If you’re selling your property, there’s a sliding scale of how much value you can create vs. how much money you spend. It’s no secret that styling your property pays off: real estate agents believe it adds around 2.5% to the sale value of your home, and can also help your house sell faster. However, between conveyancing fees, capital gains tax, and renovations, it can be difficult as a seller to find the extra funds to invest on property styling.
Here are our top 10 tips to help you increase the value of your property and maximise the results of your property sale - without breaking the bank.
1. Don’t hire an agent who charges a hefty commission
There is no real estate agent standard commission fee in Australia. They vary from agent to agent and can be very different in each state.
The two kinds of commission fees are fixed rate, where the agent charges a certain percentage of the final selling price (this percentage is agreed upon from the start); and the tiered percentage commission, where the commission percentage grows as the final selling price increases.
While most people expect that commissions are a non-negotiable part of real estate dealings, it’s possible to pay a set amount of money regardless of the final selling price, if you hire an agent with a fixed fee.
With a fixed-fee agent, you’re not only likely to pay less in sale costs, but you’ll also know exactly what you’re paying for upfront. Upside, for example, charge a flat, cheaper fee – $8,900 for private treaty sales (and if you're thinking of selling via an auction, we simply pass on the auctioneer cost ($400 - $700) depending on location and auctioneer) that covers all the essentials for selling your home – no matter how much your house sells for. This cost also includes services that many commission agents charge as extra, such as marketing.
2. Add a coat of paint
When you’re considering how to style to sell, one of the easiest and most effective ways to revitalise your home is to add a fresh coat of paint. Paint can instantly brighten up a room, and cover up any wear and tear in your home - plus, if you do it yourself, all you’ll need to invest in is the cost of the paint, brushes, and rollers.
Keep it neutral when picking colours: stick to white, off-white, or cream so you appeal to as many buyers as possible. If your home already has a strong colour scheme or you want to add some personality, you can also choose to create a feature wall - just make sure to keep the rest of the surfaces simple to avoid any clashes.
3. Invest in some new plants
First impressions count, and nothing says ‘sanctuary’ like a great front garden. If yours is a little lacking in greenery and flowers, planting a few or bringing in some pot plants will instantly help people to feel at ease. Plants can also be used to offset harsher frontages (for instance, if the front has a lot of concrete or exposed brick), as they soften hard edges.
Indoor plants and flowers make your home feel fresh and modern, and can breathe new life into even the tiredest of rooms (as long as they’re well cared for!). Add some smaller succulents or potted plants to benches and tabletops to give your property a homely feel, and invest in a couple of larger potted cacti or palm fronds in your entrance or hallway.
If you’re not sure how to lay out plants around your home, remember that plants either work well if they’re on their own, or grouped together in varying shapes and sizes - play around to see what looks best.
4. Up your curb appeal
80% of Aussies want a home with a yard for their family and pets, and having a well-presented outdoor space can win over potential buyers. While landscaping can cost thousands, there are plenty of little touches you can add that will make your backyard shine.
Invest in having your hedges and trees trimmed and shaped so they’re neat, mow and weed the lawns so they look well maintained, and stain the deck so it looks brand new. You can also invest in some extras to give your outdoor space added charm: think outdoor archways and DIY stepping stones pathways.
5. Open up the space
Sometimes, it’s not about adding something to a room but removing it. Everybody wants a space that feels big and open. You might find that removing some items of furniture or replacing them with smaller pieces creates an impression of space.
Remember that natural light is a big plus for buyers, so look out for a window treatment that gives privacy and protection from the direct sun without blocking out too much light.
If natural light is a bit lacking in yours, the next best thing is to make sure the artificial light sources are pulling their weight. A light fitting with multiple bulbs is the best way to brighten a room, and you can create a chic feature to lift the look of the room, even when the lights are off.
6. Hang up mirrors
Want to make a small room look bigger? Mirrors are inexpensive to pick up, and instantly give a feeling of space to any room. Big mirrors are perfect behind a sofa or shelf in the living room, or behind the headboard in a bedroom. If you have a narrow and dark hallway, mirrors are great to add space and open up the walkway.
7. Quick fixings
Kitchens can be seriously pricey to renovate, but they’re also the room that sells a house. If your kitchen is looking a little tired, one great way to balance these competing needs is to simply freshen the place up. Fitting new cabinets is costly, but painting them gives everything a facelift. DIY this for some real bang for your buck, and finish the look with new knobs or handles.
Rugs are an ideal addition to your living room: they brighten up the area and transform the room’s look and feel. Choose big rugs to make an impact, but make sure they match your colour scheme: tribal or graphic prints modernise your home and pair well with most existing furniture.
When it comes to the bedroom, investing in new linens will make the room feel inviting and cosy. Like your paint, choose neutral bedding linens with minimalist designs, and opt for simple patterns over bright colours or clashing prints. If you want to add a touch more personality, a bed runner can add flair without being overbearing.
8. Clean and declutter
One of the easiest styling tricks in the book is to simply go through your home and declutter your current spaces.
When you style to sell, it’s important to design your home like a blank canvas so a buyer can imagine themselves living there. Too much clutter can be overwhelming during an inspection - remove all the toys, memorabilia, and kitchen appliances that have accumulated over the years, and open up all the curtains and windows to bring in natural light.
It’s worth investing in giving your home a deep clean, including professional carpet cleaning. This removes any odors that have built up over time and will leave your home looking and smelling fresher.
9. Make sure it smells fresh
Think about all the senses when you’re preparing for a house inspection: smell is a big one. If your place smells damp or stale, it could be a turn-off for potential purchasers, so open the windows or burn some essential oils to freshen the smell.
10. Research the value of your home
Trust your agent, but also inform yourself of the value of your home. Request the appropriate appraisals, research the market, look up similar listings and check out the sales history for your area. Knowing the value of your property will help give you a better idea of how much you can expect.
One of the quickest, easiest, and most informative ways to learn the potential value of your home is to claim your free property value estimate from Upside. This report takes less than a minute to request, and it will arm you with information such as comparable and historic sales data from your area so you can get a feel for where your home fits in.