From cleaning until every surface sparkles to lighting, decluttering and even creating optical illusions, making your property visually appealing is one of the most important things you can do as a seller because first impressions are everything. So, as a buyer, your first impression of a property is the last thing you should rely on!
It’s easy to laugh about having a batch of freshly baked goods at an open home, but sellers go to extraordinary lengths to entice buyers. Good styling has become a very profitable industry for experts (and is a worthy investment for sellers in our opinion). They can strike the perfect balance between making a room look spacious yet cosy, unique enough to be memorable yet easy for any buyer to imagine living there.
Michelle May, principal of Michelle May Buyers Agents and host of Buy Your Side is someone who’s gone to thousands of open homes and is privy to all the tricks vendors use to make a great first impression, she still feels the emotional pull created by impeccable styling.
But all that styling disappears the moment you get the keys, so it’s essential to look beyond the sumptuous soft furnishings at any open home. Michelle has shared her tips on some of the most common tricks to look out for.
Removing the curtains
This makes a room look brighter, bigger and a lot cleaner but is often an impractical way to live, especially in bedrooms where light is an important factor.
Turning the lights on
Ensuring every switch is flicked on is an easy way to hide a lack of natural light, so don’t be afraid to switch the lights off to get a more accurate representation of lighting.
Swapping out furniture for smaller pieces
A bedroom looks bigger with a double bed over a king; the same goes for couches in living areas. You need to think practically about the size of your existing furniture in relation to the space and whether you’d be happy to downsize to a double bed if required.
A curated playlist is an easy way to create a homely vibe in a property and also a great way to distract from unwanted noises such as arguing neighbours, traffic, barking dogs and screeching pipes.
Sending belongings to storage
The price of a storage unit for a few weeks is insignificant compared to many thousands on a sale price, which is what good styling can bring to a sale. Many sellers pack up their non-essentials while their home is on the market, so ask yourself, ‘what’s missing here?’ and ‘what do I need to fit in this space?’
Once you’ve looked past all of the creative ways sellers make their home more appealing, it’s time to get practical about the space and one major factor is often forgotten in the excitement of open homes: storage.
From appliances like air fryers and rice cookers in the kitchen to the ironing board, vacuum cleaner, tools, lawnmower, excess linen, suitcases, and even shoes. No matter how minimally you live, you’ll undoubtedly always have a few bulky items that need a home. Keep a checklist of things you own on your phone as you wander around open homes to avoid any rude shocks come move-in day.