Simple ways to stage your home for a sale

By Mark Rosanes

One of the biggest misconceptions about home-staging is that it will cost you an arm and a leg. While hiring a professional stylist can set you back several hundreds to even thousands of dollars – depending on the level of service you choose and how long your property is stage for – there many ways you can make your home attractive to buyers without the need to break the bank.

Why is home-staging important?

When selling your home, creating a positive first impression is one of the most crucial keys to success. A well-kept home emanates warmth and is attractive to potential buyers looking for a place to call their own.

“The decision to buy a property is an emotional one,” says Jo Carmichael, professional organiser and founder of property styling company All Sorted Out. “When a buyer can visualize their own possessions in the home, you capture their emotional heartstrings, helping them to choose your property over another.”

She adds that this is where home-staging plays an important role as it highlights your home’s strengths while minimising its weaknesses.

“Staging and decluttering make it easy for buyers to imagine how this property can become their property,” Carmichael says. “Buyers are inspecting multiple properties in a short space of time. Your property is in competition with every other property for sale, so make yours the one that wins their attention.”

What are the things you should consider when staging your home for sale?

If you are selling your home, Carmichael says it is vital that you put yourself in the buyer’s shoes, so you can identify what they are looking for in a home.

She says there are three important factors to consider when staging your home:

1. Clutter

“By eliminating our clutter, the buyer can visualise their own possessions in the property. Decluttering also maximises the property’s value.”

2. Space

“Present the property in way that it creates flow and showcases how spacious it is. Rooms should be presented in a way that clearly shows their intended use, rather than leaving them empty.”

3. Style

“Styling ensures each space has a clear purpose and function. It presents where the living, dining, or family room, or study nook is.”

Home-staging tips you can do on your own

Carmichael shares several tips to make your home appealing to potential buyers without having to burn a hole in your pocket.

Curb appeal

Carmichael says a buyer’s emotional connection begins from the streetscape, so it is important to “ensure the front garden and entrance are immaculate.” She shares the following tips to enhance curb appeal:

  • Mow and rake the lawn, weed the garden, and remove any dead plants.
  • Pressure-wash the front steps and possibly the entire home if required.
  • A new front doormat and some greenery at the entrance are always inviting.
  • Ensure the letterbox or front gate has a clearly displayed property number.

Decluttering

Eliminating clutter is one of the most effective means of maximising your home’s value, according to Carmichael. She shares these tips on how to declutter:

  • Remove family photos and personal mementos as they are distracting to buyers.
  • Reorientate existing furniture if it is blocking a water or garden view.
  • Remove any clothing from bedrooms that is not hanging inside a wardrobe or folded in drawers.
  • Remove excess items from kitchen and bathroom benches, making the countertops spotless.
  • If there's a garage attached to the property, show how a car or two can actually fit in there, rather than presenting it full of old suitcases and storage boxes.

Styling

Carmichael says styling is important because it makes your home “match ready.” Here are some things you can do to create a good impression for your home:

  • Open the curtains to let in as much light as possible.
  • Place foliage or fresh flowers around the property.
  • If there’s a pool, ensure it is sparkling clean with a fluffy beach towel draped on a nearby comfy chair to suggest relaxation.

What are things to avoid when staging your home?

However, Carmichael warns that there are also certain things that can leave a negative impression and should be avoided when opening your home to buyers.

“Leaving your fur babies or pets either inside or locked up outside during a property inspection is not ideal,” she says. “Have a friend or pet service care for them off site.”

The same goes for unwashed dishes and soiled laundry.

“Piles of dirty dishes and dirty washing are a reality, but these detract from showing your property at its best,” Carmichael says. “Aim to fill the dishwasher and washing machine prior to buyers viewing your home, so all benches, sinks, and floors are clean and tidy.

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