For many people, there's only one financial decision bigger than buying a property. And that's selling one.
If you're looking to sell your home, you're probably mentally preparing yourself for a stressful and uncertain time ahead. But many of the issues vendors face can, thankfully, be prevented with a little preparation.
In this article, we've listed five of the most common mistakes people make that can actually lower their returns. Plus, our solutions to help you reach the highest sale price with the least amount of stress.
1. Lack of market research
A property in the city is going to attract a very different buyer from one in the suburbs, or near the beach, and so on. "Typical" houses cater to different needs than units, townhouses and villas. Before styling, research the demographics in the surrounding area, including age, income, occupation and more. This will help you build a profile to target with your marketing, and of course, styling.
You can find demographic data through census reports, but honestly, they can be time-consuming and difficult to decipher. A real estate agent is your best bet – they have access to the latest stats and know how to use them!
2. Going it alone
You may be attached to your home, and therefore want to control every aspect of its sale. But unless you're very experienced in real estate, this is just going to result in unnecessary headaches and, in many cases, a lower sale price than you deserve.
"Property stylists use their design skills to create aspirational spaces that appeal to the target market"
In the same way, property styling is an investment that will help you achieve bigger returns in the long run. Property stylists use their design skills to create aspirational spaces that appeal to the target market (using that demographic understanding we spoke about earlier).
3. In bad condition
Trust us, potential buyers definitely will notice any damage in your home. Your offers will potentially be lower because 1) it's a bad first impression, and 2) your buyers need to factor in costs of future repairs. It's a good idea to walk around your property with a fresh pair of eyes, noting any flaws or quirks.
Problems vendors often neglect include: squeaky hinges, faulty switches, chipped tiles, worn carpet and paint. And even if you keep your home clean as a whistle, it's still a good idea to get a professional cleaning as there can be odours you won't even notice! Also, make sure to send pets away for the duration of viewings – the last thing you want is to trigger an allergic reaction.
4. Overspending on revamps
On the flipside, you also don't want to overspend in sprucing up your home. After all, the goal is return on investment here and there's no point getting a higher sale price if you've already spent more than the increase. So, what's the solution?
Property styling can be surprisingly affordable and can help some of the imperfections fade away as potential buyers connect with an “aspirational” lifestyle in their new home. Good stylists will also rotate their stock on a regular basis, ensuring your property is styled with current trends in mind.
5. Poor quality photos
Finally, a picture tells a thousand words, so make sure it's a good one. If your photo is well-lit and artfully arranged, it will stand out in a sea of real estate ads. As a general rule, natural light is best (maximise the "golden hour"), use a wide-angle lens and try a variety of angles.
"If your photos are well-lit and artfully arranged, it will stand out in a sea of real estate ads."
Taking the leap
Selling your home is a step into the unknown, so you're right to consider all possible risks.
This article was written by Lauren Lewis, Creative Director at Bowerbird Interiors. Their industry-leading service, BOWERBIRD BLACK provides property styling with a difference – you'll only pay, from your settlement, once you have sold your home. And if the property doesn't sell, you won't pay a cent.
A good property stylist aims to ease the stress of selling and give you peace of mind with a guarantee of success.