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It’s time to sell your home, and you’ve decided to stage the place yourself for potential buyers. That’s an excellent choice – not only does staging tend to facilitate sales, but it can increase the amount of money you get for your property. In fact, some professional stagers estimate that their services boost their clients’ bottom line by up to 10%.

You can try your hand at staging to reap the same financial benefits when selling your home. To make the process a bit easier, here are seven areas to focus on when sprucing up your space:

1. The Living Room
People coming to view your home want to know that they can live comfortably in the living room. If the area is empty, it’s hard for them to visualise their own furniture fitting within the room’s parameters. On the other hand, a cluttered room will feel cramped and tiny, which is not what anyone wants while relaxing in the den.

So, focus on emptying the excess – everything from overloaded bookshelves to coffee tables covered in magazines. You can leave a few knickknacks behind to make the living room look, well, lived-in. Just be sure that the final product looks like an intimate, comfortable conversation space. Use just enough to show the space’s potential without overdoing it.

2. Kitchen
According to both buyers and sellers, the second most important space to stage is the kitchen. It might be an odd choice, because it doesn’t house nearly as much furniture as other rooms. But the kitchen is a huge selling point in your home, and it should be showcased as the best version of itself.

So, once again, remove any clutter from your countertops. Instead, showcase up to three small appliances on your countertops. You can keep an accessory or two alongside these items, too — for example, if you have a coffee machine, a canister of coffee can sit next to it. Potential buyers will open cabinets to see how much space there is, so don’t stuff them with the countertop clutter. Instead, sort through it and toss what you don’t need, or pack it up and place it elsewhere during showings.

3. Master Bedroom
For the next owner of your home, the master bedroom will become their retreat. Therefore, you don’t want the space to look too personalised to you. You probably painted the area or chose a duvet cover that you love. But if these items are brightly coloured or boldly printed, other buyers won’t be able to picture themselves living there.

So, replace any bright colours with a look that’s more neutral. Re-paint the walls and replace the linens if necessary. Once again, be sure to clear any clutter away – this is especially true if you have extra-large furniture that makes your master feel smaller than it is — keep the basics only, and the bedroom will appear spacious.

4. Bathrooms
Another huge selling point for your home — the bathrooms. Whether you have one or ten, each one should be staged with care to show them off as luxurious retreats, which is what buyers are looking for. Once again, you’ll start by removing clutter from countertops and organising your bathroom bottles so that storage seems sufficient. Then, you could make a few swaps to make the space appear swanky. New towels and updated cabinet hardware won’t break the bank, but they’ll make a huge difference in the eyes of potential buyers.

5. Dining Room
An empty dining room will look dark and unwelcoming. On the other hand, a simply staged space will show it off as a comfortable place for friends and family to gather. Start by ensuring you have the right-sized dining table — something too big will make the space look extra-small. But you don’t want the room’s dimensions to dwarf your table either, so add a leaf or pop a new tabletop over your piece’s base to make it proportional.

Finish the project by either setting the table or placing a centrepiece on it. No matter what you do, make sure the final look is inviting. Otherwise, potential buyers won’t be able to envision themselves enjoying meals within your dining room.

6. Additional Bedrooms
The master bedroom should get the most attention, but the rest of your bedrooms will need attention pre-sale. Start in the closets to reorganise clothes and remove any clutter — every storage place should appear to have ample space. Then, you’ll want to neutralise the decor again. And, if you’re using extra bedrooms as catch-all rooms without an intended purpose, give them one while staging. For example, put a desk in one guest room, so it shows as an office, or rebuild your child’s crib to present a smaller space as a nursery.

7. Exterior Spaces
Finally, don’t forget your home’s outdoor spaces — the first that potential buyers will see is the front of your property, after all. An easy way to figure out how to improve your kerb appeal is to park your car where realtors will. Get out of the vehicle and scrutinise the appearance of your place.

From there, you’ll be able to pinpoint what needs to be done. For many buyers, a power wash is in order to make the home’s facade, the driveway or both appear to be sparkling. Weeding garden beds and adding some greens could further beautify your abode. There are so many ways to improve your property’s kerb appeal — choose a few and revolutionise the look of your home from the outside in.

No matter how you choose to stage your place, the effort is always worth it. So, take the time to de-clutter and lightly decorate, and you’ll see just how many rewards — and how much of a profit — you can reap from the process.

Moving house doesn’t have to be stressful. We have compiled the ultimate moving guide for you featuring the best moving tips to successfully move house. To download the below checklist click here.

Remember to cancel:

☐ Newspaper and/or milk delivery.

☐ Telephone, internet and cable TV.

☐ Gas, water and electricity (arrange a final meter reading).


 Organise for moving day:

☐ Obtain supply of boxes (the supermarket can be one supplier).

☐ Get packaging tape and heavy marker pens.

☐ Arrange for furniture removal (get quote, confirm time).

☐ Arrange care of your children on moving day.

☐ Make suitable arrangements for any pets.

☐ Arrange transit insurance and contents and fire insurance

for your new home.

☐ Organise shifting times with the purchaser of your old

property and the previous owner of your new one.


Notify your change of address to:

☐ Bank, credit card and charge card companies.

☐ Post office for redirection of mail.

☐ Elections Registrar.

☐ Registrar of motor vehicles and drivers license.

☐ Tax department.

☐ Insurance companies.

☐ Hire purchase or finance companies.

☐ Investment companies.

☐ Local council.

☐ Clubs and organisations.

☐ Police (if you own and store firearms).

☐ Friends and relatives.

☐ Magazine subscriptions.

☐ Doctor, dentist, accountant, lawyer.


Don’t forget:

☐ Clean the stove and defrost the fridge/freezer.

