How to style your home for sale on a budget

When selling a home, it's amazing what the right styling can do to the value of a property. And the good news is, you dont have to spend a fortune to get results.

Styling a house before it goes on the market is vital to gain it's full value potential. While its a lot of hard work, you will reap the rewards in the long run.

Leading real estate agent John Mcgrath estimates that a beautifully styled home can fetch anywhere between five to 10 percent more value.

“Most people spend between $3,000 to $8,000 on professional styling and my gut feel is that it adds between five to 10 percent sale value,” he says.

Property stylist Leah Fotofile of The Beholder Styling + Design says getting a professional in is always a good idea.

“A stylist approaches a home with fresh perspective and no emotional attachment, they are able to look at homes through the ‘buyer’s eyes’,” she says.

“Stylists understand buyers and stage homes with a focus on creating an aspirational space that encourages a new emotional connection between the buyer and the property, creating a space they can envisage themselves living in.

"Research shows that once there is an emotional connection with the buyer and home it increases the perceived value of the property and therefore drives up the price the buyer’s willing to pay.”

But if you are selling your home on a budget, you can certainly style your home yourself. If you leave emotion aside, you can get away with spending between $500 to $1000 on décor. And best of all, you get to keep everything afterwards. Here's how you can make it happen.

Declutter all rooms

It's time to be ruthless – we’re talking rooms stripped back to the bare bones. You don’t have to get rid of everything (although, there's nothing wrong with a big clean out), but you do need to hide excess stuff out of sight. It's a good idea to take down all personal photos too.

Make your lounge room feel spacious

The main living areas like the lounge and kitchen, need to appear roomy and spacious. If your sofa is an eye-jarring purple or is grubbier than a compost bin, hire a couch or buy a new one. Do youself a favour and choose one that is white, beige or grey. While this isn't the most practical colour selection for day-to-day living, you can dress it up easily with colourful cushions and a throw.

Neutrals are also the favoured shades for the walls. Finish off with a few knickknacks such as a vase, candle or ornament on a mantelpiece or small coffee table.

Create a serene bedroom

Ditch the daggy old doona for a start. A classically staged bedroom usually features all white fitted sheets, top sheet, doona cover and pillows to create a tranquil blank canvas. For a queen-sized bed, the doona cover should be king-sized so it can hang all the way down around the sides.

Position four pillows – all in white pillow cases - at the head of the bed. You can then arrange two large cushions vertically against the pillows. Position two smaller cushions against these and perhaps finish with one accent cushion.

At the foot of the bed drape a colourful throw. Install two bedside tables with two identical lamps. Even if you live alone, buyers still want to envisage how the bedroom will look for a couple.

“Crisp white is a great choice for bedding because it gives the room such a clean, inviting look,” Leah says.

“If you start with a white base then you can dress up the cushions, the headboard and the throw in lots of combinations. It’s a classic look that won’t date.”

Make sure the kitchen and bathroom are up to scratch

These two rooms often “sell” a house, so it’s vital they’re styled. The number one priority is to clean these rooms thoroughly. There’s no bigger turn off than stray hair, bread crumbs or mysterious stains!

Display-wise the kitchen needs little more than a bowl of green apples, a cookbook, a few herb pots or mortar and pestle. Remove towels, shower curtains and everything else from the bathroom. A small utensil holder or potted plant on the vanity will do the trick.

Add eye-catching pops of colour

When choosing art, or accents make sure they pop with colour as this will draw in the buyer emotionally and add the finishing touch. Soft blues and greys create a feeling of relaxation so they’re good for the bedroom. Meanwhile bright colours such as red, orange and yellow will energise living areas. Greenery and flowers will also add freshness and help create a connection to the outdoor areas.

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