There are many things to take into account once you’ve decided to downsize, the biggest of which is putting your current home up for sale. However it can be tough to know where to start, with a seemingly endless list of things to do and consider. Fear not though, as there are some simple ways you can make your property more attractive to potential buyers such as staging and styling your home, both inside and out.
While in decades gone by, selling your house was as simple as hiring a real estate agent and hammering a ‘For Sale’ sign into the grass out-front, the modern housing market in Australia is far more heavily saturated meaning you will often have to compete to secure a buyer for your beloved home. This is where the power of styling and staging can make a difference, as an aesthetically pleasing home, where buyers can picture themselves living, is more likely to be snapped up – and often for a bigger sum.
Just like an actor spends time getting into character before treading the boards, the term ‘staging’ in real estate quite literally means to get your property ready for sale. The most effective way to do this is to focus on styling, ensuring your family home looks cared for and welcoming in a bid to attract a swift sale.
The term has become more prevalent in recent years though, with the rise of real estate apps, websites and online estate agents changing the way the housing market operates in Australia. Nowadays prospective buyers are almost guaranteed to check out images of the listing online before bothering to view it in the flesh or head to auction, which means the right styling can really make a difference.
Depending how long you have lived in your house and when you last decorated, you may not need to go as far as renovating the entire interior of your property. A simple lick of paint, sticking to neutral colours such as white, cream and grey, can make a huge difference and really open up a space. While adding plants to give your home a fresh, modern feel is a simple trick that real estate agents suggest. And, most importantly, don’t forget to put away dirty laundry and make your bed.
It’s also important to make sure you don’t forget the exterior of your house too, as the old saying goes ‘First impressions count’. This doesn’t have to mean drastic action though as simply mowing the lawn or pruning overgrown bushes. Styling experts also recommend that sellers touch up any peeling paint on doors, window frames and fences, as well as tidying up unruly flower beds, all in a bid to make sure the first look potential buyers get of your home is a memorable one.
When it comes to staging your house for sale, less is definitely more and, whether it’s your wedding photos, grandchildren’s finger paintings or keepsakes from trips overseas, experts suggest removing your personal mementos from view if your home is listed. It is also crucial that you don’t go overboard, as buyers will want to be able to imagine themselves living in the house and too many distractions or needless clutter can hamper this.
In short, yes. But as buying a property is such a large investment, there are always going to be other factors at play than just styling. It definitely can’t hurt though and, according to Adam Rigby from online fixed-fee agency Upside, making some small aesthetic changes can add an extra 2.5 per cent to your home’s value.
“It’s no secret that styling your property pays off,” Rigby said. “Our real estate agents estimate that it adds around 2.5% to the value of your home and it can also help your house sell faster.”
Staging your home for sale doesn’t have to come with a price tag, however there are professionals and styling experts across Australia who offer their services for a fee. This can range from anywhere upwards of $300, so it really is a personal choice. If you can’t afford a stylist though, don’t panic, as the simple advice provided above s enough to help ensure your house is ready for inspection and Rigby estimates that spending just $1,000 to improve the look of your property can be enough to tempt buyers.