It can be a challenge to sell a home these days! When holding an open house, having a nicely styled home can be the difference between a quick and profitable sale versus months, if not years on the market. It’s important that potential buyers can imagine themselves in your home, so de-cluttering, depersonalising and neutralising the colour palette are vital ways for getting a timely sale. But all that’s easier said than done! Depending on your home’s condition, home staging can be a large and overwhelming job. So read our five tips below and make preparing to sell fun rather than a chore!
Here are our 8 easy and fun tips to help sell homes quickly and more than the asking price!
1. Have a house number
It may seem obvious, but being able to identify your home from the kerb is essential. It also means people won’t get lost when it comes to open house! Make sure the number (and name if you have one) is in excellent condition, visible and in keeping with your home’s style.
2. Keep linen neutral
In both the living room and bedroom, the main focal point is the couch or bed. When buyers first walk into these rooms they’ll be drawn to those pieces of furniture, so make sure the linen and accessories (such as cushions and throws) are neutral and mainstream. You don’t want them to be boring, but it’s important that they don’t polarise potential buyers!
3. Take styling to the next level
When people think home staging, they most likely think throwing a cushion here and there. But to make your home stand out you really have to go the extra mile! So create the finished look by adding such details as: homewares, artworks, lighting and rugs. Rugs in particular can be great for tying a space together, especially if your home is open planned.
4. It’s all about outdoor entertaining
We are very fortunate to be living in a hot country like Australia, so make that count by creating an outdoor space that is a feature of your home. Don’t worry if the space is small, you can still make it luxurious! Make it an extension of your indoor space by adding such interior pieces as cushions and throws, but with nature themed accents like potted plants.
5. Be a show off
When open house comes along, make sure your house is at its finest. All preparation is wasted if you’re not in tiptop shape on the actual day it counts! Have all the lights on, have the house heated or cooled to the most comfortable temperature, have as much natural light as possible and make sure all your cushions, throws and homewares are placed correctly. Don’t start baking or brewing though, as for some potential buyers that is just a little too staged!
6. Focus on the Foyer
People will usually enter your home through the front door, so that’s a prime spot to make some major improvements. Apply a fresh coat of paint if it’s looking dull, throwaway or hide all clutter (mail, shoes, keys, newspapers), and clean out the coat closet so that it looks more spacious. Then we suggest picking one thing that you could change in this area. Maybe add a new hanging light fixture or replace that family portrait with a large mirror? Or perhaps it’s time to replace that old bowl of potpourri with a simple, fresh floral arrangement or a stack of design books with an ornamental accessory on top. No matter what, the look should be simple and sophisticated.
7. Expand spaces visually
Dark coloured walls can make a room look smaller so focus on lighter neutral tones. Place furniture in groups, with enough space for people to move between pieces easily. Pushing it against the walls actually makes the room feel smaller. Make sure large pieces of furniture don’t block sight lines to a great view or a pretty focal point, such as a fireplace. Rugs are a great way to display space in a room. It should stop a foot or two from walls. Remember a rug that’s too big shrinks a room; if it’s too small it just looks awkward.
8. Let there be light
Nothing is more of a turn-off than a dark and bleak home –and nothing is easier to fix. Rule number one: Wash all of the windows so natural light can fill the space. Rule number two: Replace dark window treatments with light transparent ones. Rule number three: Layer the light in your home! It is said that there should be at least 100 watts for every square foot of space, and well-staged homes have overhead lights, floor lamps, and task lighting (for reading, cooking). One nifty trick is instaling wall sconces. These can up light walls or ceilings, making rooms look bigger.
Naomi Findlay is founder of the International Institute of Home Staging (IIHS) http://www.instituteofhomestaging.com/ and SILK Home Staging & Styling. She is also the author of a bestselling book, Ignite Your Property Mojo.