☐ Tidy the yard.

☐ Ensure that the chattels that have been sold with the

property are not accidentally packed.

☐ Disconnect all appliances.

☐ Disconnect the TV aerial.

☐ Return any borrowed items.

☐ Throw out items that you don’t intend taking with you.

☐ List valuable items for special care when moving.

☐ Advise removal company of dangerous goods being moved

(i.e. ammunition, petrol, spirits, chemicals).

☐ Securely pack all jewellery, money, special documents

and papers (i.e. legal, tax, insurance etc).

☐ Set aside items you will need on the day of the move so you

can take them with you (i.e. food, drinks, cleaning products).

☐ Pack each room leaving the boxes stacked and labelled with the

room they are to be moved to. It is a good idea to write on each box

a list of its general content.

☐ Clearly label boxes containing breakables as ‘Fragile’ and identify

these items to the removal people.

☐ Pot and pack away plants and cuttings you are taking with you.

☐ Explain your packing procedure to the removal people and be at

your new home when they arrive.


Do not:

☐ Put breakables or liquid filled containers in drawers.

☐ Overload drawers and make furniture too heavy to shift

(too much weight can damage furniture).

☐ Move netting, barbed wire, timber, wood, coal etc without

special arrangements being made.

☐ Store perishable goods where they might be overlooked.

Make arrangements to:

☐ See your solicitor to sign transfer documents/mortgage

discharge documents.

☐ Enrol children in new school.

☐ Coordinate the forwarding of any files from the children’s

previous school to their new one.

Organise for your new home:

☐ Newspaper delivery.

☐ Telephone.

☐ Internet and cable TV connection.

☐ Gas, electricity and water.


The week before moving:

☐ Remind and confirm dates/times/locations for furniture

removal company.

☐ Confirm moving in/moving out details and key exchange

with your Harcourts consultant.

☐ Say goodbye to neighbours.


One last check:

☐ Nothing left behind?

☐ No clothes at the dry cleaners?

☐ No gear stored away from your property?

☐ Electricity, gas and telephone disconnected?

☐ Water turned off and no taps left running?

☐ Windows and doors latched?

☐ Keys with solicitor (if appropriate)?

After it’s all over:

☐ Have spare keys cut.

☐ Make an insurance claim if any damage has occurred

during the move.

☐ Teach children how to get to their new school.

Enjoy your new home and keep in touch. We’d love to hear how you’re going.

After surveying our first 100 sales in December we found over a quarter of those to be investors selling up.

28% of our sellers were cashing up their investment properties sighting reasons such as too many requirements in compliance with the new healthy homes standards, tougher tenancy laws, new interest deductability rules,and increasing interest rates. Investors also thought it was a good time to sell given the strength of demand in the market.

This poses problems for the ever-decreasing pool of ma and pa investors who make up over 70% of the rental property available throughout NZ.The second largest group were people cashing up and moving out to regional New Zealand at 17%, add to that those moving overseas at 5% and the group swells to 23%. We are seeing many people leaving the city with Hawke’s Bay being a popular location followed by the South Island.

The survey also found 13% of our sellers were trading up and 11% downsizing, and with Auckland’s recent 107-day lock down where people were confined to their bubbles at home, as per the 2020 extended lock down, we find again peoples homes not being fit for purpose requiring a home office or more space for teenagers, all driving motivation to move.

Separation is featuring as another reason for selling at 6%, surprising low given some anecdotal evidence of couples during lock down realising their bubble was not for them.

A rising star on the reason for selling is the sale of the family home for a development site, and as the unitary plan allows for higher density housing we will see this reason for selling increase substantially in the months ahead. A recent example of this was four neighbouring family homes for 30 years in Unsworth Heights selling and 26 new three-bedroom homes going in, showing just how dramatically the suburban landscape is changing. This intensification creates more and more pressure on the city’s infrastructure, traffic, parking amenities, and schools, to accommodate all the new families moving in.

The changing time of where we live, and how we live, will certainly challenge our city’s leaders and decision makers over the year ahead.

Congratulations to our last 100 sellers in December, and may the changes and opportunities you have created by your decision to move up or down, or even out to give someone else a go, help enrich the wonderful city of Auckland.

Your home is likely to be one of your biggest financial assets, but often it’s also the place you raised your children and spent many happy hours with friends and family. Selling your home can evoke strong emotions, but here are a few strategies to help you keep those emotions in check and achieve the best result.

Home vs property
It’s natural to have second thoughts about selling what you think of as ‘home’ and leaving behind all the memories connected with it. As soon as you decide to sell, start thinking of your ‘home’ as your ‘property’ – an asset that you wish to sell and that you want to make as appealing as possible to others who are looking to buy.

Start with a clean slate
When preparing to list a property for sale, it’s important to declutter and depersonalise your home which means removing your family portraits, knickknacks, souvenirs, diplomas and mementos. By doing so, you’re making it easier for potential buyers to envision themselves and their possessions in the house. Packing up your personal items and storing them out of sight early in the process can also help you come to terms with your emotions.

Remember your ‘why’
When you start to second guess your decision to sell, remind yourself why you’re doing it and what you have to look forward to. Make a list of and put it somewhere prominent. Whether you’re downsizing, upsizing, retiring or moving closer to family, keep coming back to the upside and what motivated you to sell in the first place.

Find a sales consultant you trust
Once you’ve made the decision to sell, it’s critical to choose a sales consultant and a company that you trust – someone who has expert local knowledge and keeps you informed throughout the process. Make sure the sales consultant can show you how he or she will maximise competition for your property while minimising any potential complications. Once you’ve found the right person, take their advice on board,
present your property well and you can be assured of a great experience.