Property Advice

Entice buyers to your open home with these surprisingly simple style tips

Article by Property Press

13The way you present your property in photos and at your open home has a huge impact on buyer interest. Get your home resale ready with these practical tips

Putting your home on the market can be a daunting process. Your real estate photos and open home will play the key role in enticing buyer interest, so it’s vital you get them right. While it’s important not to over-capitalise, doing a simple refresh to your interior and exterior can be a major game changer. Here are some essential ways to make buyers want to inspect (and buy) your home.

Clear the clutter

Buyers want to be able to imagine themselves living in a space so it’s important to make this as easy for them as possible. Start by clearing away all the clutter of everyday life – surfaces should be clear, bedrooms tidied of any personal paraphernalia, kitchen benches decluttered, laptops stored, and office spaces tidied.

If you love to surround yourself with a lot of ornaments and knickknacks it is best to be ruthless and store these away while your property is on the market. Many people can’t see past this sort of distraction to appreciate the essence of a space. A few carefully chosen pieces to give each room some interest are all that you need.

Similarly, with your gallery of family photos — pop these away until a later date. If they are hanging on walls, refresh the paintwork and replace with a single artwork instead. You want buyers to see themselves in your home, not be reminded of who currently owns it.

Freshen up with paint

You may love that lime green and pink bedroom but it’s surprising how many people are turned off by something as easy to remedy as a jarring paint colour. You don’t have to make everything bland but it’s safer to opt for more neutral tones — pale greys, greens and blues are very popular at the moment if you don’t fancy monochromatic white — and bring in colourful touches through interior details. Any tired wall surfaces or damaged wallpaper should be given a fresh coat of paint to liven up rooms.

Update fittings

Curtain treatments, floor finishes and light fittings are three things that can immediately date a property and make it look tired. It may be worth replacing worn-out, faded curtains with modern blinds — there are lots of keenly priced options to choose from. If the carpet can’t be rescued with a shampoo treatment it could be worth installing a neutral-toned replacement. Rugs are a cost-effective way to give interest and bring life to scuffed wooden floors or areas of carpeting that have seen better days. And if you have a lot of 70s, 80s and 90s-style light fittings do install some new ones — there’s a huge range of on-trend options available for very reasonable prices.

Kitchens and bathrooms

Kitchens and bathrooms are the two big-ticket items in a home. If you have recently done a renovation then this will be a big drawcard but if yours are looking past their best then it’s important that you don’t overcapitalize on updating them. Many people would rather do a full makeover themselves and get exactly what they want than pay for a tweaking. A lot of sins can be remedied by spray painting these days — tiles, cabinetry and surfaces such as baths can all be given an instant facelift. Consider new tapware, handles, toilets and basins to give kitchens and bathrooms a fresh look at little cost.

Reconfigure furniture

One of the big mistakes that you see constantly in home decoration is living areas crammed with oversized furniture that makes the rooms seem poky or cramped. If you have a line of Lazy-boys or a couple of massive leather couches in a modest living space, ditch them or at least remove some of them. You can always put them in storage until your next move and source some pieces more suited to highlighting the space through a home staging business. You’ll be surprised how such small tweaks can make a huge difference to buyers’ reactions.

Create outdoor appeal

You can’t do anything about your neighbours’ properties but you can maximize how the exterior of your property is presented. If your house has not had a lot of regular maintenance work, now is the time to give it a spruce up so that it looks as if it has been cared for. Basic housekeeping tasks such as ensuring berms are tidy and mowed regularly, gutters cleared, paths water blasted and edges trimmed, trees pruned, lawns healthy and not suffering from bald patches and mowed are all a given.

Also, have a hard look at your outdoor furniture — if it’s past its use-by date get rid of it. You can get smart new outdoor settings for a modest outlay these days and it will do wonders for raising the tone of outdoor living spaces —after all, you can take it all with you when the house has been sold.

Top outdoor tips:

  • A chemical wash of the outside walls is a great way to give exteriors a relatively inexpensive refresh. If paintwork is a little tired, make sure that window surrounds and sills are given a fresh coat of paint to give the house a lift.
  • Ensure fencing has no gaps or holes; give a lick of new paint if they are wooden, and consider a new letterbox and front gate if they are looking a bit tired. This is a great way to create a better impression on a budget.

  • Is the path to the front door obvious? You have to search for the entry to some homes and this will discourage buyers. Lay a direct path to the front door if you don’t have one and frame the doorway with feature plants in pots. It may be worth considering putting in a new front door if the present one is dated or in poor condition. This is the first impression on entering your home so it’s worthwhile giving it some attention.
  • Landscaping outdoor areas is a costly business but exterior spaces are now used as living spaces so some attention to detail is vital. Make sure that paving and decking surfaces are all clean, utility areas screened off, garden beds weeded, and that you are enjoying maximum privacy and sun. Judicious planting of a hedge of lillipilly can provide an instant screen for little cost, trimming large trees will let in extra light and sun, and pots of annuals will provide colour and charm. All these are easy instant fixes that won’t break the budget.

Dress for success

It’s often the little touches that count to help bring everything together to make a house feel like a real home. New duvet covers and pillows in the bedrooms, a striking mirror, pot plants and towels in the bathrooms, scatter rugs, cushions and a feature light in the living areas, fresh flowers … now’s the time to light those scented candles and get ready for the open home.

Words by: Sarah Beresford. Photography by: Chris Warnes, Helen Bankers, Emma MacDonald /Bauersyndication.com.au

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