Harwood Property Agents

Presenting Your Home For Maximum Return

Presenting Your Home For Maximum Return

As your real estate professional, its our pleasure to bring you this in-depth guide to preparing your home for sale. We are excited to bring you the best of our knowledge, after years of experience selling property.

Especially in times where market supply is high compared to demand, its important to ensure that your property stands out. Each day we see properties either rise to the occasion or fail to impress, which can make a dramatic difference in the property’s potential profit.

Harwood Property Agents are pleased to share the tips and tricks, expert advice and property preparation checklists contained in our resource. We aim to inform you on how to maintain your home, nurture your asset and ensure its growth and value throughout its lifetime.

Seize your opportunity

Selling your home is a milestone.
Just like any important life event – you want to make sure that your property is presented to the market in the best light. Every detail counts! Try to remember how you felt purchasing your home; what did you look for, what did you expect?

 It’s imperative that you invest in the presentation of your biggest asset.

Your principal place of residence is free from capital gains tax and stamp duty

This makes the selling of your home a valuable opportunity to capitalize.

This is your chance to sell for profit

The long-term value that you have earned belongs to you. Before you pass your property on to the next purchaser, now is your opportunity to make as much profit as you can, especially as this profit will be tax-free.

Prepare to suceed

The purpose of your journey will be to present the most attractive home, which will attract premium buyers and allow you to secure the best price for your property.

Whatever your journey, there are great advantages in planning ahead. Depending on your time frame, you may choose to redraw on your current loan however, we suggest that a steady budgeting plan could be best.

Planning steps

Make detailed to-do lists for each area of your home.

Every detail counts- buyers will mentally add up each flaw as they begin to form a basis for where they see value financially.

Some prefer a hard copy, others prefer a digital collection of lists. We find the best way is to attach detailed to-do lists to each area of your home that needs attention- therefore you will not be able to avoid each task. The more you break your lists down the better.




A freshly painted home smells new. Even if your home is far from new, an element of newness will entice and inspire buyers. In addition, a warm white paint can maximise light and space in your home, making it feel open and spacious.

Consider your colour choices. If you have chosen bold or dark colours, they may have suited your taste, however these colours may not suit everyone. The idea here is to capture the largest pool of buyers. Most people like neutral colour palettes as they are calming and create the feeling of a fresh canvas, for which they can add their unique taste.

Ideally, buyers should walk through your home and feel that their furniture, taste and lifestyle could suit the property.

For our recommended painter please contact us directly for details.

Gardening and landscaping

Gardening and landscaping

Gardening and landscaping can make all the difference. If the interiors are completed, but the exteriors are lacking attention, the buyer is given the impression that not enough care is being taken with the entire property. In addition, buyers are becoming more time poor and therefore less inclined to want to maintain the property. The less maintenance your property appears to have, the more enticing it will become to buyers.

Carpet and flooring

When the flooring and carpet looks fresh the buyer will associate the property with newness. If your carpet is in good condition, a professional carpet clean would be sufficient. Keep in mind that carpet retains smells. if your property is older, if your cooking is usually very fragrant or if you have been smoking in your home, fresh carpet may be the best option. New carpet does not have to be overly expensive, as long you choose a neutral colour that would suit most buyers.

Our property stylist is available to choose the most complimentary colour palette for your home.
For a consultation with our stylist, contact us directly.

Kitchens and bathrooms

Kitchens and bathrooms

Often buyers will judge the kitchen and bathrooms harshly as these are the most practical areas of the home. Fully renovating these areas of the home is a costly exercise. It may be worth fully renovating, however sometimes a partial renovation can make a dramatic difference. For example, painting yellowed timber kitchen cabinetry a fresh white or an on-trend grey and adding modern door handles will make a big difference. If bathroom or kitchen tiles are in good condition, a professional tile spray paint can truly modernise these areas. In addition to these suggestions, new tapware in kitchens and new fixtures and fittings in bathrooms can also create the look of a new space without a full renovation.



Once your hard work is done, cleaning is the last step. We recommend having a professional cleaner, especially if you have been creating fine dust in the process of improving your home.
It’s a great idea to advise the cleaner that you are preparing to sell your property and ask them to perform a top to toe clean – scrubbing cupboards, ovens, paying attention to marks and scratches on any cabinetry and finishes. It may be advisable to have a cleaner clean your home prior to each open for inspection, to ensure your property looks and smells its best.

Pest and building report

More information creates higher buyer confidence

At Harwood Property Agents, we conduct a pest and building report for each property that we sell. This is important as it allows buyers to move confidently in the direction of making an offer on your property. These days transparency is essential, and this is one way that we can provide this to the buyer. Whether the buyer downloads a report that has been carried out by the real estate agent or has one done on their own, the buyer will want to know all details concerning your property.

Have your own pest and building report done before you sell

This may be something that you would not normally consider as an owner, however getting a pest and building report done before you sell will enable you to be informed on what the buyers will be privy to once they read your property’s report. This will give you the opportunity to rectify any major or minor concerns that will be presented to your pool of buyers.

Be prepared for the outcome

Pest and Building reports are meticulous and the contents can be intimidating. The purpose of these reports is to include a complete list of defects. This report will be very different to all other advertising that Harwood Property Agents would present for your property, but it is essential to provide your buyers with a holistic property campaign.


Photography preparation

Photography preparation

This is your opportunity to create a first impression that will lure good quality buyers to your property. All your hard work has mostly finished, as you begin to hand the process over to your real estate agent.

There is a great difference between standard photographs and brilliant professional photography. At Harwood Property Agents, we select the best possible photographers and videographers so that your home’s first impression can be at its best.

