5 Advantages of Online Real Estate Agents

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Are you musing “how do I sell my house privately”? Well, you’ve come to the right place. You can squeeze more revenue out of selling your property in a for sale by owner real estate deal.

Would you bat an eyelash if you’re told you’ll get more out of the sale before it closes? Selling property with online real estate agents like Zero Commission has its perks, which is something more and more people realize.

Why should you work with online real estate agents? Here are five reasons worth noting (hint: these reasons are measurable in dollars and cents). Who can resist the bottom line when it comes without strings attached? You shouldn’t.

Advantage #1 You’ll have more money to spare in for sale by owner real estate, like, a lot more money.

Yes, you’ll have wads of money earned from the sale of the property, because online real estate agents charge a nominal and fixed rate for their service. If you’ve sold property before, then you might have an idea how sneaky commissions systems are set up.

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Online real estate agents are upfront with fees and service, and you always get what you pay for! If this is your first time selling a house, then you should seriously consider your options before you commit. The duration of the process varies, and it’s dependent on so many factors.

This is one more reason why you should commit to a service that charges you a fixed fee: there’s no upkeep costs to worry about.

Advantage #2 Fixed fees: no commissions in selling real estate privately.

No cuts. Yes, about that. Don’t you hate it when someone takes a big bite out of money coming your way? It’s also worth noting there are unscrupulous services out there, willing to milk you as you chew the cud, so to speak. Spare yourself the sucker punch and go the for sale by owner  route.

Have you ever felt the rug was being pulled from underneath you when dealing with old school real estate agents, like something’s being slipped behind your back? You’re not alone.

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Without going into details, such unscrupulous services and agents do exist. This is where online real estate agents have the advantage: you get what you pay for, which means there are no hidden costs and dealings involved.

Advantage #3 Your property is kept on the best listings until it’s sold.

Online real estate agents won’t leave you hanging, nor think your deal is second-rate compared to others (read: no favouritism).

You don’t have to worry about your place on the pecking order, because every listing is a priority. How do you stand out, you ask? It’s your property’s value that matters, and whether potential buyers like what they see during viewings. And of course our blog is absolutely filled with tips to help you sell a home privately.

Check out these useful blog posts of ours that will help you sell your Australian home:

If you do your due diligence and manage your house like a well-oiled machine, then you have a solid, fighting chance of closing on a sale in a for sale by owner deal. Even in a market as saturated as wet cheesecloth on a dewy morning.

Advantage #4 Online real estate agents keep track of your listing.

There’s this misconception online real estate agents aren’t as fastidious as the competition. This isn’t the case with Zero Commission. We will guide you in the follow-up on the process.

We aim to protect, for starters, our clienteles. It’s hard to build a reliable client base with sloppy service and we’re aware that a solid reputation in this business is mandatory.

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Advantage #5 You’re able to sell the house on your own best terms.

You can sugar-coat the pitch as much as you want, depending on the potential buyers’ expectations, and what your house has to offer. You’ll be there during the viewings, answering queries; you know the house like the back of your hand, so it’s likely you also know how to pitch it.

You’ll avoid miscommunication and confusion, ensuring any commitment comes with full understanding of the terms of the sale. You’ll save yourself a lot of trouble if the buyer knows exactly what is being paid for.

Online real estate agents like Zero Commission are the real deal. We make sure your real estate listing stays relevant so potential buyers take note. The viewings should convert into a sale, and you’re personally involved in the process.

When the dust settles, you’ll be glad you chose us for a nominal fee instead of taking in a massive bite off your sales.

Learn more about our for sale by owner real estate services on our site here.  

For Sale by Owner Tip: 5 Bathroom Staging Hacks

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A home can be so familiar that you choose to overlook the obvious flaws, especially in the bathroom. It’s true that some are meticulous about cleanliness, but you could be the type who kicks hair and gunk to the side while showering. If this is any indication of the way you maintain the bathroom, then it’s likely your bathroom is in need of serious upkeep and won’t be impressing buyers in for sale by owner real estate.

The condition of the bathroom makes or breaks the deal when you’re selling the house in a no agent property setup, because it’s one of the few places where buyers really take their time to check out. They might even use your bathroom just for kicks, just because they can. If your plumbing is backed up, you’d better hope the recent repairs don’t fail you.

In any case, you have to stage your bathroom like you’re expecting buyer’s to visit. If you’re leery at the cost, then rest assured these five tips are reasonable, affordable and doable. Hopefully, you won’t even recognize it’s your bathroom when you’re done (this is a good thing).

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Tip #1 Choose neutral colours and repaint the walls.

It’s best to have the messiest option out of the way. This option is only advisable if the new lick of paint would be an improvement, though. Sometimes it’s the only solution, especially if years of neglect turned your pristine walls into a not-so-artistic mural of dirt and stains.

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Even the smallest stain is an eyesore if it’s in an obvious location. If you have to repaint, play it safe and go for a neutral colour, and finish the job a couple of weeks before you expect the first buyer’s visit. That wall stain you’ve nicknamed “The Land Down Under”? Paint over it and offer buyers a clean slate in your for sale by owner property. 

Tip #2 Clear the clutter and sell that house privately.

An empty counter space complements blank walls. You’ll be surprised how strangely appealing your bathroom appears without all your toiletries scattered about. This includes all the soap slivers you’ve hoarded under the sink, all your worn toothbrushes, all your cleaning products, and even your spare rolls of toilet paper.

Be thorough with the clean-up, especially in the shower and cabinets. Anything left as evidence of your hygiene is a warning to buyers they’re intruding into your personal space, your sanctuary. At the very least, it’s going to be awkward, and it doesn’t make a good impression. 

Tip #3 Make the most out of storage space.

Your little spring cleaning probably tidied the bathroom, but it’s best you stash all the knickknacks somewhere else, instead of stuffing these into your cupboards and cabinets. Storage space is a premium in such small quarters; you have to admit you’ve checked cupboard space in other houses out of force of habit.

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Spare buyers visiting your for sale by owner property from seeing all your junk crammed into the cabinets. A good alternative is to bring in a wicker bin to keep the assortment, which you can easily take out of the bathroom before a buyer visit.

Tip #4 Prioritize visible upgrades in for sale by owner homes.

Maximize the returns of your investment and start with the visible upgrades. Replace your bathroom mirror if the glass is nicked or the lining is chipped. Dripping faucets can also be a deal breaker.

If you won’t go through the trouble of fixing an annoying leak, buyers may think you haven’t invested on the important upkeep, such as the plumbing, insulation, and even pest control. Repairs and replacements help you seal the deal, and it also improves on your living conditions in the meantime. 

Tip #5 Clean every nook and cranny.

This is your cost-effective alternative to a major renovation. You can restore the floor tiles to its former glory, it’s worth a shot. Try using cleaning products (and plenty of elbow grease), see if your labour makes a difference. You also need to reach into and clean nasty areas where the light doesn’t shine.

Dirty spots are highlighted on a pristine, blank wall, so be thorough. Stay on top of maintenance if you’re still using the bathroom, so you won’t scramble if a buyer suddenly wants to check out the property.

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Your bathroom should be comparable to a hotel washroom when you’re done, and buyers should walk in thinking they can actually own the place. Sweep buyers off their feet the moment they walk in and see your for sale by owner home, but remember there’s still the rest of the house to cover. At least you’ve accomplished plenty with the limited space, and your bathroom regains its former glory, as one of your house’s more habitable places.

Do you find yourself thinking “how do I sell my house fast without an agent?” For a nominal fee, Zero Commission will help you sell your property and you get to keep thousands of dollars in commissions. Learn more here.

New to for sale by owner real estate (otherwise known as no agent property or private selling)? Read our other blog posts for more amazing tips that will help you sell that house privately:

For Sale by Owner Tip: 6 Etiquette Tips when Selling a Home Privately

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Is it possible you’re the reason why your for sale by owner home isn’t selling? You’ve invested enough in the house in Australia that it’s become the showcase on your street. You’ve gone above and beyond any home buyer’s expectations. If your house is still sulking on the listings and your not meeting the goal of “sell my house fast”, then it’s reasonable to think you’re uninitiated in the unwritten rules of the game.

It’s true your house should be considered on its own merits, but you should still be aware of your part in the process. If buyers visit and feel they’re intruding in someone’s privacy, the awkwardness can hurt your chances of securing a sale. People rarely say anything offensive about no agent property homes during a visit, but you know there’s a problem when you never hear from them again.

There are benefits in being hospitable, but you also have to exercise restraint. Here are six unwritten rules that assure buyers your home for sale really is for the taking. Some of these rules might offend, but hey, you’ll just have to roll with the punches if you want your house sold.

Tip #1 Don’t stalk buyers during the ‘for sale by owner’ walk-through.

This is the downfall of overeager home sellers. Buyers don’t need to hear gritty details on the obvious. It’s better if you let them open the cupboards and cabinets without you breathing down their necks.

Spare buyers your palpable presence, and let them evaluate the house for sale on their own terms. Just be available to answer any questions they might have, stepping out once in a while and leaving them in their thoughts. They’ll appreciate your discretion.

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Tip #2 Re-locate your pets for the meantime.

Some people are into pets, and for different reasons, some are not. Pets are variables that may hurt or ensure the sale, and you never know which is which until you see how the buyer reacts to a mauling on your doorstep. Allergies and phobias are also serious considerations, so it’s best to keep your pets out of the equation.

Many are leery at the sight of strange animals, docile and friendly pets included. You may also think chirping birds on your yard promotes inner peace, but to some people it’s as excruciating as hearing nails scraping over a chalkboard. Have someone take your pets out for a walk when buyers visit, or take them to the neighbour’s yard for the meantime. This tip will help you tremendously in for sale by owner real estate.

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Tip #3 Reserve parking space for buyers’ cars.

If the driveway only has room for your car, then you have to find a new parking spot. Buyers shouldn’t worry about finding a place to park, or worse, end up walking an entire block from where their cars are nested.

Potential buyers may not even bother touring your property. It’s either this, or they’ll do the tour with cranky clouds looming above their heads. They’ve fixated on the parking issue so much they won’t have a sane and sober evaluation of the property.

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Tip #4 Important documents should be available upon request.

Back up your case with certified evidence. Buyers want to be assured they’re not inheriting nasty secrets, and the paperwork is proof you’re not pulling the rug from under them.

Documents settle concerns before these mutate into doubts and disputes. Inspections, appraisals, warranties, utility bills and renovation records ease anxieties and build your credibility as a for sale by owner seller.

Tip #5 Refreshments sweeten the ‘no agent property’ tour.

You’ll be surprised how many homeowners don’t think this necessary. It’s the minimum in house tour hospitality, though. You don’t even have to go overboard with the treats. A few bottles of beverage (bottled water is best) and a plate of cookies are enough; these also lighten the mood of buyers in need of a snack.

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Quick tip: have the cookies baked an hour before a buyer visits. Not only will you have warm treats within reach, the aroma of cookies fresh out of the oven will permeate your home.

Tip #6 Negotiations and compromise come with the territory.

Anticipate low-ball offers so you’re not caught off-guard when the pitch comes. Some offers can be insulting, but these test your grace under pressure. You have every right to think a “reasonable” offer is a travesty, but still, buyers shouldn’t see disgust splattered over your face.

Take low-ball offers in stride, and if you have to, end the tour on a positive note. Buyers are out for the best deal, and it’s likely they’ll consider yours if the house is worth the offer. Patience and discretion is always on your side.

If you’re having trouble seeing things from a buyer’s perspective in a for sale by owner deal, then you should act the part and check out houses you’re willing to pay for. You’ll be the one outside looking in, and you’ll pick pointers to improve your pitch and get closer to the goal of selling a house privately.

You’ll see newly baked cookies make the best first impressions; if you’re a dog person, visit a cat person’s house to understand why pet-friendly houses rarely figure into buyers’ considerations.

Think selling a house without an agent is a task left to the adrenaline-junkies? Think again. Zero Commission will guide you through the process of selling your house privately. You’ll begin to wonder why you ever thought you needed a real estate agent to sell your property! Learn more on our site. Click here.

Sell your house privately with ease with these tips we’re sure you’ll love:

7 Cheats to Help You Clear Clutter

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Bright Side Up blog featured our piece titled “7 Cheats to Help You Clear Clutter”

Once you declutter your home, you won’t want to go back to the messy way you once lived!

Before you decide to bring something home to keep, ask yourself if you’ll eventually consider it as just another knickknack in your haystack of orphaned stuff. Yes, hoarding can be a rewarding compulsion, but living space is best reserved for the essentials. This is arguable if you have money to burn, but like novelty souvenirs, clutter is often something you can do without. As far as mementos go, a picture can paint a thousand words and will also occupy just a few megabytes of space.

Here are 7 tips to help you declutter your home and reclaim lost territory.

Tip #1 Define What Qualifies as Clutter

This is the hardest part, because recognizing something as clutter is accepting it doesn’t belong in your house. Decluttering is like spring cleaning, but often involves items with sentimental value.

You have to think of it as shedding skin–something has to go and make room for better things. If you can group stuff in piles of wants and needs, it can help you visualize how much room you’ll regain in the aftermath. Having clutter is like having an unassembled mess of IKEA furniture–you need to know when it’s time to move on and let it go.

Read the complete post on Bright Side Up blog and clear your real estate property to sell your house privately.

5 Quick Fixes to Boost Curb Appeal

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Curb appeal is eye candy for the home buyer. If you’re trying to sell a house fast in a for sale by owner market, curb appeal is to closing the sale as sex appeal is to getting that date. You have to admit there are houses in your neighbourhood you just can’t help but stare at. Based on what you see up front, it looks like someone is always baking a batch of cookies in there. That, or some other homely fantasy you’re concocting.

Whether you’re a fan of facades or not, the point is this: great curb appeal brings real estate buyers knocking at the door. In case you’re not really keen on beefing up your façade, this shortlist of affordable, doable tips should do the trick–enough to convince you that your property for sale deserves a makeover.

Tip #1 Scout for discounted paint.

A fresh paint job is mandatory if you’re trying to sell a house fast. It’s a given you’ll save money by doing the paint job yourself, but did you know you can squeeze more value from your dollar by scoring deals on paint? Most people prefer to have the paint batch custom-mixed for their project, but you’re not like most people. Besides, you’re using the paint for your exterior, and every dollar saved helps, considering all that space you’ll cover.

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Discount paint is usually tucked in neglected shelves at hardware stores. These are batches that didn’t match some customer’s mix specifications. The batches are rejected and sold at a discount.

As they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and it’s likely you’ll find shades neutral enough to use. Depending on the supplier, you’ll score as much as 50% less on discount paints, so it’s really worth checking out.

Tip #2 Free mulch.

This is only worthwhile if you have the blooming shrubs to cultivate. You should, though, because home buyers love to walk up to houses with well-manicured gardens on the front yard. You might have guessed mulch is practically considered scrap and it should be free, but it’s often bought at shops, with money better spent on something else.

One of the life skills you have to learn is finding ways to score free mulch, and you’re in luck because there’s bound to be tree-trimming service providers in your area. You can imagine the piles of woodchips they have, all yours for the taking. They’ll probably give you a truckload, too, even deliver it to your doorstep if they’re servicing in your neighbourhood.

Tip #3 Plants at a discount.

It’s great that you have an insane amount of mulch to work with, because you’ll need it after you score plants at hefty discounts. Even if you don’t have a green thumb, the money you’ll spend to spruce up your façade pays off when potential buyers visit. Plants are priced reasonably at nurseries, but the cost still turns off anyone who wants plants on their yard just for show.

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Wait until the time is right, and you can scoop up plants at a hefty bargain. Nurseries regularly clear their inventories, especially when the seasons change. Plants from local nurseries are also better-cultivated than the warehouse varieties. Keep your eyes peeled for flyers and posters, and be there on the first clearance day with a cart to haul your gains away.

Tip #4 Hide eyesore with lattice.

In the same way it makes sense to sweep dust under a rug, there are eyesores on your façade that’s best covered. If your air conditioning unit is a protruding monstrosity on your wall, the quickest fix is to hide it with lattice.

This also works with garbage bins and generators. You’ll realize the cover-up works nicely from across the street. Lattice screens can be built easily enough DIY, using wood or vinyl.

