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Tips to Style your Home for Sale

Homes become a part of who we are after many years and our styles reflect the way we like to live and our personality. So you’ve made the decision to put your home on the market, now what? Of course, you’ll want to maximise the number of potential buyers you attract by making your house appeal to a broader majority of buyers. To do this, the number 1 tip is to de-clutter and de-personalise.

1. De-cluttering – Remove all clutter, put all your little collectables in storage. Take note of your kitchen benches, sideboards, buffets, bedroom furniture and bathroom vanities... Also, any unnecessary baskets etc. laying around on the floor, shoes by the front and back doors… Go through the pantry and linen closets, sort and tidy so they look more spacious and organized, this will give the impression of functional space.

2. De-personalising – Remove family photographs and trophies and replace with artwork that will tie the room together. Large artwork can help give the impression of a larger room or higher ceilings. Ask an expert for advice as you want to be sure to create a neutral pallet. Mirrors are also a great way to create space if used in the right areas. Neutralise brightly coloured walls and leave for the buyers to imagine what they can do when they move in.

Now that you have de-cluttered and de-personalised you need to use a critical eye in every room and note the items to fix.

The broken screen or handle, peeling paint, cracked plaster, broken light fittings all the things we tend not to notice. Fix them or organise for someone else to. If the paintwork looks in top condition, a buyer can feel it is ready to move into. Painting a tired room makes a big difference. New handles in the kitchen or where required is also an inexpensive outlay to spruce up a tired décor. The floors also need a critical eye.

Lighting is a big deterrent if rooms look dull and corners look dark. If you can't afford an electrician, change dated and damaged light fixtures. Invest in some lovely floor lamps that up-light and a few table lamps that will add to the layering effect of light in the room.

Open all curtains and blinds where you can to let in natural light. This will create a greater sense of space (be mindful of the view, you may need some sheer curtains if it doesn’t feel private or the outlook isn’t pleasant.) Letting in fresh air with the natural light is a great combination to create a welcoming space. Take large oversized plants away from corners to open up the area. Make the house as comfortable as possible, use fans or air conditioning to cool rooms down and heating to warm them up.

"Clean" means different things to different people. It may be common sense to some but the best way to maintain the value of your investment is to follow a regular cleaning schedule. A professional cleaner to help with the kitchen, bathroom and windows is a great start, then a regular routine will be much easier for you to maintain.

If you have pets, be mindful of odours and to have them removed when showing someone through your property. Brewing coffee or baking is still a tip I often see in editorials and provide a ‘homely’ aroma when entering any property. You can get some lovely scented candles, but be sure not to have them too overpowering especially floral or vanilla. Fresh flowers look beautiful and also add to the fragrances.

First impressions count, so tidy and clean the front and back yards. Add a few plants and some mulch after weeding and tidying gardens. Some extra pots around the entrance with annuals could add some personality to verandahs or porch entries.

Finally - be prepared before you put your property on the market. Asking for advice from professionals can add to the value of your home and will help you sell quicker. Hiring furniture or paying for good advice will make your preparations faster and the money spent will be recouped in the sale.

PROFESSIONAL CLEANING TIPS If hiring a professional cleaner is a little out of your budget, we’ve gathered some tips from the pros to help you tackle the job quickly and efficiently yourself.

First, make a checklist. Put on there everything you need to do. Don’t worry if it looks too long, just keep adding items. Take it with you in your pocket to every room and a pencil, too.

The idea is to cross off everything you finish so you get a great sense of accomplishment as you move through the house. It also reminds you of things you might forget, so you never have to go backwards.

Always start at one end of the house and work your way to the other. If its multiple stories start at the top and work your way down. If it's one level, begin in the bedrooms and work your way to the kitchen. In each room, always clean top to bottom. Start at the ceilings with cobwebs and spider webs and work your way down the walls, windows and to the floors.

Wash walls, windows and then vacuum. After vacuuming, dust - start at the top and work down. Be mobile and prepared. Take all your cleaning tools with you into each room to avoid unnecessary trips back and forth.

Unplug the phone and turn off the T.V. Eliminate clutter as you go, too. An uncluttered home looks better than one that is dust-free but strewn with odds and ends.

A house that smells fresh will give the impression of cleanliness. Leave baking soda on carpeting for the night to absorb musty odours, then vacuum in the morning. Lightly scented but not overpowering cleaners will give your home that special "nose sparkle" clean, fresh scent.

Keep a big mat on both front and back porches to cut down on tracked in dirt. To cut down on accumulating clutter, keep a basket in the kitchen for the mail, newspaper, car keys to help with and a hamper in every bathroom and in each child's room.

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