Over 20,000 people descended on Dorcas Street for the first day of the Block open house. While you mightn't have a TV show to help win over potential buys, there are some practical things you can do to best prepare your house for open inspections and hopefully, attract big bidders come auction day.
Any real estate agent worth their salt will tell you that presentation is a critical part of selling your home quickly, and for the best possible price. And the process begins before the first open inspection.
With many buyers choosing which properties to inspect based on the photographs, you have to turn your attention to your home's presentation from the moment you decide to sell.
Once your home is "photo ready" presented at its finest it is usually 10 days until you open the doors for the first inspection, according to David Wood, director of Hocking Stewart Albert Park, the agency selling the property renovated by Mike and Andrew.
In those 10 days, the agency will choose the photos, prepare the advertising copy, book the advertising space and contact potential buyers on its database.
Most agents set a period of 28 days from the first inspection to auction. With the usual two inspections per week, plus an average of 20 private viewings for buyers who cannot make it to the open inspections, that’s about 28 inspections before auction.
"With sales, you have the same lead time from instruction through to the first inspection, but a private sale can happen faster [than 28 days] or drag on," Wood says.
He advises sellers to "go as far as your budget will let you" in preparing their home for inspections. "Try to neutralise the home as much as possible, and seek the advice of stylists if necessary," he says.
"The outside of the home is also important, because most buyers will drive past the home before inspection or look for a photo of the outside. Cut the grass, do the hedges, add some colour with potted flowers, and consider painting the façade."
"If the presentation is not right, it may deter buyers from making a connection to the home, which can be to the detriment of the property both on the price and the time it takes to sell," she says.
Karl Gillon, managing director of Buxton Albert Park, the agency selling Brad and Lara's renovated terrace, says pre-inspection improvements don't have to cost the earth.
"You can do things on a budget." Gillon advises. "Outside, it can be a small trimming or planting a few flowers.
"We work with a number of styling companies, internally and externally, to make each property look its very best and we work to the vendor's budget."
In his book, The Ultimate Guide to Real Estate, John McGrath offers the following "top five presentation tactics" for preparing for open inspections: