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5 easy upgrades to make your home more appealing to buyers

By Mikaela Fowler

Gearing up to sell your property often comes with a to-do list. On this list are the things you want to achieve to make your house look its very best before you open wide the doors to potential buyers.

While it may be a little counter-intuitive to spend a fortune upgrading or renovating a home you’re planning to bid farewell to, smaller budget-friendly upgrades can really make your space more appealing to buyers.

One-half of Canberra-based interiors practice Bijoux Home Jane Goodall shares five manageable fixes that will lift your property before it hits the market.

Consider the furniture layout

By rearranging the furniture, you can open the room up and make it feel more inviting. Styling: Jane Goodall. Photo: Anne Stroud

How we lay out our furniture for everyday living doesn’t necessarily translate for open houses when time-strapped potential buyers want to quickly assess the flow and space of the property.

“Consider the furniture layout and moving things around,” says Goodall. “The way we lay out furniture, for example to watch TV, can visually block a space.”

Couches are usually a main offender, positioned for the benefit of the TV viewer and not the potential buyer.

“You don’t want the backs of sofas and bulky armchairs facing you when you walk into a room. By simply shifting them, you can open the room up and make it feel more inviting.”

This approach extends to other furniture in the home. For instance in tighter spaces, even removing two dining chairs from a six-seater table can create the illusion of more space.

Replace electronics with artwork and homewares

Goodall suggests temporarily clearing electronics like TVs and kitchen benchtop appliances. Styling: Simone Haag. Photo: Derek Swalwell.

Quick access to the toaster, kettle and coffee machine in the mornings means these appliances rightly take up key real estate on the kitchen bench.

However, when your home is open for inspection, Goodall suggests temporarily clearing “electronics like TVs and kitchen benchtop appliances”.

When styling a home, Goodall says, “Things we like to do is try substituting the toaster for a small artwork or maybe swap out the TV for a wall hanging or big print artwork that can lean against the wall.”

For this Goodall recommends using artwork or homewares you already own.

Give your home a cohesive look with a colour scheme

Styling your home for sale. Photo: Dylan James. Styling: The Real Estate Stylist

While each room in your home is different, unifying them together to create a cohesive look can be easily achieved with a loose interior colour palette.

“Choose a colour scheme and stick to it. If you’re not sure just pick one colour, and make sure it features through the home in things like artwork or cushions or a vase, and then mix in some blacks and whites to blend it in,” Goodall says.

Goodall suggests integrating the scheme modestly into each room and blending in neutral colours to avoid the interiors looking matchy-matchy.

Give your coffee table a quick zhuzh

Create small, styled vignettes throughout the house that look appealing to the eye. Styling: Jane Goodall. Photo: Anne Stroud

You’ve tidied up the house, switched up the furniture layout, removed kitchen appliances and got the colour scheme sorted but you also want your home to feel like a home to potential buyers.

“Decluttering is great advice but don’t strip it of all personality,” Goodall says.

While removing some personal items, such as photos or bathroom products, is generally encouraged, make sure you don’t neglect to add a layer of warmth to your home.

Goodall recommends creating small, styled vignettes throughout the house, that look appealing to the eye but don’t distract from the property for sale.

“Have a go at styling your coffee table and look to Pinterest, Instagram or your favourite magazine for inspiration,” she says.

“You don’t need to include the same things but just look at how they’ve arranged it and the shapes they’ve used. You might include a couple of coffee table books, a vase and a bowl.”

Transform the bedroom with bed linen

Neutral and muted colours are your best bet when it comes to bed linen. Photo: I Love Linen

“An easy way to freshen up the bedroom is simply with a new duvet cover and pillowcases,” Goodall says.

“Linen is a very popular choice and a pretty safe choice.”

Colour-wise, neutral and muted colours are your best bet for stylish results with broad appeal.

Thinking of selling? Follow your home on Domain for Owners to find out its estimated value and keep up with your local market.


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