It's at this time of year that we always see a significant lift in the number of properties listed for sale. This year the spring selling season was a little delayed by the "Winston" factor, as people waited to see who would make up our new government and lead our country.

If you're thinking of selling your home, you're probably like many of our customers and you've been waiting for Winston's decision before making your next move. We know for some that's created some added stress as it's created a feeling of pressure before Christmas.

The great news is that the Christmas break is actually a great time to market your property. We see an influx of visitors to the wider Bay of Plenty region and as they enjoy spending time unwinding, they naturally imagine themselves relaxing by the lake, visiting the beaches and enjoying the outdoors as part of their normal, everyday lives.

If you're thinking of selling, spending some time and energy getting your home ready is a great way to help your marketing stand out and ensure those out of town buyers love what they see. As well as boosting the sale price, results also show improvements made can reduce the time on the market.

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The question that's really important, is, where do I spend my time, energy and money to get the best return?

To make this as easy as possible, here's our top 10 tips for getting your home ready for sale:
1. Lighten and brighten

One of the most noticeable, yet economical improvements includes cleaning windows, wiping all light fixtures and pruning trees to maximise natural light. Is there some dark colour you've become attached to? Give it a coat of white paint to induce that feeling of space.

2. Clean and de-clutter

Clean the entryway, buy good looking front door hardware, remove excess furniture, board pets and get rid of odours.

3. Kitchen and bathrooms

Make the most obvious improvements first. These include replacing damaged tiles, repainting if colour is dated, dark or poor quality, repairing damaged counter tops, touching up cabinetry and replacing that broken/old toilet seat.

4. Stage the home

This is often the secret to a quick sale. Decorate the house with fresh flowers, play music and remove personal items (let your open home visitors imagine themselves living there). For the ultimate result, ask your real estate agent about professional staging.

5. Repair electrics/plumbing

Before showing the house, repair all defects to light switches, overhead lights and replace any faulty plumbing fixtures.

6. Repair damaged floors

Keep floors clean at all times and if necessary replace worn out vents and patch, repair or replace flooring.

7. Landscape

Mow, trim and re-sow bare lawns, remove all debris, secure fences and add colourful plants and flowers.

8. Replace or clean carpets

If carpets are not faded or damaged beyond repair, consider shampooing to improve smell and appearance.

9. Exterior touch ups

Give special attention to the garage, front doors, window and door frames and blistering paint. Tired fences, holes in gutters, missing tiles on the roof, etc. should be attended to.

10. Interior touch-ups

Unless your paint or wallpaper is really bad, retouching may suffice. Also consider removing that dated wallpaper, whitewashing dark panelling and having watermarks and cracked ceilings repaired.

We hope that these easy to implement and low-cost ideas help you get more for your home. Throw in some good timing and a great real estate agent in the mix and you should get a better result than you hoped for.

Looking to sell? Give the team at EVES Tauranga a call on 07 578 2159 and they can make this journey a whole lot easier for you.