• Hamish McDonald


Updated: Jul 2, 2021

The presentation of your property is one of the most important things to consider to maximise the sale price of your home, perhaps second to your choice of agent!. '

As you might expect, in my sixteen years of selling Dunedin properties, I have seen that the well presented homes always sell for a lot more than the ones that are not so well presented. To help you start to think about what you might do to be market ready, I have listed some tips that will really make a difference when selling your home. Most of these things will not cost very much or only involve a couple of weekends of hard work, but you will be well rewarded for your efforts. If you would like a more tailored overview for no cost, please feel free to get in touch and I can pop around to give you my thoughts. I would love to help!


You have heard the saying that an impression is formed within seconds of meeting a person, well the same goes for property. An intangible feeling can be what sells a property. "It just feels like home" or "It just has a nice feeling to it" is often what I hear as a buyer enters a property.

  1. If people need to enter through a gate make sure it opens well, and prospective buyers don’t have to fight their way through over grown bushes.

  2. Make sure all the paths are nice and clean. Water basting or various cleaning products are great for this. Consider sealing gravel or muddy pathways so they look fresh in all weathers and seasons.

  3. The garden should be nice and tidy with no weeds. Bark chipping can bring a garden to a new level immediately.

  4. Mow the lawns and make sure there are no trees blocking light getting into the house.

  5. If you are fortunate to have large section, presentation is even more important. If it is not tidy, buyers will think it is a lot to look after and could be off put. Conversely, if it is tidy and looks easy care, then buyers will be more positive and start to imagine their family enjoying the space.

  6. Stain or paint your wooden fence. This is also the case with decking

  7. Make sure the spouting is clean with no weeds, and clean down the outside of the spouting too.

  8. Clean the windows and wash down the house if required


  1. It might seem simple but it is important that the front door opens well. It doesn't look good if the agent is struggling to work the key when they have buyers wanting to get in.

  2. Make sure the home is nice and warm. It is a massive advantage if buyers have looked at other homes that are cold when your home is nice and warm.

  3. If your house is empty or the furnishings are a little dated, having the property professionally 'dressed' can add tens of thousands to the sale price for relatively little cost to the vendor.

  4. This can be a tricky one but it is best if your home is not too cluttered. I always say to my vendors that the more floor space a buyer can see the more spacious your home will look. There are people out there who can help you remove or tuck away the non-essentials.

  5. Consider having your property professionally cleaned or invite some friends over for a top to tail spring clean.

  6. The smell (or lack of a smell!) is vital. If you have pets it is a good idea to get your carpets cleaned but remember it is best to do this a good week before you go to market because it can take them a while to dry out.

  7. Once on the market, the kitchen bench needs to be clean and clear, beds made and washing out of sight. Fresh flowers provide a good scent and can brighten up any space.


The great news is the more cost effective improvements can add the most value. A good paint job can really give a home a lift. In a lot of cases things like new kitchens and bathrooms can cost a lot when you may only get the money back that you have spent. With kitchens just getting the doors painted and some more modern handles can really make a big difference without it costing heaps. I strongly recommend that you give me a call before spending big money on kitchens and bathrooms as I can tell you what the market is looking for at that time.


Over the last 18 years in the Dunedin market, I have built up a good list of people in all trades and professions who I can recommend. Just let me know what you need and I can pass their details onto you.

Any questions? Please get in touch for a no obligation chat.