Styling your home for sale takes more than just fluffing some cushions

Sometimes you'll need to roll up your sleeves to get your home ready for sale. Picture: Shutterstock.
Sometimes you'll need to roll up your sleeves to get your home ready for sale. Picture: Shutterstock.

Let's talk home styling, to sell or to simply make you home more beautiful.

Most people's thoughts automatically go to colour and decorating, but let us tell you, there's a whole lot to get sorted before we reach for a cushion or a throw.

Step one is a major declutter. Next, we ask that you look around, and we're talking top to bottom, inside and out. Clean like you've never cleaned before. Spick and span never goes out of style, and once all the grit and grime is gone you can absolutely see what we have to work with.

If the walls inside and out are showing signs of wear and tear, patch, prep and paint them. A neutral colour palette will enable the maximum number of buyers to imagine themselves moving in with their furnishings and personal choices.

When is comes the floors if they look bad, they will stand out for all the wrong reasons. Freshen up floorboards and if a professional clean makes your carpet look new, great, otherwise we recommend replacing it. You will be surprised the difference new carpet can make, and the cost will deliver returns - but go for a neutral palette.

Now look at absolutely everything that opens and shuts inside and out. Kitchen cupboard doors, wardrobes, all doors, including the garage door and even the backyard shed - are they all working properly, as this is one more distraction for buyers.

If the kitchen is beyond repair, think about replacing it, or at least painting it to look a bit loved. There are flatpack options all the way up to custom top of the range.

If you need to replace a bathroom there is no avoiding a big expense, but like the kitchen, paint alone can make a big difference if your only issue is being faced with polarizing dated tiles. If you're using paint, make sure is designed for the purpose. There are specialist products for cupboards and even benchtops that can transform your room in a day.

If any of these steps feel beyond you, enlist the help of a professional. There are many trade-sourcing services online.

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Once the maintenance has been done, now for the styling! Do your research and consider whatever colours and styles are widely available as this is often the best value and will tend to be what the majority of buyers have been conditioned to prefer. Regardless of your individual style, we highly recommend avoiding strong and bold looks. Neutral tones help buyers visualise adding their own personal touch.

The aim of the game is to reduce the number of apologies. Every little thing that is either not working, needs painting, a colour that some buyers can't live with, a wonky front step - these all add up to "apologies" that can hurt your potential sale price.

Now your home is looking stunning, it's time to enlist your agent, and your home is now going stand out from the crowd.

This story Styled to sell: not just fluffing cushions first appeared on The Canberra Times.