For most of us, our home is an expression of who we are and how we like to think that other people see us. Basically, this suggests that our homes should all be unique and individual. However, how often do you walk into a home and see a showroom – something straight out of a Freedom catalogue or a Metricon Display home? The answer is, far too often.

As a property stylist and interior decorator, most people enter my home expecting to see something out of Vouge Living. It’s not. But my home reflects me and my life so far. Don’t get me wrong, I have had some of my homes featured in magazines, but it shocked me how much some of those homes in magazines are styled by professionals before the photo shoot!
My home contains a lot of quirky items I have collected from around the world, there is a room dedicated to shoes and handbags, there is an eclectic collection of art (from works completed by friends to works by well-known artists), there are books and magazines on every flat surface and enough indoor greenery to look like a nursery! It’s not to everyone’s taste, but that’s ok because it’s my home and I love it.

However, I am clear on one thing and that is, if I was selling the property tomorrow, I would put my “stylist” hat on and completely change the décor for the sales campaign! Why?
It’s simple. It is critical that when you are selling a home, it must appeal to a broader market. You need to ensure that it is furnished with beautiful pieces with colour being added from accessories and art. You need to ensure that the potential homeowner can see how the property will look with tasteful décor – but it needs to also allow potential purchasers to see how they can add their own unique style to it. Properties that are furnished and decorated to extreme personal taste can sometimes lose potential bidders at the auction. Providing a tasteful yet pared back style will open the property to a broader market.
Being someone who critiques every room I walk into (occupational hazard), I have always been surprised that many people have little vision when it comes to decorating. When it comes to styling your home to live in, there are no rules! It’s your home and you decorate it the way you want to live in it. When it comes to styling to sell, rules are important. I have listed below a few critical things to think about when preparing your property for sale.

Firstly, why is styling so important for selling?
A survey of LJ Hooker agents found that:

  • 98% of agents believe that styling your property to sell can help achieve a higher sales price.
  • 83% of top agents believe styling can add over 2.5% to your property’s sale value.  So, if you had a property worth $600,000 that’s an additional $15,000…a lot of money!
  • 2% of our agents believe it helped influence a quicker sale and 88% believed it triggered multiple offers through private treaty and more bidders on auction day.
    Rules for styling your property for sale:
  • Cleanliness is the most important thing when preparing your home for sale! No matter how appealing your property is, you will lose potential buyers if it is dirty.
  • First impressions really count – inside and out! Make sure your front garden is neat and tidy, your footpath clear and front door freshly painted. Inside, make the first impact a strong one – use colour and light to emphasise a welcoming entrance.
  • A fresh coat of paint to walls and doors is easy and cost effective and the impact will way exceed the effort. A clean finish and neutral colours will help to broaden interest in your property – especially to investors who will be able to list the property on the rental market immediately should they be the successful purchaser. It’s important to remember that Ballarat is a popular market for investors from other regions, especially Melbourne.
  • If you have the budget, replace dated fixtures like window furnishings and even kitchen appliances. Dated ovens and stoves can be off putting to potential buyers and are often not overly costly to replace. Again, potential investors will be highly motivated to buy properties that are tenant “ready”.
  • Buyers use every sense when purchasing a property – especially smell. Make sure your property appeals to the sense of smell. Burn some candles or essential oils prior to inspections and make sure any unpleasant odours are removed. It’s hard to get past being hit by a bad smell when you enter a property – especially one you want to live in.
  • An oldy but a goody – clear clutter! Make sure benches are clear – even if that means putting away appliances that are used every day. Get rid of magazines and papers lying around and tidy up any open shelving. This may require finding storage for things that you need to clear during the sales campaign.
  • Lighting is a critical feature of a home’s ambience, so ensure that you replace all blown globes. Use mood lighting with table and floor lamps where applicable. If your light fittings are old and ugly, try to replace them if you have the budget. The rule of replacement on a budget is – ensure they’re simple and non-intrusive. It’s better to have a non-descript light than an ugly one. Retailers like Beacon and Bunnings have simple and inexpensive solutions.

If you are styling your home to live in – have fun! If you are styling to sell, don’t forget the rules.
Good luck!

Mode Property Styling Ballarat will continue to bring regular and relevant blogs on information around design, interiors and current trends.