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8 Tips and Tricks to Stage Houses for Sale in Australia

November 28, 2021

So, you've decided to put your house up for sale? Congratulations are in order.

However, did you know that staging, or styling houses ready for sale has the potential to add 5–10% to the final sale price?

Not only does this help you attract top dollar, but staging a house before inspection also has the potential to reduce the time your property stays on the market.

With a little planning, you can get your property picture-perfect ready for potential buyers to view — and we’re here to help.

Listing Loop works with real estate experts Australia-wide that help sellers increase the value of their property for sale and to ensure they reap maximum profits.

Before we dive into the tips and tricks, let’s take a look at the cost of staging properties and the do’s and don’t in home staging. Short on time? Jump straight to our tips.

The Cost of Staging Properties for Sale

Before opening the doors for the first inspection, homeowners need to consider the cost of staging a house.

A recent study by Accredited Staging Professionals (ASP) discovered that 95% of real estate staged by professional home stagers sell, on average, in 35 days or less and for near the asking price. Whereas non-staged homes took 140 days or more.

Consider this: in order to sell faster, most sellers tend to reduce the selling price by 10% after a month on the market.

Thus for a $700,000 house, the first price reduction is $70,000.

However, to achieve success with home staging, even with a professional’s help, there are some do’s and don’t you need to be aware of.

The Do’s and Don'ts in Home Staging

Before you set up for an inspection, it’s important to anticipate that the home staging strategy you choose will need to align with the lifestyle the buyer wants to visualise.

Do's in Home Staging Don'ts in Home Staging
Focus on street appeal Get emotionally attached
Declutter and neutralise Be afraid to team up with a professional
Refresh walls, rugs and windows treatments Leave anything broken
Brighten and add warmth Invest in costly renovations or furniture
Make it shine Go bold with odd colours

Display a daily lifestyle — a real lifestyle — in your home inspection, so that buyers that can imagine themselves living there.

Also, consider these tips and tricks.

Tips and Tricks to Stage a House for Sale in Australia

Hire a Property Stylist

If your house is staged professionally, it could make it easier for your real estate agent to sell your home or help them get a better price for it.

The cost of employing a professional to style your home starts from around $2,000 for a basic six-week package for a small property. The cost can rise to over $10,000 plus for a fully furnished decorated home.

Draw Up A Budget

Prior to staging your house, you’ll need to draw up a budget that involves:

  • Agents's fees
  • Marketing costs
  • Conveyancer/solicitor fees
  • Lender fees
  • Auction fees
  • Home staging fees

If your budget allows, you can choose to do a partial or full stage which involves acquiring furniture to refurnish certain rooms.

TIP: By scouring retailers and marketplaces such as Ikea, Temple and Webster, Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace savvy homeowners can style their homes with nifty finds.

Start with the Exterior

If you want to see potential buyers parking in your driveway during the inspection. don’t exclude the exterior of the home.

Fantastic street appeal will enhance your home's best features and give potential buyers a sneak preview of the lifestyle they want.

With that in mind, these exterior staging tips are worth remembering:

  • Wash all exterior surfaces.
  • Freshen up your home's exterior paint including exterior walls, windows, and fences.
  • Revamp your front entrance with a stylish welcome mat and eye-catching pot plants.
  • Install new hardware such as light fixtures, doorknobs, and mailboxes.
  • Tidy up your landscape including the pool area.
  • Renovate your driveway or parking area.
  • Stage your outdoor living area.

Stage the Entryway

The entryway is the first room that buyers will likely see, so you must stage it to grab their attention.

Regardless of your entryway's size, you want a simple decor to create a warm welcoming space for buyers to fall in love with at first sight.

Set the right tone by using multiple light fixtures to provide accent and general illumination throughout the space.

An entryway should be able to include all the daily items of arrival and departure including shoes, coats, and bags without blocking the halls. Declutter this space to allow an easy entrance and exit.

TIP: Place a console table strategically in the entryway to provide a surface for placing your keys and mail. See how you can style it in the image below.

Stage the Living Room

The living room is the busiest room in the house, as this is where family and friends spend time together relaxing, visiting, and entertaining.

Staging the living room with neutral paint colours, furniture, and fun accessories will create that special room buyers are looking for.

Windows should always be played up, streamlined, simple, and call attention to the amount of light coming through. Even if there's no view, it's better to show off the window rather than hide it behind heavy drapes or curtains.

Declutter shelves by stacking books horizontally or vertically for visual balance.

You should also remove all photos and personal mementos from the living area. You want prospective owners to visualise themselves living in the home, and not be distracted by your photos of a family reunion, wedding or holiday.

TIP: Instead of buying fresh flowers before every open for inspection, cut down your costs by buying potted plants or have tree branches in vases of water.

Related: Style your home with plants

Stage the Bedrooms

When staged correctly, bedrooms can feel like a peaceful retreat in the Hunter Valley or Bellarine Peninsula.

Dark rooms look drab and uninviting. Maximise the room's natural light by opening blinds or curtains, and place mirrors opposite a window to reflect light to a dark corner of the room.

Play up the bed as it’s always the focal point of bedrooms. Remember to ditch bulky nightstands and remove large dressers.

Source: istockphoto

TIP: If you have a small bedroom, you can make the small space appear larger by using furniture that is scaled to the room and fits the space.

Related: How to maximise a small living space

Stage the Kitchen

You can do wonders to the kitchen with a few low-cost changes. To get you started, clean, clean, clean. Kitchens are some of the most-used spaces in the home, and they tend to build up dirt and grease over time.

Cluttered benchtops, fridge magnets, and notes create a visually unappealing kitchen. Put such items out of sight if you want to maximise the sense of space in your kitchen.

If the kitchen is spacious, accentuate it by adding an informal dining area. But if the space is too small for a dining table, a breakfast bar with seating will do.

TIP: Scrub the grout clean by sprinkling it with baking soda and a spray of vinegar.

Stage the Bathroom

You want potential buyers to be able to visualise themselves relaxing in the bathroom.

Create the look and feel of a five-star hotel bathroom by going for neutral and popular colours that are likely to have a wide appeal.

Find inspiration for your decor in the video lookbook below.

And for that spa-like experience, invest in some luxurious bath oils, fragrant soaps, candles, natural loofahs, and even shells.

It's important your bathroom is spotless and shiny, as few things put a buyer off as the idea of someone else's dirt.

Generate light and space by cleaning the windows and installing high-wattage bulbs. You can even make the room appear larger with an additional mirror.

TIP: Remember to remove the bathroom scales, and keep any overflow of toiletries in simple wicker baskets.

Give Visitors Something To Remember

First impressions should work in your favour. This is because most buyers make the decision to buy a house within the first 30 seconds of entering the property.

The combination of these house staging details can create a cohesive and inviting space that buyers will emotionally connect with when shopping for a family-friendly home.

If you’re thinking about putting your home on the market ask your agent to get in touch with us today and let's sell your property faster with a pre-market and off-market real estate strategy.

Photo by FollowTheFlow / CC BY

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