Along with professional, top-grade photography, there are some valuable preparation tips that will ensure the photographer has the best home to work. The following suggestions will ensure that your property has the best chance to impress buyers.


Reduce the amount of furniture in your home. By doing this, you will create a better thoroughfare and energy flow in your home. Remember there will be a lot of people in your home at once, so they need to feel that they can walk freely and easily about the home. This emphasizes the feeling of spaciousness.

It’s an idea to double check that all LED lighting and globe lighting is working. Light makes a dramatic difference to your images. It is also an idea to use free-standing lamps as they create a sense of warmth especially if you use a mid-yellow toned light globe.

If your property is vacant, ensure that the power is still able to be turned on for the photo shoot day and further into the marketing campaign.

The façade

This is the true first impression that will be created for your buyers. Landscaping and lawn moving a few days before the shoot would be advisable. Giving it a few days will ensure that the grass gets a chance to go green again after being mowed. Watering the garden and lawn afterward in the lead up to the shoot will also help to create a colourful garden and lawn. Ensure all weeding is done, driveways are swept or re-painted and any cleaning requiring a pressure hose has been done. Clean and tidy the façade by pressure hosing, removing cobwebs, cleaning gutters and re-painting or cleaning roof tiles. Sugar soap anything that you can and re-paint or touch up any areas that need attention.


Simplicity is the key here. The more items you can remove from your property the better. People inspect your property in great detail. It's best to remove anything that will make your home feel impractical. For example, if someone opens a kitchen cupboard only to have the contents fall on top of them they will instantly decide that there is not enough storage. There may, in fact, be enough storage – it just that the contents of the cupboards may not have been decluttered for twenty years.


Less is more in this area of the home. We need to create a spacious aesthetic in the kitchen so that buyers will be able to see how much practical space the kitchen has. Remove all appliances from the bench tops. Shine and polish any stainless-steel appliances, taps or fixtures. Remove all clutter from the fridge including magnets and photos. If you would like to add décor a simple chopping board or three brightly coloured cookbooks stacked or a small vase of flowers will be all that is needed. Lastly, remove any items on the floor such as bins.


This area of the home is challenging as it is always in use. On the day of the shoot, we recommend taking a laundry basket and removing all personal grooming items from the bathroom. Remove shampoo bottles, body washes, soaps, shavers, kid’s toys, and toothbrushes. If you have a large family ask them to take a small cardboard box and remove all their own items and store them in their rooms the night before. The bathroom should be entirely de-cluttered, it’s also an idea to take toilet rolls off the holders and out of the bathroom. The only items left over should be some ornamental items such as a soap pump or small plant and some clean bath towels or hand towels. After the de-cluttering process has been completed, cleaning and polishing glass, mirrors, steel and tiling will make all the difference. It may also be advantageous to bleach any dirt spots in the grout and remove any cobwebs or mould spots from the ceiling.


De-cluttering is always the key for bedrooms. Removing the bulk of the clothing in your wardrobe and storing it elsewhere until your move is an easy way to create the illusion of more wardrobe space. Cupboards and shelving should also be kept minimal. Ensure that all clutter is removed from bedside tables, chests of drawers, and all other surfaces. If there are containers filled with toys or household items, it may be an idea to stash them in wardrobes or under/ behind beds just while the photographer is shooting that room. With beds, a plain white bedspread is always a great idea coupled with some white pillows and a few basic cushions. Bedside table lamps create good light in bedrooms and portray a sense of warmth and comfort in the photographs. 

Lounge/ Dining and Living Areas

In keeping with the theme of simplicity, remove any clutter. Things like blankets, kids toys and heaters. Un-plug any visible electrical cords and hide them behind furniture.  Whatever you can take out of the room – the better. A Lounge room only really needs the lounge and coffee table. Ensure any glass in the home is clean, as our photographer will be likely to maximize any views from living areas in his/her photo.

Outdoor Areas

If you have a pool or spa, make sure that it has been cleaned so that the colour comes up nicely in the photography. If you have a BBQ, take the cover off and give it a polish as having a clean BBQ will inspire the buyer to imagine entertaining over summer with friends. Ensure leaves are swept and landscaping and lawn mowing is well maintained. If you have decking railing or stairs, complete any staining touch-ups that may be visible.

Trades and supplier directory

The decision to DIY or have a professional help you reach your goals is up to you. It’s a good idea to get quotes from service providers prior to beginning this process. Once you have the research done, you could always choose to have some work done professionally and some done yourself.

We work with a host of amazing suppliers who are well recommended and reasonably priced. If you would like some assistance with your project management, we would be more than happy to organise some quotes for you. Please call 0431 001 001.

Let us know if we can help

Let us know if we can help

You are well on your way to reacing your goal. If you need any help at any stage of the process, we are always  willing to offer you advice.


Lucas Harwood, Director of Harwood Property Agents has over ten years of experience in residential real estate sales and marketing in the Sutherland Shire. 

During his career, Lucas has worked for some of the Shires biggest real estate agencies, where he has personally sold over 200 local properties, consistently delivering record breaking results. As well as his strong sales performance, Lucas is known for in-depth understanding of the local property market, quality marketing campaigns and friendly, down-to-earth approach to selling homes. 

As Director of Harwood Property Agents, Lucas oversees every aspect of every sale, making sure that he gets the best possible experience for both buyers and sellers. 

Lucas is a Licensed Real Estate Agent and member of the Real Estate Institute of NSW.

Our Team: Our boutique agency culture ensures that all employees, whether their job roles fall into administration, prospecting, lead generation, and reception duties or otherwise - are informed about all aspects of your properties and their unique specifications. We make an effort to ensure that whoever answers our phones will be able to provide ample information to the potential buyer. Our premium technology (our digital booklet for example) allows all employees to access information efficiently and effectively.