Selling your home?
Some home owners employ a stylist to ready their home for sale. If however you have limited funds, start by viewing your home through the eyes of a prospective buyer, rather than as the home you have some sentimental attachment to.
If you are putting your home on the market, you are ready to let go of it and that process starts even before you contact a real estate agent as you work to improve its appeal to the widest range possible of potential buyers.
- Style your home as if you were an outsider, to appeal to as many potential buyers as possible
- Cut back and tidy up the garden.
- Wash the windows inside and out.
- Clean up the interior till it shines.
- Store excess furniture
- Repaint to conceal flaws or update colour schemes.
- Furnish rooms and your garden to "sell a lifestyle" to potential buyers.
- Cull knick knacks and remove family photos that overly personalise the space.
- Hide away as many appliances as possible.
- Do your best to create an illusion of space.
- Maximise "flow through your home".
- Create an appealing study area
- Make the most you can out of your home's worst features. Distractions or a splash of colour can help here.
- Play up your homes best features
- Replace or make over tired fixtures like letterboxes.
- Prepare a sales pitch for your home. Include distance to public transport and shops, prestigous schools, climate friendly features.
I had not planned on selling my Melbourne home, so when circumstances catapulted me to moving to Ballarat I had to act quickly to prepare it for sale. Luckily I had long service leave at the time and even more luckily, I had already created a largely edible garden, with two outdoor living areas and numerous established fruit trees, herbs, roses and perennial plants over many years. As well I had installed solar hot water and photovoltaic panels for electricity generation and energy efficient heating. I had also added a carport and small shed onto what was once an open concrete car space.
Other home improvements I'd made included: restumping, installing storm water drainage and pretty much replumbing the entire house, sanding back the veranda to show off the mirbu timber, which I simply oiled annually and a complete bathroom renovation.
Things I disguised:
- Tired unappealing tiles that went from the kitchen, right through the laundry and toilet were minimised in terms of their jarring distraction by being overpainted with 'white knight tille paint'. I had tried removing them, but that left holes in the plaster and I did not have the funds to replaster.
- A small and badly fitted kitchen was helped by removing excess appliances from the benchtops and adding single fresh flowers in old bottles to window sills.
- I moved my clothes dryer into an alcove, added shelves and a curtain to create utility storage
- "Bedroomed up" a small single room I previously used as a study and turned the third double bedroom into an apealling home office, complete with plans for a home renovation ready to use, as the artwork above the desk
- Set my dining room table with period tablecloth and corckery to disguise my old and worn table
- Front fence
- Spouting, eaves and verandah columns to maximise the home's period features
- Some interior rooms
This freshened up the entire house.
Final styling touches; dressing rooms to sell and smell nice.
- New towels and soap in bathroom for insection times.
- Getting artist friends in to help choose selected objects and artworks to maximise appeal. This involved using and reworking objects I already had.
- The bigger study now could house all my bookcases within one space, instead of having them in my lounge and dining area. This created an impression of space. My camphorwood box was also moved there. We gave the study an Asian decor theme
- Taking down terrylene curtains to maximise the views into gardens
- Moving my hall table to the other side of my hall
- Rearranging furniture in the master bedroom to maximise the illusion of space.
- Flowers and potted succulents cut from the garden to reinforce the idea of self-sufficiency and abundance.
- Full fruit bowls on the dining table and beautiful vegetable displays in a basket on the kitchen bench, to hide a miserable view and create a sense of abundance and harvest
- Moving pots to maximise space in my courtyard and colour grouping pots, rather than paying attention to the plants growing requirements.
- Open windows. I also asked the agents not to put on lights inside the house automatically, to show off the home's wonderful natural light.
- Brewing fresh coffee prior to open for inspections for the smell to embue the kitchen.
- A display book of all certifications for restumping and other work carried out. Current warrantees on solar hot water system and pvc panels left on the hall table that potential buyers were able to view.
Although my home worked way more practically for me with my original arrangements re my book storage and work areas, my newly arranged home flowed well and was designed to woo potential buyers.
My styling efforts managed to attract those buyers. I also emotionally detached myself from the house at that point. It already felt like someone elses home after styling. It was like living in a display home, not my private santuary and retreat geared to my own needs, even though some of the styling I carried out for the sale, was on the exterior paint work I had long planned.
Here is a link to Domain, with ideas from professional stylists. Personally, I learned more from my neice who, with her husband, regularly renovates, and or restores and flips houses.
Watch for "Writing your own home sale advertisment"