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Tip #5 Exterior lighting at hefty discounts.

The skill you’ll hone scoring mulch and plants will also apply to exterior lighting fixtures. Sure, these cost money, but you can purchase units at slashed prices if you’re not picky.

Showrooms have to clear their showcase fixtures sometime. These retailers also clear stocks for new inventories, so it pays to ask which of the floor stocks they’re going to clear out next. Chances are you’ll be able to score these at seriously slashed prices, with up to 75% discount.

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You don’t have to spend a fortune on your curb appeal in order to sell a house in a no agent property deal, and oftentimes a simple overhaul is enough. Now you only need to ensure the house visits are converted into buyer deals; that’s the hard part. A truckload of free mulch won’t help you score that. But Zero Commission can!

For a nominal fee, we will list your house for sale on the top real estate sites in Australia while providing excellent customer service in the process. Learn more on our site.

Get closer to your dreams of selling a house privately with our other very useful articles:

5 Ways to Turn Your House Carbon Neutral

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In for sale by owner real estate, buyers are more inclined to consider a property if the home is carbon-neutral. The environmentalists were right: global warming is legit, and you have first-hand experience of this whenever the utility bills drop on your doorstep. If your goal is to “sell my house fast” then it pays to go green.

Yes, the costs of utilities also depend on your consumption, but it’s likely you’re paying more than ever to keep your comforts going. You’re at fault if you leave the thermostat running even when you’re out, but it’s also possible your home isn’t built to adapt to the global warming problem.

You know it’s serious when there’s a tree-hugger camped on your front yard. You also have a problem if you can count the trees on your street with one hand. As it turns out, there are adjustments you can make to reduce your home’s carbon footprint. You’ll also increase the value of the property, because buyers love to see what a carbon-neutral home actually looks like.

Here are five ways you can improve your home’s energy consumption. The goal is to go completely carbon-neutral and completely green, though. That’s virtually impossible, but hey, you have to do your part and start somewhere.

#1 Insulation.

It’s likely you were dreading to see this at the top of the list. It’s understandable, because improving the insulation in your home might also mean an overhaul of existing systems. Homeowners can only coast by with patches and quick fixes for so long but, eventually, the cost of repairs is feasible when compared to the cumulative costs of utilities.

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Radiant roof sheathing regulates indoor temperatures without overworking HVAC systems. Radiant barriers installed in the attic reflect the heat while keeping indoor temperature contained. Invest in these, and you can afford to reduce your utilities consumption. This is something potential buyers will be sure to find attractive, especially in no agent property deals.

#2 Tankless water heaters.

The cost of installing these isn’t cheap, but the pay-off comes in the long run. Water tanks are bulky, and there’s the need to constantly keep the cache of water heated. Unless you’re running a spa salon, you’ll only use heated water when you need it, only when you turn on the tap.

With tankless water heaters, you’re not wasting energy to have hot water available. The system heats running water only when needed. You don’t have to worry about cold water coming from the showerhead, because the heaters are efficient enough to keep up with your needs.

#3 Roof sunscreen. Applying a sunscreen coat on your roof will add years to its lifespan. Not only will this protect the shingles from the beating of the elements, it also helps regulate indoor temperature. Sunscreen can block up to 90% of the sun’s heat, and can save you up to 10% on indoor cooling costs.

Consider and invest in sunscreen options. These, paired with radiant barriers, will seriously cut down on your utilities consumption.

#4 Upgrade your HVAC systems.

This is only advisable if your HVAC has outlived its best years, and if you have the money to spend on replacements. It’s worth noting that the new HVACs have higher energy-efficiency ratings, which means that you’re actually bleeding money in keeping your current HVAC running. An upgraded heating and cooling system will help sell a house fast.

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An affordable alternative is to have your HVAC checked and maintained. The upkeep is important, especially in houses that cover more square footage of living space.

#5 Efficient lighting.

You’ll be amazed at how efficient lighting can improve home life. Sure, fancy chandeliers are great conversation pieces with guests (in case you need fancy fodder for small talk, that is), but you have to admit the glare is overkill in indoor lighting. There are plenty of lighting alternatives that are both energy and cost efficient, that also complement your interior design.

