Making your home more attractive to potential buyers doesn’t have to cost thousands, a simple lick of paint can make all the difference. But if that’s beyond your budget there are a few other tricks that can also help you get the best price on auction day.
Aussie chats to an interior designer about how to put your right foot forward, stylistically speaking.
Property styling is becoming a huge industry, according to interior designer Gabrielle Reinhardt, owner of Berkeley Interiors in Brisbane. Many real estate agents in the capital cities won’t agree to sell without it, she says. Professional styling can not only increase the sale price, it can increase the number of offers you get and make your place sell quicker.
“Spending money on a stylist and hiring furniture and accessories to style your home for sale can boost the sale price,” says Reinhardt, “so it’s an investment.”
But if professional help is beyond your budget, even the right DIY styling can still make your house stand out from the crowd on sale day.
Declutter and Accessorize
“The key to successfully styling your home for sale is persuading potential buyers that they can see themselves living there,” says Reinhardt.
A coffee table, matching lamps and other accessories such as throws and a few tasteful ornaments can create a much more appealing living space. As will fresh linen on the beds, and new towels in the bathroom.
If your curtains or blinds are looking a bit tired then it’s worth thinking about new window dressings. “Even without spending a huge amount you can get nice ready-made curtains that make the place look a whole lot better,” says Reinhardt.
What you take away is just as important so keep the mess to a minimum. Put away clothes, shoes, personal documents, and that pile of clean laundry that never seems to get ironed and folded. Make sure your decluttering extends to hidden spaces too; drawers should be tidy and any wardrobe space should be perfectly styled, she says.
“The other thing that’s important is to take away lots of personal things,” says Reinhardt. That doesn’t mean you need to get rid of all your photos, but it might be worth taking the kids’ finger paintings off the fridge and putting a few stock images in place of those photos of your last family holiday. And it goes without saying that the place should also be scrupulously clean.
“The kitchen and the bathrooms need to be absolutely spotless, no washing in the laundry, and no clothes on the line.”
And if a lifetime’s worth of furniture is crammed into every room then take some out to create a feeling of space. As a bonus when you move, half your stuff will already be packed.
Simplify your colour palette
“Colours can have a huge effect on how people feel when they walk into a home,” says Reinhardt and unless you’re a style guru she recommends keeping it neutral.
First impression last, so it’s not just about making sure the interiors are fresh and attractive. “If the exterior’s really bad then painting can make a huge difference,” she says. Light neutral colours inside and out will increase your home’s appeal for potential buyers.
Investing some sweat equity and the cash for a few tins of paint will not only boost the overall appeal of your home, it’s likely to increase the sale price too, so you’ll get the money back in the long term.
And it will finally be a chance to live in your place without those purple feature walls you’ve been meaning to paint over since you moved in, even if it’s only while you wait to sell.
Create Kerb Appeal
Creating the wow factor starts from the street, so your home needs to look great on the outside too.
“The garden needs to be neat and tidy so think about planting some new plants,” says Reinhardt, “buy bigger ones that look established if you can afford it.”
If you don’t want to invest in planting, then a few pot plants or some nice outdoor furniture can make a difference, she says. And the bonus is you can take them with you when you go.
If you live in a unit then it might be time to persuade strata that the communal hallways need a fresh coat of paint or some new carpet. And make sure the entry is as styled as the main living areas and bedrooms, since it’s the first room buyers will see when they step inside.
Reinhardt offers a final tip when styling your home inside and out to attract the highest prices from potential buyers.
“You’ve got to also know who the market is and who you’re styling it for,” says Reinhardt, “a one-bed apartment is going to be styled differently from a four-bed house.”
Getting a great price when you sell your place is the first step on the path to your next dream home, then finding the right home loan once you’ve made that sale. Talk to your Aussie broker today and plan that next step sooner rather than later.
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