The Power of 2

How to Prepare Your Property for Best Sale Price

February 19, 2023

How to Prepare Your Property for Best Sale Price

We all want the very best sale price, and one of the key steps to achieving this is to present your property at its best. In today’s post we’re going to go in-depth on preparing your property for sale, including our personal recommendations we have found to work best.

We are going to focus on more general suggestions to help you get started. We have found however that sellers appreciate a more in-depth, specific list so we are happy to walk through your home and provide custom suggestions at your request. 

When preparing your property for sale, it is always good to consider who amongst your family and friends would be willing to ‘pitch in’ or provide some resources such as heavy-duty equipment or trailers. We have also helped many sellers in Rotorua connect with local contractors to get quotes on various scopes of work.


The easiest way to start is to grab a notepad and pen and put your ‘buyer’s hat’ on. 

Start from outside your property and take a walk around the exterior before making your way inside, taking plenty of notes as you go.

  1. What you are looking for are the things that stand out to you, both positive and negative.
  2. What is already looking good?
  3. What could be improved?

This process is the beginning of your ‘to do’ list.


The old saying is that “you never get a second chance to make a first impression” so imagine a buyer viewing your property from across the road. What can they see? 

Consider how you can enhance that first impression, including the presentation of your fencing, gates, letterbox, your home’s street-facing side, gardens and grounds, driveway, decks and paths.

 A ‘sweep-blast’ of decks and paths will freshen exterior paths and patios up

Front Entrance
It could be as simple as a fresh coat of paint for your front door, a new welcome mat, and potted plants.

Gardens and Grounds
Mowing, line-trimming, weeding out and possibly mulching garden beds instantly adds appeal.  Removing all green waste creates the impression of ‘easy-care’ gardens and grounds. The front garden in particular contributes significantly to the prospective buyer’s first impression.

Cleaning the Exterior
Washing the exterior (from gutter to ground) could be a simple soft wash done by a contractor. 

Alternatively, our favorite method is to get a hose, telescopic soft brush, a bucket with some car shampoo and simply shampoo and rinse.

Removing seasonal dust, dirt and moss particularly on the shaded side of your home makes a huge difference.

Clean windows will also let in more light into your home, and light is space!

Decks and Paths
If you or a friend happens to have a water-blaster then a ‘sweep-blast’ of decks and paths will freshen these areas up. Plan B is the hose and broom! Paved areas often benefit from a low-speed line trim followed by a spray of a weedkiller to kill off weeds, lichen, and moss and prevent re-growth whilst your property is on the market.


As experienced agents we tend to discourage major alterations and renovations as they are expensive, time-consuming and may not add the value to your home that you hoped for.

Here we have provided some cost-effective ideas that will significantly improve the sale value of your home without taking on too much risk of return.

Minimize clutter on flat surfaces such as kitchen benches

Making the most of your home’s interior space means prospective buyers will gain an better sense of spaciousness and ‘flow’ as they view your home.

Your goal is to:

  • Free up floor space by removing excess furniture.
  • Remove excess items from storage cupboards, pantry and wardrobes.
  • Minimize clutter on flat surfaces such as kitchen benches, dining tables, bedroom and bedside furniture and vanities.

Do you have stuff you no longer need? Now is a perfect opportunity to do a sort through and sell or gift what you no longer require.

Short-term commercial storage is one option. Alternatively, you may have family or friends that have some spare garage space that you can use to store furniture and boxed items while your house is being shown.

You can also consider storing some items tidily in your own garage or storage shed. One tip here is to grab some banana boxes from your local supermarket (we find Pak’nSave is good for this) because they are sturdy and can be stacked evenly to maximize your use of storage areas.

Labelling boxes as you go is a simple yet very important idea for keeping track of which box has what stuff when you revisit these items!

Spring Clean
Once you have de-cluttered you will find it much easier to progress the interior spring clean.
We all have surfaces and areas in our home that get cleaned regularly, however now is the time for a complete clean throughout your home. This includes ceilings, walls, and windowsills.

Our top tip here is Sugar Soap – which we call ‘the painters friend’ because it easily removes hard to shift grease residue and fly spots and is kind to most surfaces (always test a small area first). You may be able to find this in the supermarket, otherwise Bunnings or Mitre 10. All you need is a bucket, warm water, a dollop of sugar soap and you’re good to go. Cutting up old towels or old rags into smaller cleaning cloths is ideal because you can simply use and discard them as you go so you can get the job done faster.

Wet areas such as bathrooms are more prone to mould and may require special attention to have them looking at their best.

Remember to clean the inside of all your windows with your preferred window cleaning solution. They will look great and let more exterior light into the home.

Stay safe with height work by using a stable 3-step ladder or similar.

Depending on your discretionary budget you may consider getting domestic cleaners in to get a really deep clean.


Attending to minor repairs has two key advantages for you:

  • It enhances prospective buyers’ perception of value for your property.
  • It avoids matters that a buyer might raise out of a Builders Report Clause to further negotiate the agreed price.

