Small changes can add up to big appeal when it comes to preparing your home for sale.

Investing a little time and money can pay off handsomely.

1) Improve the street appeal.
Every agent will tell you to trim the hedge, edge the paths, clean, paint the front door and perhaps add plants in large pots.

Another good move is painting small sections of concrete around the entrance with specialist products to refresh the look, says Ray White Mission Bay agent Ruoxi Wang. Consider updating the mailbox and street numbers.


2) Paint isn't expensive and can significantly improve the look of a home.
Wang recommends getting the colour right.

White, she says, comes with many different accents. Vendors don't think about the shade of white and end up with hospital white.

Also beware of using strong colours that don't appeal to all. Employ a professional painter to do the work unless you're experienced, she says. "A poorly painted house looks bad".

3) Home staging improves the appeal of homes to buyers and can add a lot of value. Wang has seen good staging and not so good staging, even on the same home when it has come up for sale twice in a few short years.

For those who want to DIY their staging, the likes of Kmart and the Warehouse sell affordable stylish items. Wang has seen cheap but eye-catching art from Kmart used effectively in home staging.

4) You can never do enough cleaning when selling a home.
The problem is that those vendors that most need to clean their homes more are usually the ones that can't see the problem and/or don't have the skills. What's more, some owners don't notice that their homes are musty, dusty, or smell of dog, cat or teenager.

It makes sense to use professional cleaners and then clean daily during marketing.

Removing the animals from the home when it's on the market can make a lot of sense, but isn't always practical. Never try to mask dirt or smells with air freshener. Just clean it.


5) Pick your agent's brain.
Seasoned agents have often sold hundreds of houses. They can assess at a glance what can be improved in your home and are bound to have ideas you have never thought about.

They will have contacts for everything from chem wash companies to specialist water proofers for a leaky deck. Wang says she will often advise vendors to do something they may not have thought of such as staining the deck, painting the bench top or changing cabinet handles.

If you want to improve the appeal of your home to buyers, ask as many people as possible to inspect your house and give you feedback on what you could improve.

Their advice could add tens of thousands of dollars of value to the home.