Ready, steady, sell! Tips to help you prepare your house for open homes

When preparing to sell our family home, I knew I needed help. I’ve watched enough Selling Houses Australia to know styling is crucial in getting the best price on auction day. So I called in the divine Rose Polglase. Rose and I worked together years ago and I immediately connected to her humour, kindness and her gorgeous soul.

 

Rose is 'The Lone Stylist' for Decorate for a Difference

Rose is ‘The Lone Stylist’ for Decorate for a Difference

I always admired Rose’s sense of style and now she is a real estate stylist! In fact, she is currently part of the Raize the Roof’s Decorate for a Difference!

 

Read on for Rose’s tips on real estate styling including examples from my own place …

When it comes to selling your home, first impressions do matter. It’s no secret that the way in which a home is presented for sale can make or break the financial gains that can be made when selling. If you’ve been watching The Block, there has been a big push from the celebrity judges on styling for sale and lifting the “luxe factor” to draw potential buyers in.

So, what should you do when preparing your home for sale and where do you even begin when it comes to styling?

Get tidying

A good first place to start when getting your home ready for sale is to give your place a good declutter and reorganisation, as well as minimising your space of any bulky items. When it comes to packing up to move, this means you would have already done the hard work and won’t be transporting items you’ll be wanting to get rid of later.

It is important to depersonalise your home of belongings such as family photos and memorabilia. You don’t want to polarise your buyers as this will narrow market appeal and can put people off.

Be prepared that there will be some buyers that will want to open cupboards and wardrobes to check out how much storage there is in your home.

Take the Marie Kondo’s approach in keeping only what you love and what truly brings you joy. It’s such a beautiful idea and one that can make a major impact if you can do it from start to finish. If you haven’t heard of this decluttering concept, basically it’s all about holding on to what truly makes you happy. What it so lovely about it is that people say once they’ve completed it, that the process improves their lives because they’re surrounded by everything that makes them happy! You can learn more about it here.

To make life easy during the sales period, make sure that everything you want to keep has a designated spot and goes back to that place after you use it.

If you have children, finding some attractive storage solutions such as baskets and boxes for things like toys and books, helps to keep the kids happy as they’ll still have things to play with and gives you a spot to quickly put their things when you’re running out the door, 15 minutes before open home!

Create little vignettes throughout the home to help home buyers connect with each space. Kids bedroom aren’t just for sleeping but also for fun and play! In the boy’s room, we kept the room multifunctional creating a little reading nook in the corner, next to a shelf box filled with children’s books.

Create little vignettes throughout the home to help home buyers connect with each space.
Kids bedroom aren’t just for sleeping but also for fun and play! In the boy’s room, we kept the room multifunctional creating a little reading nook in the corner, next to a shelf box filled with children’s books.

When you’re done sorting, put the items you don’t want up on Gumtree or eBay. This is a great way to raise funds to pay for any jobs that will need to be done around your place before you sell and will also give these items a new life!

Curb the appeal

There are hundreds of ways to create more visual appeal and add value to your property before you sell. As a starting point, walk around the home and write down what needs to be updated and repaired, both internally and externally. It’s important to take direction from your agent on this one! They’ll let you know where to invest your money, considering current market conditions to ensure you get your money back, and don’t over capitalise.

We recommend focusing on cosmetic changes, this could mean a fresh coat of paint throughout the home, installing new carpets, maybe even modernising the kitchen with some new handles. Again, talk to your agent about this first to make sure you don’t spend money on making unnecessary changes!

Think about how you want people to feel as they walk through and experience your home. To improve the flow of traffic through the lounge room, the chaise section of the sofa was removed to increase the sense of spaciousness. To add further warmth and cosiness, a textured and printed cushion were layered on the lounge, along with a throw.

Think about how you want people to feel as they walk through and experience your home. To improve the flow of traffic through the lounge room, the chaise section of the sofa was removed to increase the sense of spaciousness. To add further warmth and cosiness, a textured and printed cushion were layered on the lounge, along with a throw.

This may feel like extra work but doing these few jobs means your buyer doesn’t have to and in turn, makes your place more appealing against the homes that present as a “fixer upper”.