Preparing your house for sale is about maximizing where buyers see value when they first view your home and avoiding potential complications after an agreement has been reached.

A lot of minor repairs may be within your DIY skill set, however anything outside your comfort zone can usually be done by a handy-man type contractor.

So what sort of stuff are we talking about?

Ever put off fixing a dripping tap? How about a sticky gate or door? Do you have a door handle or latch that has developed a ‘personality’? We all have odd jobs that get put off for other things.  Now is the time to go through and tie up these loose ends.

Check light switches are working, and all light fittings have bulbs

Every home is different so some of the items on our checklist may not apply to yours. We recommend you do another detailed walk-around and walk-through your home, with your notepad and pen in hand, with these type of things in mind.

Things to look out for can include:

  • Check that gutters and downpipes are clear of debris and draining well.
  • How is your letterbox looking? It is relatively inexpensive to replace and after all, prospective buyers will walk past it before they reach your front entrance.
  • Exterior gates and latches. Do they swing freely? Is the latch working properly? Minor adjustments can make all the difference.
  • Doors and Windows. Check they are opening and closing easily and check that all latches and catches are working properly. Wooden doors and windows may need attention to have them working easily.
  • If it squeaks it probably needs lubricant. Aerosol cans with a delivery tube are ideal for applying a small quantity of lubricant to hinges, catches, and latches.
  • Check all interior and exterior taps to make sure they are working well and not dripping or leaking.
  • Check all doorknobs and handles which may have become loose over time.
  • Check for cracked or broken windows.
  • Check your shower seals are intact and there are no leaks.
  • Check your toilet(s) are flushing and there is no water continuing to run into the cistern after a cycle is completed.
  • Check that all power points and light switches are working, and all light fittings have bulbs. 
  • Consider upgrading to higher light emitting light bulbs. Whether they are traditional or LED, increasing your lighting increases the perception of space. 
  • Check your carpets to see if they are due for cleaning. You could hire a professional or alternatively there are places that hire out carpet cleaning equipment.
  • Consider the condition of your painted surfaces, both exterior and interior – it may be time for a freshen up.

Remember that prospective buyers form their very first impression of value as they approach your front entrance and when they step into your main living area. Because of this you should pay extra special attention to those areas. Kitchens and bathrooms are also key areas so you will want them to have a fresh clean vibe. 


Here we encounter the advantages of your de-clutter process; to increase the sense of spaciousness on offer, make it easier for buyers to walk through your home when they view it, and allow buyers to project their own ideas for what they would do with the space if they bought it.

If your home needs to remain furnished it is a good idea to do a walk through and look for any pinch points that you find yourself squeezing through. Rearranging furniture to create the best flow is your goal.

If your property is going to be vacant then the question of staging arises.

Our thought is that homes that are up to around 90-100m2 in floor area probably don’t require staging. 

Even if you’re on the move, one option is to use some basic furniture and furnishings to stage at least the main living area which prospective buyers will view first.

Professional staging can take the presentation of the interior of your home to the next level, both in terms of on-line photos, as well as that added wow factor for prospective buyers as they view your home.

Here are two options to consider:

  1. Staging your main living area which is the interior space buyers will view first.
  2. Full staging for optimal imagery and effect.

You can research costs before making a final decision on staging.

We are happy to assist you to get in touch with contractors who service the Rotorua area to make it easier for you to research costs before making a final decision on staging.


A video frame from a recent Drone

Our free marketing package includes full professional interior and exterior photography, videography, and drone photography (except if within the Rotorua Airport no-flight zone).

Getting the best result is all about attention to detail, so here is a check list for you to consider ahead of your scheduled photo-shoot:

  • Relocate your vehicles off the property.
  • Relocate your rubbish and re-cycling bins, garden hoses etc so they will not be in shot.
  • Do a final tidy up including putting common use items into cupboards or wardrobes.
  • Check all beds are made and excess toys are put away or organized well.
  • Check all flat surfaces such as kitchen benches, dining tables, bedroom and bedside furniture for miscellaneous items that can be temporarily put away.
  • Remove bathroom mats (to increase apparent floor space) and clear the vanity, shower and bath of all toiletries.
  • Open all curtains.
  • Turn on all lights (just before the photoshoot begins).

We accompany our photographers and are happy to help you with a final check-through.


We have assisted hundreds of property owners in the Rotorua area to prepare their property to achieve best sale price.

We can assist you with an early walk-through and provide a list of suggestions around preparing your property for best price that are tailored specifically for your property.

It is also never too early to get a Property Appraisal – this gives you an indication of the probable selling price for your property, together with recommended marketing suggestions that are ‘best fit’ for current market conditions.

Our walk-through report and Property Appraisals are provided on a no-cost no-obligation basis, so feel free to contact us so we can partner with you for your success!

Call us on 027 672 7263 or fill out our Free Property Appraisal Request Form.

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