With the economy officially in recession, the real estate market looks set to get even tougher which makes styling before selling more important than ever. And while we do talk about this topic a fair bit, it’s for good reason; research consistently shows that a styled home will fetch a higher price than one that hasn’t been.
An expert in the real estate space, we caught up with Domain’s Alice Stolz who gave us some advice on what styling features buyers typically look for, and how you can achieve them on a budget. “First impressions are everything and it can take only a few seconds for potential buyers to fall in or out of love with your property. There are a few suggestions that I recommend thinking about prior to hosting an open house to ensure you get the best price,” says Alice.
Your homes’ presentation is key; simply cleaning and tidying your home shows buyers that you care about it. “Make your home presentable. It shouldn’t be left to the agent to be cleaning up any obvious mess,” says Alice. On this note, a professional window clean is a great idea too. “Not only will your house look sparkling, but clean glass allows even more natural light to flow in,” says Alice.
Marie Kondo’s favourite pastime, decluttering is an absolute must before your first home open. “Clutter is a big turn off as it shows neglect and can also give an impression that the place has a lack of storage,” says Alice. Also, having minimal furniture and homewares will make your home look spacious, while giving the impression that you have adequate storage.
Make sure to exterminate any creepy crawlies before any home opens as buyers are easily put off by obvious signs of insects and animals invading the home.
“Try and remove obvious smells from the house like the smell of pets,” says Alice. And while it’s a great idea to air the house, don’t be tempted to overwhelm it with trite scents. “Don’t fill the house with brewed coffee and bread-making aromas, or offend the senses with too many scented candles,” says Alice.
Painting is the most effective, inexpensive DIY job you can do to make your property appeal to the most buyers. “Many prospective buyers cannot see past dated colour schemes or feature walls,” says Alice who is a big fan of paint for a relatively cheap overhaul that provides good bang for buck.
An oldie but a goodie, fresh flowers won’t break the bank and are a wonderful way to bring the outside in. “If you are trying hard to be thrifty, pick them from the garden. Adding elements of nature inside can really add interest to a property,” says Alice.
Engage a property staging service
Not exactly a budget option but if you can afford it, property staging can really pay off; particularly if your furniture is a little old-fashioned.
“Staging furniture can also turn an extra bedroom into a home office which is something we, at Domain, are seeing a huge surge in activity for at the moment. Staging can also make a home look more complete and ready for a new owner,” says Alice.
A clean, blank canvas allows a prospective buyer to be able to see themselves living in your home, rather than struggling to see the home for what it is, beyond the furniture.
If you can’t afford to hire a designer, pick up some magazines (or consult this blog!), and look for different ways to style a part of your home. “Magazines are often speaking to interior designers so you can always pull from their ideas,” says Alice.
If you are not using rental furniture during the marketing of your home, have a go at moving furniture around to ensure the rooms are set up as best they can be. “Create space and easy flow within a sitting and dining room, even if it means taking some pieces away. Play with your house and try to view it through the eyes of someone who has never seen it before.”