Make an entrance

First impressions matter. Take notice of what’s happening out the front of your home and in the entrance. Make sure you can see your house number clearly and that the front garden is nice and neat.

In the entry way, adding a new door mat and some potted plants helps to make your home warm and welcoming. While you’re at it open up the windows and give the house a really good air—lighting a sage stick to bring in some good house selling juju, optional!

Don’t be afraid to show off your home’s personality and your own style! In the entry, we used Emma’s handbag and straw hat to create some visual interest as you walked through the front door. Style wise, this combination worked really well and injected lots of character.

Don’t be afraid to show off your home’s personality and your own style! In the entry, we used Emma’s handbag and straw hat to create some visual interest as you walked through the front door. Style wise, this combination worked really well and injected lots of character.

Style me up, baby!

When styling for sale you need to help your potential buyers picture themselves living in your home and guide them through how to use each space. It’s important not only to think about how potential buyers will walk through the space, but also how it will be photographed.

Have a think back and remember what you loved about the house before you bought it and make sure you focus on decorating these spaces.

Think about how to best utilise each space, maximising living space where you can. Adding an additional table and seating next to the kitchen provided another option for dining. The glass table created an effortless style that doesn’t overpower the space. What an awesome Gumtree find by Emma! When grouping objects together, remember that odd numbers are more visually appealing. Using the “the rule of threes” we used a larger vase with some florals and two smaller vases. To frame the look, we used a light oak tray underneath which was a great way to create depth and interest. To help improve the sense of spaciousness, Emma cleared off the benches in the kitchen. Placing an open cookbook on the bench is also a nice touch that will inspire buyers to help them imagine living in your home.

Think about how to best utilise each space, maximising living space where you can. Adding an additional table and seating next to the kitchen provided another option for dining. The glass table created an effortless style that doesn’t overpower the space. What an awesome Gumtree find by Emma!
When grouping objects together, remember that odd numbers are more visually appealing. Using the “the rule of threes” we used a larger vase with some florals and two smaller vases. To frame the look, we used a light oak tray underneath which was a great way to create depth and interest.
To help improve the sense of spaciousness, Emma cleared off the benches in the kitchen. Placing an open cookbook on the bench is also a nice touch that will inspire buyers to help them imagine living in your home.

The most important thing is to make sure you present your home in the most aesthetically pleasing way you can. Some guiding words I like to think about when styling in the home is bright, warm and welcoming.

If you’d like to buy new things to use when styling your home for sale, go for it! I recommend going for a mix of items that are trendy and timeless, whether a new piece of artwork, a side table or some little décor items—mixing in new, quality furniture, homewares and accessories will help to add value to your home.

When you style, I recommend layering items and using lots of texture to create interest. For example, give your bed a luxurious feel by using a mix of cushions and a chunky throw at the bottom. Use a throw and some pillows on the lounge to help it look inviting and cosy.

Find ways to lift the luxe factor in your home. In the bedroom, we layered the neutral bed linen with cushions of different textures, sizes and shapes. Don’t forget the European pillows! We also used a throw at the end of the bed to add further interest.

Find ways to lift the luxe factor in your home. In the bedroom, we layered the neutral bed linen with cushions of different textures, sizes and shapes. Don’t forget the European pillows! We also used a throw at the end of the bed to add further interest.

Interesting artwork and prints also do a lot to transform a space. For smaller spaces, putting up a mirror to create the illusion of a larger space is a good idea and it also helps to brighten up the room!

Play around with different décor pieces, adding and subtracting as you go. If all else fails, adding florals and greenery can elevate your styling look instantly!

Help buyers visualise living in your home. Setting up the table is another clever way to connect with buyers and shows them how they can entertain in your home. Not only does it elevate the look, it’s also practical and decorative.

Help buyers visualise living in your home. Setting up the table is another clever way to connect with buyers and shows them how they can entertain in your home. Not only does it elevate the look, it’s also practical and decorative.

Do you have any questions around styling for Rose? Leave a comment and she will get back to you!

You can also visit Rose’s website and leave a message through the contact page.

I also want to thank Plum Photography and Our Team Canberra for doing such a fantastic job with our home. 

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