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How To: Make your house stand out from the crowd

With the New Year, new hopes, aspirations, and resolutions emerge.  For you, this may mean moving – which may include selling your current home. 

So, what are buyers looking for?  Paint and painting are an easy way you can stand out from the competition and maximise the value of your home.

We spoke with long-standing client, Janet McGillivray from Unlimited Potential Real Estate Mt Eden, to get some tips.


Q: Vendors are wary of not over-capitalising their homes.  However, a house also needs to be well presented to attract top dollar.  What should you invest in before putting your house on the market?

Before going on the market, it is a really good idea to look at your property with fresh eyes, and consider what a prospective buyer would be looking for.  

  • Go and look at your letterbox; does it need to be repainted? A high gloss enamel will bring it back to life and make that much needed first impression without a lot of cost.

  • Replace the numbers on your letterbox so it also looks fresh and new.

  • Look at your front door and any timber joinery you may have.  Do they need repainting?  When buyers walk up to a property they are looking for a well-maintained house.

  • Plant new plants or flowers around your front door.  Make it look inviting and set the scene for a good feeling as people walk inside.

  • Declutter. When you sell you will need to remove everything, so get some of that decluttering done now and make settlement day easier on yourself.  

  • Open as many windows as possible daily to air out the house.  This helps to create a healthy and clean environment, and remove any lingering smells.  


Q: To what extent should you paint? Would you suggest repainting the full interior or exterior, or just focusing on key areas? 

A fresh coat of paint does wonders to any room in any house.

If your interior walls look tired and faded, one coat may be all you need to bring the room back to life.

Once you have decluttered, it can be a good idea to repaint using a neutral colour.  This will open up the room, and create a feeling of spaciousness.  It is also worth considering replacing some stronger colours with more neutral tones - you may love purple or burgundy, but not everyone else does!

If your budget restricts which rooms to paint, focus on setting the scene by doing the front entrance and the hallways. The next priority would be the kitchen and bathrooms.  If possible, do not take a house to market with any peeling or faded paint.


Q: What are some of the key issues potential purchasers have about the quality of work carried out in homes?

If a buyer sees one badly maintained area in a house, they assume it all needs to be checked very carefully.  Don’t give buyers a reason to start looking for fault in your home.


Q: In the current market for quality homes, what are purchasers looking for?  Are they expecting a pristine home that they can move into and enjoy, or do they expect or want to carry out work to put their stamp on it?

Everybody likes to personalise their home and there are some who see a tired kitchen or bathroom as an opportunity to do that.  However, that will be reflected in the offer or what they are prepared to pay for the house.  

Let the buyers see that you have loved this home, and looked after it, and they will feel that as well.


Q: We have seen how the clever use of colours can transform a house from ‘ho-hum’ to fabulous.  How important are paint colours to purchasers?

Paint colours, and the combination of colours, are very important to a buyer. Colour gives us an emotion – good and bad.  If you are perceived to have shown an empathy and respect to the house, you’ll help buyers to feel the same.


About Janet McGillivray

Janet has recently re-joined the Unlimited Potential Mt Eden team after spending four years in Hangzhou China with her husband Neil. 

Prior to Janet’s adventure in Asia she successfully sold real estate for Unlimited Potential in Mt Eden, Epsom and Remuera for five years. 

Having raised two children in Epsom and living there for many years, Unlimited Potential’s Mt Eden office was the perfect place to return to. 

With a great eye for detail and a well organised approach, Janet brings a consistent can-do attitude to real estate. She works hard, is honest, and brings a refreshing direct and open style to all she does. 


Want to talk to a Master Painter about what is best for your exterior project? Call Wall Treats today.

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