You should use natural light whenever possible. The small things make a difference, such as using blinds and curtains, and opting for transparent instead of translucent window panes. Natural light eliminates the need for artificial light, which translates to reduced energy consumption.

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You have everything to gain by reducing your carbon footprint, especially if you’re trying to sell your home in a for sale by owner real estate deal. This also gives you an edge on the market, if you decide to sell your house in a no agent property setup in the future. Not only is your home code-compliant, it’s also environment-friendly. Any vegan who’s into hybrid cars would be proud of what you’ve done with the place.

Sell your house privately in Australia with these amazing tips from our blog:

5 Home Maintenance Essentials that Pay Off

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Selling a house privately has numerous perks. When approached haphazardly, however, it can be a frustrating process, especially if you’ve surveyed the property and realized it’s in need of serious renovation. Here’s where priorities will reward or bite you. The goal in maintenance when you’re trying to sell a home in a for sale by owner property deal is investing in upgrades that pay off when it’s time to sell.

Do you get that nagging feeling that you’re going to have to sell a limb to finance repairs long overdue? If you’ve visited houses with mildew in the garage and termites in the walls, it’s likely these houses are crossed off your list. Maybe the owner should’ve invested in the maintenance. Fancy cupboards and counter-tops don’t matter when a buyer’s sheer delight is doused by the smell of sludge in the garage.

So, which maintenance options pay off in the long run? Here are five home investments that ensure you won’t lose money when you decide to sell.

Tip #1 Roof repairs.

Most homeowners invest in these a few years after moving into a new home. For buyers, this is a deal-breaker with little wiggle room for compromise. They may not notice leaks found in the roof during a house visit, though, especially during dry seasons when sellers resort to plug the leaks with quick fixes.

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There are still tell-tale signs of a leaking roof. Buyers may catch a whiff of dank odour the moment they walk in, and you can’t deny the water stains on the ceiling. Fixing the roof as soon as you see the leak will save you a lot of money (and trouble) later on.

Tip #2 Waterproofed basement.

There are few places in the house where it’s okay to have water logged by the buckets (the bathtub and the pool come to mind). The basement should certainly remain watertight, or else things won’t bode well for the property. It’s worse if the pooled water emits a musty smell, then it’s likely you also have a sewage problem to fix.

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It’s important you have the creature comforts covered now, especially when you’re not yet willing to sell. You’ll save yourself the trouble of explaining to buyers why the basement is off-limits, and buyers won’t think you have nasty secrets to keep.

Tip #3 Kitchen upgrades.

There’s something about new cupboards and countertops that scream of a house well-maintained.  Even though this investment involves more upgrade than maintenance, you don’t have to remodel the kitchen in one fell sweep. Start with the more functional parts, and overhaul the kitchen in bite-sized pieces.

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Spend your money on high-quality materials, like real wood instead of particleboard for the drawers, slides and hinges instead of staples. You have a variety of materials to choose for the cabinet interiors, countertops, and finishing. Keep in mind you’re upgrading for the long haul, up to the point of reselling the house in a no agent property setup.

Tip #4 Bathroom repairs. There’s no room for compromise in bathroom upgrades. Remember, this is the place where people freshen up, so backed up plumbing, deep-seated stains, and faulty fixtures don’t really ease the experience. It’s easy to overlook these repairs when you’re accustomed to the house’s eccentricities, but you deserve better if you have the money to spend.

Survey the fixtures that need upgrading, and start with the ones that immediately make a difference. Faucets that don’t drip aren’t only functional; these resolve annoyances nobody would pay to live with. Whether you prefer ceramic, marble, or even hardwood floors, make sure the bathroom flooring is waterproofed and durable.

Tip #5 Curb Appeal. You’re luring buyers in for the kill, but you won’t be able to do this if the house sticks out like a sore thumb on your street. Investing in curb appeal isn’t false advertising if you made sure the entire house is structurally sound from the inside out.

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Ensure your sidewalk, front yard, walk path, and drive way ushers in buyers. The façade should make a good impression and lasting appeal. A few words of caution, though: if you’re improving the house to sell, consider first landscaping designs with broad appeal to buyers, and your aesthetic preferences second.

