Let’s talk home styling, to sell or to simply make your home more beautiful.  Most people’s thoughts automatically go to colour and decorating, but let us tell you, there’s a whole lot to get sorted before we reach for a cushion or a throw.

Step one is a major declutter. We covered that last week, so we’re moving on as you’re all declutter experts now. 

Next, we ask that you look around, and we’re talking top to bottom, inside and out. Clean like you’ve never cleaned before. Spick and span never goes out of style, and once all the grit and grime is gone you can absolutely see what we have to work with.

If the walls inside and out are showing signs of wear and tear, patch, prep and paint them.  A neutral colour palette will enable the maximum number of buyers to imagine themselves moving in with their furnishings and personal choices.

When it comes to the floors, if floorboards are showing wear and tear, do whatever it takes, if they look bad, they will stand out for all the wrong reasons.  For carpet, if professional cleaning makes it look new, great, otherwise we recommend replacing it.  You will be surprised by the difference new carpet can make, and the cost will deliver returns – but like the walls, go for a neutral palette, now is not the time to play with colour.  

Now look at absolutely everything that opens and shuts inside and out. Kitchen cupboard doors, wardrobes, all doors, including the garage door and even the backyard shed – are they all working properly, as this is one more distraction for buyers.  

If the kitchen is beyond repair, think about replacing it, or at least painting it to look a bit loved.  There are flatpack options all the way up to custom top of the range. If you need to replace a bathroom there is no avoiding a big expense, but like the kitchen, paint alone can make a big difference if your only issue is being faced with polarizing dated tiles. If you’re using paint, make sure it is designed for this purpose. There are specialist products for cupboards and even benchtops that can transform your room in a day.

If any of these steps feel beyond you, enlist the help of a professional.  Finding trades can be problematic.  We use Hipages to find all our trade professionals and this site has proved to be a lifesaver. There are other trade sourcing services as well, this is just our preference. 

Once the maintenance has been done, now for the styling! Do your research and consider whatever colours and styles are widely available as this is often the best value and will tend to be what the majority of buyers have been conditioned to prefer.  Regardless of your individual style preference, we highly recommend avoiding strong and bold looks. Neutral tones will make it easy for buyers to visualize adding their own personal stamp. 

The aim of the game is to reduce the number of apologies.  Every little thing that is either not working, needs painting, a colour that some buyers can’t live with, a wonky front step – these all add up to apologies.  At some point the apologies list can trip up a buyer to move on to your competition, or at least hurt your maximum potential sale price.

When we are playing the game of selling, we can assure you, investing in these recommended steps will without a doubt pay off at the point of sale.   

It’s time to enlist your agent, your home is looking stunning, never has the market been hotter, and your home is now going to stand out from the crowd.

June 15, 2022 — Mark McKie

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