“First impressions count, and it’s often about the right furniture and styling,” says director of Entourage Property Advisory, Antoinette Sagaria. “There’s a definite trend that styled properties sell with greater ease.”
Reaching the maximum price is vital, and some agents believe the right approach can add around 2.5 per cent to your initial valuation.
“If you spend $5000 styling a $700,000 house, you can potentially add $17,500 on the sale price, giving you an additional $12,500,” she says. “I’ve never seen a styled property and thought it would have done better without the investment.”
We tapped experts to get their best styling tips on a budget.
Attracting the right buyers is paramount and calling in a professional stylist can give you the edge.
“They style properties everyday, while the average vendor does it maybe twice in their life,” Sagaria says. “It’s advantageous to get advice on the best way to prepare your house.”
Designer Michelle Hart agrees, and says even a one-off consultation is a wise investment. “Have a stylist inspect your home and advise you on the best things you can do to be sale ready,” she says. “They’ll look at your home objectively, which is invaluable for your sale.”
Consider your home’s era and buyer demographic, then stage your home “to create an emotional connection,” says Bask.
“Look for inspiration at local open houses and online,” she says. “Note colour palettes, room presentation, how furniture is used, even how they’ve made beds and displayed bath towels.”
You may know how to navigate your crowded family room, but home buyers won’t.
“Clutter makes it difficult for buyers to imagine living there,” says designer Camilla Molders.
The first step is to clean your home from the inside out.
“It should present immaculately,” agrees Bask. “Toss rubbish, clean windows and carpets, repair anything broken, and minimise window dressings to allow light to pour in.”
While you might find every quirky corner of your home nostalgic, others may not.
“Demonstrate each room’s potential,” says Sagaria. “The kitchen corner you use for the kids’ playmat might be better staged as the perfect breakfast nook.”
Bask agrees. “Remove family photos and mementos like trophies and certificates. It’s about presenting a blank canvas that appeals.”
Choose a theme and create an interior that’s aesthetically unified throughout.
“Rooms should flow and connect,” says Bask. “It might be a colour scheme or style of decor, art or furnishings.”
Because colour choice is personal, ensure your paintwork is white or a classic neutral.
“It’s an easy win,” says Sagaria. “Use a professional painter. Drip marks and uneven paint don’t make a house endearing to buyers.”
If your budget is tight, touch up skirtings, doors and trims for an easy instant refresh.
“Kitchens are a big selling point, so styling all aspects of them is a must,” says Molders.
Spaciousness and surfaces attract buyers, so create space by stowing away seldom-used appliances.
“Leave benches bare to increase surfaces and add a bowl of the same type of fruit, like lemons or apples,” she says. “It’s inexpensive and looks enticing.”
Lighting, especially in small spaces, can prove transformative.
“Enhance natural lighting by opening blinds and swapping out cold white light for a warm white. It’s more welcoming,” she says.
While you love your eclectic collection of furnishings, potential buyers may not.
“Inappropriate furniture looks unappealing,” says Bask. “If your traditional Victorian terrace is styled with industrial furniture it won’t make sense to others.”
Sagaria agrees. “Ill-fitting furniture, like Nanna’s dining table, makes it hard for buyers to imagine living there. Hire rather than buy new pieces. It’s cheaper and you can spend that money on pieces for your new home.”
The devil is in the detail, and stylish sensory touches add a vibrant, homey touch.
“Less is more,” says Bask. “Fresh bath towels, plain bed linens, coloured cushions, nice arts, scented candles, and fresh flowers and greenery are inexpensive but make a home more beautiful.”
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