Before House Rules, Lloyd and I had no idea what styling even meant. At that stage all we had was two bean bags and a mattress in our ‘shabby retro’ lounge room and used ottomans as bedside tables and garbage bags as a wardrobe shelves in our bedroom. It was a humble little abode.
After taking on the challenge of House Rules, where we renovated 5 houses, 1 unit and two backyards, our styling apprenticeship was complete. Along the way I have been c=blessed to meet amazing interior designers, builders and real estate agents. I have learnt a few tricks about what buyers look for and what little changes you can make to help your house look its best.
Here are my tips for increasing your profits when selling your house OR getting a tenant in quicker to your rental:
Tip 1: De-personalize. Take down and put away all your family photos, trinkets, collectables, kids drawings/paintings etc. Sounds harsh but when people are walking through your home during open homes, they want to picture themselves living there not see your giant wedding photo hanging above the bed.
Tip 2: De-clutter. Put ya junk in the trunk. No one wants to see smelly shoes at the front door, lego blocks on the floor or unpaid bills on the bench. You want prospective buyers to focus on the house not the possessions within the house. When I get ready for open homes I even empty the top draws of every cupboard in the house (so undies drawers – much to peoples disappointment- bathroom draws, cutlery draws etc.). You’ll be surprised at what people will investigate during an open home. Make it seem like no one lives there.
Tip 3: DIY. If you have some ghastly feature walls in the house grab some paint and get to work. Paint is a cheap way of making a BIG impact. In our house, the main living room that was right next to the open dining room were both painted a different shade of white. At first, most people didn’t realize the difference but when we re- painted the dining room to match the living room, it had a massive impact to the brightness and ‘feeling’ of the room.
Tip 4: Create an ambiance. This will help leave a lasting impression on buyers as they walk through. Buy a couple of candle burners with good quality smelly candles (like vanilla and sandalwood scent) and burn them during open homes. Play easy listening café music from a small speaker in the corner of the living room. It sounds so irrelevant but by creating a welcoming feeling into the house it ‘tricks’ buyers into staying longer and calms there mood. It will also leave a lasting impression on the buyer. You’ll notice in all the renovation TV shows that there are candles everywhere – in bathrooms, on bedside tables etc.
Tip 5: Keep bed linen neutral. No one wants to see red velvet spiderman bed sheets during an open home (except maybe my kids – who are not the bread winners so have no say in homme buying). Dress the beds in white/cream sheets and doona covers and decorate with textured and colourful pillows.