pre-sale renovations require consent.

    • Consult with an interior designer to start the process (they can draw up plans and help you get approval from the council. This is often required before engaging a builder).

2. Are there any existing, non-consented changes to your property that should have been approved by Council? Get these signed off now so as to not put off future buyers.

3. Is an exterior repaint required? Will this be in Spring or Summer? Decide on the timeframe.

4. Research timeframes and requirements for school enrolments in the area you are moving to (target area). September is usually the cut-off for Enrollments.

5. Consult with a trusted mortgage broker to see if you could keep your current home to know your position when looking for a new home or as a rental if desired. It’s always good to know your options and deal with a specialist who can speak to all of the lenders on your behalf to negotiate the best structure and rates just for you and your situation.

6. Discuss the idea of moving with family. Especially children. Do you really need that extra bedroom? Are you better off staying put and paying down the mortgage? Or can you add it later?

9 months to go:

7. Have initial discussions with Paige around the best time to sell in your area plus ascertain feedback on how to maximise value/discuss potential improvements.

8. Confirm any improvements requiring professional help. e.g. carpets, bathroom renovations, and repair work. Check the availability of tradespeople. I have many recommended tradespeople via our branch as well as via my own renovations recently completed if needed.

9. Set up saved searches on TradeMe, and OneRoof for target area(s) and current area.

10. Monitor houses coming on the market, and check price estimates online. Get a feel for what you might get for your money. If you would like to know what’s coming, I can send you a list weekly from our Sales Meetings every Monday and Tuesday morning before they hit the market.

6 months out:

11. Review your situation. Do you still need to sell? Has anything changed for you that may delay your 12-month timeline?

12. Subscribe or join my newsletter for access to new listings as well as other top agents in the areas you are looking. Proactive agents send out new listings and off-market opportunities by email once a fortnight. These often include recent sales and other useful info.

13. Start visiting a few open homes in your target area or call Paige to coordinate on your behalf.

14. De-clutter and start completing paint touch-ups. Target 1 room at a time.

3 months to go!!

15. Will you stay in the house while it’s on the market? Now would be a good time to suss out alternative accommodation if needed.

16. Shortlist your preferred real estate agent and understand what each of them brings to the table around databases, personality fit, and business acumen processes, but the most important thing of all, is their connection and core values fit you and your family. You will be not only spending a lot of time together but communicating frequently.

17. Discuss marketing strategies and set goals around timing with me. A unique quality I bring to the table is 25 years of Marketing and Media experience, and know how to customise an effective and stand-out marketing plan that is suited to your property, target buyers and budget.

  • Reach out if you want to understand more about what marketing entails and why it is important. Bottom line – you can’t sell a secret.

18. Give tenants notice if you are planning to sell an investment property vacant.

19. Sell or donate items from around the house online to help with de-cluttering.

20. Book a storage unit if there are things you want to keep that take up too much room.

21. Decide which chattels are staying with the house. These should be in working condition.

6 weeks out:

22. Order a skip bin or try a company such as Junk to Go to remove any rubbish and recycle your unwanted items.

23. Book an exterior house wash. Be sure to include paths and driveways.

24. Attack the garden. Time for the big cut-back! Use a landscaper. I highly recommend Darren Barrett at Barrett Landscapes who can do all sizes and varieties of jobs particularly around planting plans leading up to a sale.

25. Ensure all lightbulbs and light switches are working.

26. Engage an electrician if required and ensure you get a COC. Martin from Everything Electrical is a great communicator, very particular in making everything run smoothly and nothing is a problem.

27. Purchase any staging items required, which could include mirrors, artwork, cushions, plants, etc

28. Invest in great artificial plants and home decor items to brighten up the home. Try Bed Bath & Beyond, Kmart or The Warehouse.

29. Remove most family photos from the walls.

We know you love them all and are so proud of them. However, people walking into your home will be in a completely different headspace than friends and family visiting and will be there to only visualise their day-to-day life and belongings working within those walls.

30. Discuss any repairs required with your preferred real estate agent.

  • These may be an unnecessary costs or may lift the value in buyers’ minds. Pick and choose what’s important and view your property from their perspective.

31. Is there any furniture staging required?

  • See if you can borrow items from friends or consult a staging company. Check their availability and book ahead. Partial staging is often available if you have one or two empty rooms.

    • Janine of Janine King Design can offer full staging but for a cost-effective option, her services include ‘Enhancements’ or Partial Staging if you don’t want to blow the budget. Her website is here for you to read all about what she can offer.

3 weeks to go…

32. Contact your solicitor and seek legal advice. Let them know you are planning to sell asap as they will be involved in ensuring you are protected at all angles and check agreements, Titles, and LIMs – right the way through to Settlement.

33. Sign your real estate agency agreement.

    • The best practice would be to get it checked by your solicitor

34. Confirm marketing strategy and selling method.

    • Paige can provide you with the latest sales figures, and days on market by selling methods to ensure you are making the right decision relevant to the market and your neighbourhood.

35. Confirm viewing times for open homes. What time works best for the house and your family?

    • These generally take 30 minutes with 15 minutes needed on either side for your agent to set up the Open Home Experience and make sure all lights and windows are on and your property is looking its best.

    • Buyer perception of your home will assist with my reporting and assist with where you need to set your reserve range.

36. Clean, Clean, Clean and clean some more..

    • I find it personally therapeutic and love to see the glistening glass, floors and surfaces but if this seems like the last thing on your mind, you need a specialist cleaner – research via Facebook or Neighbourly local pages, for recommended cleaners and you will get recommendations of trusted cleaners straight away.

37. Visit open homes in your local and target areas.

    • Follow up to find out sale prices for houses you have visited. I have this information at my fingertips.

38. Review the title with your agent.

    • Is there any wording that needs explanation? Check unknown easements with your solicitor.

39. Provide your agent with all of the house keys and/or alarm codes, gate codes, and any other access requirements so open homes and discussions with buyers during viewing times run smoothly.

1 – 2 weeks out

40. Mow the lawns and time it perfectly for the first open home depending on the season.

41. Get your home Showhome ready for photographs. It should be at that same level for open homes.

42. Last-minute touch-ups as required. Look for cobwebs or dust in areas you don’t usually look.

43. Buy fresh flowers, bring out those candles, put them on display, and make sure the house is aired out.

You have now done everything you can to get the best possible price! It’s now up to your trusted Real Estate Agent to bring you your buyers and help you on to the next chapter.

Let me know if you need any recommendations for tradespeople in the contact box or how I can assist you wherever you are along this journe

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