It will be harder to let the house go, once you’ve enjoyed the benefits of your investments. It’s a paradox, really, spending money on a house you know you won’t keep. But, if you’re able to trade places with potential buyers, then you know you wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s time to queue those projects and get things going.

Want to sell a house fast in Australia? Zero Commission specializes in for sale by owner real estate. Visit our site for more details on how we can help you sell a home privately. Click here.

Be several steps closer to selling your home with these tips from our regularly updated blog:

 

7 Tips to Paint like a Pro and Sell Your House

7 Tips to Help You Paint a House like a Pro and Sell Your House -title

Making sure your house has a fresh paint job is one of the top priorities on your list if you’re thinking “how do I sell my house privately” in Australia, or anywhere. In a for sale by owner real estate deal, it’s vital your home’s paint isn’t peeling or faded.

Painting a house is that pesky running joke only married couples understand. Movies poke fun at this abominable chore by portraying couples gleefully attacking the walls, like kids at finger-painting class. In real life it can be so frustrating, people end up with an unfinished pet project no one wants to talk about. This is probably the reason why some houses have locked rooms that are never opened.

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So, you’re planning to give your home a new lick of paint, but you want to keep your sanity intact until the project is finished? Ease your anxieties with these seven tips.

  1. Do the legwork. You’ll be overwhelmed by the all the nuances in colours, so it’s best to check out samples of interiors first, online or in published magazines. You can also use paint swatches to help you visualize how the shades would appear in natural and artificial light.

Paint stores offer premium advice (and save you lots of money) with recommendations on popular or ideal shades. In-house staff can also estimate the amount of paint you’ll need for the task. Buy enough to finish the project, the best paint you can afford.

  1. Carpet, floor, hardware. It’s best to remove the carpet before you paint, but you can also protect the edges with three-inch masking tape. Make sure the tape runs up to half an inch onto and along the surface of the baseboard.

Lay drop cloths (not plastic, to avoid spatter) over the floor, remove switch plates, and tape over outlets. Cover door hinges, door handles, and door stops.

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  1. Make sure surfaces are prepared for the primer coat. Your meticulousness will pay off, so chip off the old paint (or paper) and scrape any trace of the existing layer. Sand over, fill in, and caulk the woodwork.

Get rid of obstructions you can remove (including light fixture covers), or tape these over and spray with quick-drying stain sealer. Consider this chore hazardous to your health, though, so make sure you wear a face mask (respirator) for good measure.

  1. You have to mix all the paint you’ll use into one batch. This will save you a lot of trouble later on. Otherwise, you’ll discover using paint by the gallon will still leave uneven swatches over the walls, even if you used the same shade for everything. Mixing it all up in one container guarantees the coat is even all throughout.

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  1. Prime the woodwork. Use a quick-drying, solvent-based primer instead of water-based latex. You have to be thorough, but it’s okay to have primer splattered over adjacent walls. You can smoothen globs later before you apply paint.
  2. Paint the ceiling, woodwork, and walls, in the same order. Your first coat of paint on the ceiling should be light, enough to lock in the particles on the surface. Apply the second coat after it’s dried.

Apply a coat of latex trim paint on the woodwork, and then let it dry for the day. If you have to reapply paint for an even coat, lightly sand the surface with 220-grit sandpaper to smoothen brush strokes from the previous layer.

  1. You’re almost there. Mask the edges of the ceiling and woodwork with tape before you coat the walls. After the coat has dried, cut along the edge of the tape before peeling the strip, to prevent the dry paint from chipping or flaking.

It goes without mentioning that you need the right brushes for the project. Again, the paint store can fill you in on all the tools and materials you’ll need to pull off a successful paint job.

The project comes with a solid sense of achievement when it’s finished. Who wouldn’t be proud? The proof is plastered all over the room. You’ll have reason to bask in a job well done, and for the next few days you’re justified in staring at a blank wall for hours on end, or until the prospective buyers come calling. With a fresh and beautifully done paint job, you’ll be selling a house in a no agent property deal sooner rather than later!

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We’re sure you’ll love our other blog posts, all meant to help you sell your home in a for sale by owner real estate setup: