Lifestyle

Tips for styling your home for a sale

By Emma Norris  |  20 Apr, 2021

Whether it’s because you’re moving house or refinancing, selling your home is a big milestone almost as big as buying it in the first place! You’ve likely had many great memories in your home, but have decided it’s now time to pass the baton on to another family to do the same.

Unlike renting out your property, you only get one chance to sell your home. So naturally, you want to maximise your returns and sell your home for a higher price than what you purchased it for. But while factors like the structure, age and location of the home are key (as is timing in the property market) there’s another part of the puzzle: home styling.

Data shows that property styling can add up to $50,000 to your sale price! This is because as much as many people come to open houses with a checklist of what we’re looking for, we humans are visual and emotional features. When we walk into a home that instantly gives us a good feeling, we’re naturally going to feel more drawn to it.

Staging your home allows you to achieve that pleasant and welcoming aesthetic, even if your property is on the older side. The good news is, you don’t need a huge budget to do it! Read on for 15 simple and affordable property styling tips for preparing your home for sale.

1.   Less is more

Don’t feel like you have to over furnish your home. The idea is to help people picture what your house would be like to live in. Plus, a furnished home looks much more appealing than an empty one. But, you also don’t want the space to feel smaller by filling every nook and cranny with furniture! Consider only adding only the essentials that make space feel more liveable, such as a table and chairs for the dining room, lounge and coffee table for the living room, a simple desk for the study and so forth. Sticking to only the essentials will help you keep your costs down, too!

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2.   Choose a colour scheme

Having a set colour palette will help tie your staged home together, even when you only have a few items in the space. Now, unlike decorating your own forever home, this isn’t necessarily about adding personality to your space. While a kitsch, 1980s-Miami inspired aesthetic may be perfect for your own home, it’s best to play it safe here and stick to a universally appealing colour scheme. You can’t go wrong with a neutral colour palette like black, grey and white, with pops of modern colour like teal, olive, rust or navy.

3.   Create an enticing entryway

First impressions count! The entryway is the first thing prospective buyers are going to see when they walk into your home. So, make that impression count by sprucing up your entrance. If you have the space, consider adding a hallway or console table, and jazzing it up with some flowers or a simple decoration like a lamp or flowers.

4.   Don’t forget the floors

While we may not consciously realise it, flooring can make a huge difference to the overall appearance of a home. Scuffed, dirty, stained or bland-looking floors can quickly make a home look older and more worn than it actually is. Getting your home recarpeted can make a huge difference to your sale price, as it instantly makes it look newer and more modern. But, if it’s not in your budget, getting the carpets steam-cleaned is an inexpensive way to bring your carpet back to life.

If there are scuffed areas of the floor that a steam clean won’t fix, consider investing in some affordable yet stylish rugs and placing them in those spots. The objective isn’t to deceive people, but to stop it from detracting from their overall first impression of the home.

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5.   Freshen up with flowers

Decorating with flowers can breathe new life into any space. It adds a pop of colour and instantly makes the home feel more stylish. But while fresh blooms are great, buying these can quickly get expensive if you’re holding multiple open houses. Flowers tend to be cheaper if you get them from a local market or supermarket. Or, you could try dried wildflowers or botanicals, which still look just as beautiful but last forever.

6.   Let there be light

Having plenty of natural light is high on the priority list for many buyers. Plus, it instantly makes space feel brighter and more appealing. So, if you’ve got it, show it off! Be sure to open all your blinds and replace dark, drab blinds with light, gauzy ones that let the light in. It’s also important that you (or your real estate agent) get to your home early to crack upon the windows before the open house. The last thing you want is for your home to feel stuffy, as this creates the wrong first impression.

7.    Go green

Adding pops of greenery is one of the best ways to make your home feel more chic and put-together. Plus, it can be used to add hints of colour to an otherwise neutral palette. That said, you don’t want to have to come over to water your plants every day or worse yet, have people turn up to the inspection to see dead plants! So, it’s best to opt for realistic-looking fake plants (you can get these from Kmart or Bunnings), or real houseplants that are very low maintenance, like a peace lily.

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8.   Consider rental furniture

Don’t want to buy all new furniture for your house inspections, only to have to sell it afterwards? Or perhaps you’ve just finished moving out all your furniture and don’t feel like lugging any more around. While it’s not the most budget-friendly option, renting furniture  There are plenty of companies that allow you to rent furniture for the short period of time. Many of these services also provide styling services, if decorating isn’t really your cup of tea.

9.   Remember the exterior

What’s on the outside matters, too! You want prospective buyers to start making positive judgments about your home from the second they get out of the car. So, be sure to pay some attention to the exterior of your home as they’ll see this even before the interiors. You might want to consider adding some plants on your patio, a simple table and chairs set or even a nice. welcome mat. All of these little touches go a long way in making your home feel more inviting.

10. Refresh the paint

Adding a fresh lick of paint is one of the efficient ways to makeover a home. It can instantly transform a space from looking old and drab to fresh and modern. While it’s a little more time-consuming and expensive than some of the other tips of this list, it’s actually one that can give you the biggest bang for your buck. Never painted before? You can read a step-by-step, beginner’s guide to painting your home here.

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11. Adorn the walls

Feel like your home is still looking a little too empty? Hanging some art on the wall is a great way to make the space feel more lived-in’ without taking up too much space. Thankfully, you don’t have to spend thousands on originals to deck your home out with art. Kmart and Target have great options that look far more expensive than they actually are

Another great option for decorating the home? Mirrors! Not only can they help make your home look less empty, but they can also help make rooms look even bigger than they are (which is always great for attracting buyers).

12. Declutter, declutter, declutter

It goes without saying that when you’re showing your home for sale, you want it to look clean and tidy. That means no clutter on the benches, other than what you need for decorative purposes. But, it’s also important to remember to remove any personal items from the home, like photo frames, awards and trophies. While you want the space to feel like a home, it’s important that potential buyers can imagine themselves living there. So, it needs to feel like a blank canvas.

13. Feng shui, the simple way

While the concept of  Feng Shui may sound a little ‘woo woo’, there are actually a lot of principles that are helpful for styling the home. At the heart of it, it’s really about directing the energy flow in the home to create a positive feeling. When you walk into a home and something just feels a bit ‘off’, this can come down to the Feng Shui of the space.

 Some of the key principles that can help create a more pleasing vibe in the home are to keep your entranceway clear, ensure the bed isn’t directly facing the door or into a wall and incorporate earth elements like wood, water and fire (such as candles) throughout your space.

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14. Think outside the box

You don’t have to shop at high-end stores to elevate your home with styling. There are many great inexpensive options that will give you the same impact. Facebook Marketplace or your local Buy, Swap, Sll group can be a goldmine for finding pre-loved furniture that still looks brand new. Tender centres, Antique shops or St. Vinnies can also have some great hidden treasures you can use to prepare your home for sale on a budget!

15. Add finesse with final touches

While the little things likely aren’t going to make or break the sale, they can certainly help influence the outcome! Stores often use scented candles to help attract customers and create a nice environment, and there’s no reason you can’t do the same at your open house. Little things like using a nice tablecloth or styling some coffee table books or nice magazines can go a long way, too.

Whether it’s getting your home photo-ready for the property website or preparing for the open house, these simple styling tips will help your space look its best. In doing so, you can maximise your sale price to its full potential and achieve a successful outcome at auction.

Words by Emma Norris

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