10 Tips to present your home for sale in any climate

Regardless of what state the market is in effectively presenting and marketing your home for sale is essential for achieving optimum price and selling your home faster.  If you are about to list your property for sale, or currently selling a home, ask yourself if you’ve done all you can to highlight the strengths, downplay weaknesses and ultimately appeal to the greatest number of potential purchasers.  Stylemaster shares some of our top tips for selling success.

1. Prepare for profit

If the objective was just to make your home irresistible and money was no object, then there would be no limit for what you could create and how spectacular the outcome would be.  But without careful planning relative to the selling price you expect to achieve, you may be costing yourself time and money.  Determine a realistic budget.  Are you prepared to spend the market average of approximately 1-2% of the value of your home, or only looking to invest the bare minimum for the most vital improvements and make the rest up in elbow grease? Once you know this you can devise a plan to ensure that your total expense is worthwhile and all your hard work pays off.

2. Phone a friend

Put yourself in the shoes of the purchaser.  An objective walk through the property should help you identify where to begin with your key improvements.  If you feel too close to attempt this, an honest friend (or picky relative) should come in handy for identifying areas to address first up.  Look for anything that would be cause for objection from a buyer, these can be unfinished DIY projects, a dodgy step on the way in, peeling paintwork, pet stains on your carpet, all those things you secretly know are there and have good intentions to fix one day.  Well this is the day, and the good news is that most items are easier and cheaper to fix than the buyer would expect to deduct from your asking price. 


3. Clear your clutter

Practicalities aside, buyers are looking for that indefinable quality that pulls at their heartstrings and tells them your home is the one for them.  What they are not looking for is the dusty collection of mismatched trinkets from your nanna and someone’s half eaten lunch in the kitchen sink.  Impress buyers with at least one surface in every room that is completely free of clutter, with only strategically styled accessories added to make your space chic, comfortable and inviting.  Throw out, donate, sell or give away what is costing you space, as clutter may end up costing you money if it delays your home sale.  Remember the less you have lying around the quicker you can have your home ready for an inspection at short notice and the easier it will be when moving day arrives.   

4. Furnish for function

Pushing all your furniture hard up against the walls won’t always make your rooms feel bigger.  Experiment with moving seating around into comfortable groupings for conversation and always make it obvious where traffic flows.  Anchor spaces with a large neutral rug to introduce texture and define separate zones in your floorplan.  And don’t forget about the lesser frequented spaces in your home.  Whether it’s a little nook under a staircase or an entire room, if the only purpose it serves is gathering junk then repurpose it into an area that will add value to your home.  A comfortable chair, a small desk and a lamp can create a cosy reading area or even a children’s play area.  Give yourself permission to move furniture, artwork and accessories into different rooms and display them in different combinations to achieve your desired look.


5. Light it up

Great lighting is warm and welcoming so take the time to increase the wattage in your lamps and fixtures where possible.  Darker rooms will benefit from the addition of some well placed floor lamps, while a strategically placed mirror opposite a window will help to bounce the light you have around the room.  Natural light is always the most desirable so open up your drapes and scrub those windows until they gleam!

6. Colour and texture

When it comes to paint colours neutral is definitely the most appealing to buyers.  Where bold colours have the effect of reducing buyer’s offers, tones of warm tans, soft stones and gentle blue greens are easy for most people to imagine living with especially in large spaces.  Painting adjoining rooms in the same colour will make the spaces appear connected and therefore larger.  Another trick to create the illusion of more space is to choose a colour that matches your window coverings to help them blend seamlessly into the room.  To stop a neutral room feeling flat and boring use your styling skills to bring texture back into the room with interesting cushions, unusual accessories or even some textured wall cladding. 


7. Bring the outdoors in

Of course you will need to have your lawns mowed, weeds pulled and hedges trimmed but what about bringing your garden inside?  Nothing is more beautiful than nature at its best and that’s why it is common to see expensive arrangements of orchids and fresh flowers in most professionally staged homes.  But don’t discount what is in your own backyard, if you have a flowering shrub then you can create a simple but stunning fresh arrangement, and change it every week for nothing.  Even simple greenery or a few budding branches can add a welcome freshness to any space.


8. Master of serenity

Do not underestimate the importance of creating a sense of luxury and relaxation in the master suite.  Sumptuous bed linen, soothing colours and romantic lighting are all extremely important.  Just adding an upholstered headboard will make a dramatic impact on your room.  If you have space to incorporate seating or your room opens out to a balcony, make the most of it and create an area that invites you to relax.  Bedroom storage is very important and you know your potential buyers will be snooping. Stage your robe half full with only your most fashionable pieces on display as this will help people image having sufficient room for their own needs.


9. Clean and cost relative renos

Kitchens and bathrooms sell houses so if yours are looking tired but you don’t have the budget for a total renovation then consider the cost of replacing the door and drawer fronts and adding some modern handles.  This is an extremely cost effective option and depending on the size of your kitchen may cost much less than you expect.  A new splashback can also be installed in under a day and a simple glossy tile can be all it takes to give your kitchen back its sparkle.  It is absolutely mandatory that your entire home receive a top to bottom clean before going up for sale, but it is your kitchen and bathroom that require the most attention when it comes to hygiene and general cleanliness.  As far as styling these areas it is best to keep a large amount of workable bench space clear to present a practical and functional space.  In the kitchen, keep everyday appliances like kettles and toasters neatly tucked away or hidden completely.  A bowl of fresh fruit, a few stylish canisters and the odd cook book should suffice for decoration.  In the bathroom, keep your products neatly concealed and have only some select bath oils, rolled up fluffy towels and some candles to create that spa feeling.


10. Provide a sensory experience

Finally, appeal to all senses.  Make sure your home not only looks great but is well ventilated with an enticing and subtle scent like vanilla or lavender.  Soft music creates ambience, and even though it is the oldest trick in the book – feel free to bake bread or biscuits on the morning of your viewing. 

It might seem like a lot of work but a surprising amount can be achieved over a couple of dedicated weekends.  Always stay focussed on your financial return as the main objective for all your hard word work and think what a bonus it is to rid your home of all that unwanted clutter, and possibly pick up some extra DIY skills before you move on to life in your new home.