Matt Blatt’s in-house stylist Judyta Hulme shares her top tips for styling to sell
With most Australian property markets well and truly putting the brakes on right now, selling your home mightn’t be the piece of cake it was a couple of years back – which means styling it to sell is more important than ever.
In fact, real estate agents will vouch for the benefits of clever interior styling…not just on the final sale price, but on the speed of your sale too.
But don’t be tempted to renovate from top-to-toe – chances are you won’t recoup your investment. Besides key factors such as kitchen benchtops, cabinet doors and bathroom tapware, the key to packing a punch without spending a packet is refreshing rather than renovating. You need to create a space which is flexible – so that people can imagine themselves in it – functional, yet not too fashionable.
For those whose budget doesn’t stretch to the services of a professional property stylist, Matt Blatt’s in-house stylist Judyta Hulme has shared her top tips for preparing your home for a speedy sale, so get your DIY boots on, pick up a paintbrush, and check them out…
Less is more
Even if your personal style is eclectic and anything but minimalist, when it comes to styling for sale, less is definitely more.
“While we’re not saying your home should be empty, it’s best to clear ornaments, photos and personal treasures from bookshelves, tables, credenzas and bedside tables, replacing them instead with streamlined styling and a couple of carefully chosen features, such as a vase of fresh blooms, a framed print, a feature pair of bookends or a curated collection of coffee table books – but not all at once!” advises Judyta.
First impressions count
It’s little surprise that you should focus on first impressions. Yes, they matter. First, take care of the obvious – get rid of cobwebs, fix broken pathway tiles, mow lawns, freshen up paint, remove weeds and stash any kids’ bikes, toys, shoes etc which might usually linger on the front porch.
Next move onto more subtle styling tips, such as new potted plants by the front door, a boldly painted door – red, black, navy or turquoise are favourites – and a striking doormat.
Make sure there’s room to move
Similarly, if your living room usually houses two sofas, a handful of armchairs, a bean bag, an ottoman and a slew of side tables…pare it back. “A simple arrangement is best, such as a generous modular sofa, one contrasting armchair, a coffee table and a side table by the sofa, then accessorise with a generous rug, some greenery and a coffee table book or simple vignette,” suggests Judyta.
Oversized or chunky dining tables are another area for concern. “Ensure there’s room to move around the table, if not, remove the table during the sale period and replace it with a compact, circular or glass-topped setting which will make the room feel more spacious by letting people move around the furniture easily”, she explained.
Work magic with mirrors
Every interior expert’s favourite tool to trick the eye, mirrors are an ingenious option to reflect light and create an illusion of space. Top spots include behind the sofa, above a mantel or at the end of a hallway – ensuring you put something worth showing off in its reflection.
According to Judyta, every room should have a clear focal point. Whether it’s a bold blue velvet sofa, a striking artwork, or a cool credenza – but when styling for sale, only pick one. “When you’re trying to appeal to the broadest possible buyer base, it’s best to draw the eye to one beautiful piece in each room, rather than cluttering a potential buyer’s brain with competing pieces which may distract them from imagining themselves living at your place.”
Curate with colour
While purple walls and a floral couch may make your heart sing, it’s probably not the wisest choice when it comes to widening the net for potential buyers. “Much as we’re massive fans of colour here at Matt Blatt, when styling your home for sale, restrict your love of colour to either saturated colour on the walls, or on a feature piece of furniture – not both,” suggests Judyta.
“For instance, if your walls are painted in a feature colour, pair them with transparent or neutral furniture, or, if you’re opted for neutral walls, inject colour with a bold sofa. Rugs, cushions, flowers and art are other options for adding colour without overdoing it.”
Your target market is key
If your home is likely to appeal to a family with teenagers, then style it to show off roomy bedrooms and living zone options, such as an open plan area and separate media room or study. If your area is favoured by families with small children, transform a spare room into a dedicated playroom, and if you’re chasing couples without kids, converting an extra room into a home office or home theatre room.
Consider the season
If you’re selling during spring, pretty pastels, fresh blooms and gorgeous indoor greenery are perfect picks for sale-worthy style, autumn and winter campaigns call for cosy throw rugs, faux fur and a fire pit in the garden, while summer sales are all about outdoor living and enhancing the connection between inside and out, so add an ice bucket, carafes and colourful tableware to your patio, pop a parasol and alfresco seating on the grass, hang bright beach towels from hooks by the pool, or add a daybed or rocking chair to the verandah.
It’s all in the details
They say it’s the little things that count – and they’re right. Freshly ironed bedlinen, new towels in the bathroom, immaculate wardrobes – yes people will look inside – working light globes, perfectly polished floors…they all make a difference to the impression your home makes. After all, you’re not just selling a house, you’re selling a lifestyle.