First impressions: Preparing a property for open inspection

FIRST impressions are everything when it comes to presenting your home for open inspection.

The list of chores needed to have your property (hopefully) looking like a million dollars can seem a daunting one, but it doesn't have to be an arduous task.

There are some simple, yet less obvious tips that sellers should take on board when presenting their property for inspection by potential buyers.

It all starts with the first thing buyers will see - how your property looks from the street.

Are the lawns mowed and paths clear of debris? Have you moved the bins and hose? Would some fresh mulch and a couple of new plants add some colour drawing your eye into the property? Are the windows and fly-screens clean?

It might seem like nitpicking for some, but it can make all the difference whether you receive top dollar for your property or not.

Lucy Carter of LJ Hooker Gladstone, who also specialises in interior design, says first impressions on the street are key.

"The outside of the property makes a huge difference when it comes to first impressions,” she said.

"Things like no squeaky front gate, a clean and mowed yard, is the front door clean and if it needs a coat of paint give it one.

"People don't want a list of things to do before they walk in the front door.

"As soon as someone walks in the front entrance it needs to make an impact so they fall in love with the place as soon as they walk in the door.”

And the positive impressions must continue once potential buyers are inside the house.

Once again there are some obvious things that need to be addressed before you open your house for inspection.

Check all the lights are working including the rangehood and bedside lamps.

Remove fridge magnets and other items on fridge - you are trying to let people envision themselves working and enjoying the space so remove clutter, leaving a few items to add interest and the same goes for the bedroom and bathroom.

If your property is full of a lot of clutter think of packing and storing a lot of it in one room or the garage, or in extreme cases think of hiring some short-term storage - you are going to be moving anyway.

A bowl of fresh fruit will look good on any kitchen bench. Fresh flowers and a good quality air freshener will make the property seem inviting.

Depending on your property some extra items come into play such as is the pool clean.

If you own a dog, take it for a walk while the open inspection is happening as some buyers can be nervous around our four-legged friends.

Even if your property is not at the top end of the market you can make some simple changes quite cheaply that will make a huge difference.