Sold on Styling’s Melinda Jamieson and Suzy Piani believe you should approach the sale of your house the same way you would a job interview. You need to put your best foot forward and present yourself in the best light.
Basic maintenance, a thorough clean and a tidy up of the gardens used to be sufficient preparation for selling your home, but styling has become the norm, rather than the exception.
There are about 1700 Canberra homes listed on Allhomes at the moment and clever styling can give your property a competitive edge.
Styling can enhance the property’s best features, show people how they can use each of the spaces and encourage an emotional attachment to the home, Jamieson says.
And it’s not just the multimillion-dollar properties that benefit from styling, according to One Agency’s Peter Swarbrick.
“It is most effective for those who aren’t at the pointy end,” Swarbrick says.
“The average properties are the properties that benefit the most. People are looking for something different. People don’t buy bricks and mortar, they fall in love with the life they envisage.”
Holly Komorowski, of home.byholly, says it always helps to draw on the advice of experts and just as you would hire a photographer to take photos, employing a professional stylist is highly recommended.
“I always think there’s value in every vendor having a consultation or a discussion with a stylist,” Komorowski says.
“A stylist can offer a different perspective. They’re always thinking about how to make a home saleable to a broad market.”
How much a stylist needs to do will vary with every property. From providing tips on decluttering or what features should be highlighted, to bringing in a few pieces that will complement what you already have, to filling an empty house, it largely depends on the home.
Piani says long-term owners can find it hard to be objective about the property and using a professional stylist can take the stress out of the selling process.
“Updating of spaces is made easy and the stylist will make sure that pieces fit the proportions of the rooms,” Piani says.
“A good stylist will also be savvy with furniture placement and decluttering of spaces, will style to emphasise the unique architectural features of a property and create an ambience that is consistent throughout the property.”
Jamieson says it’s a collaborative effort and sometimes the best styling draws on a vendor’s personality.
“We like to develop a strong relationship with the vendor and work with the agent as a team to achieve the best possible price for the property,” she says.
“Unless a property is already empty, we discuss in detail how we think the property would best be presented.
“We attempt to preserve the inherent personality of the home, which means that every home we style is uniquely different.
“For example, earlier this year, a client’s wife had been a prolific quilt maker and had a wonderful collection of cotton spindles and jars of buttons. We made a real feature of these objects in our styling, which gave the house warmth, personality and a real talking point for visitors to the home.”
When can styling make a difference?
- Downsizers – “Long after the kids have left home, a couple may decide to sell the family home,” Piani says. “The problem is the house doesn’t look like a family home anymore. Styling winds back the clock to create a contemporary family home which is appealing to prospective buyers.”
- Empty homes – “Anecdotally, agents dislike selling empty properties because buyers tend to look around for the faults because there’s not much else to focus on,” Jamieson says. “Styling transforms a house into a home; it gives it personality and demonstrates furniture placement.”
- Families – Piani says families often stay in the home during the sale period. “In these situations, styling advice really helps to hone in on what needs to be removed, moved around and other preparations required before the house is photographed for sale.”
Decluttered with style
Marie Ekstrom and Adrian Chappell’s love of colour provided a perfect starting point for Sold On Styling’s Melinda Jamieson and Suzy Piani.
However, after seven years in the Aranda house with two kids, Elly, 7, and Abby, 5, they had accumulated furniture and clutter that needed to be considered.
The couple had already renovated the four-bedroom home with an open-plan design, energy-efficient inclusions and child-friendly play equipment including a flying fox and rock climbing wall.
Marie says styling would have been next on the list if they stayed in the home, but a move to the UK meant they were styling for sale.
Sold on Styling decluttered the home and added some new pieces that give the property a cohesive style.
Marie says it was an enjoyable and respectful process.
“What is really nice is that they build on your own style,” she says.
Number 8 Nungara Street is open this Saturday from 11am-11.30am and 1.30pm-2pm. Phone One Agency agent Peta Swarbrick on 0432 391 755.
Clean and simple
21 Higgins Crescent, Ainslie
4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 1 parking space
Auction on Wednesday, at 6pm, onsite
Inspect on Saturday, from 10.45am-11.30am
Holly Komorowski, home.byholly 0434 973 987
A simple declutter was all vendors Richard Webb and Delia Rickard needed to do to make their four-bedroom house in Ainslie shine.
“The most important thing to do was present its features as cleanly and simply as possible,” Richard says.
“Our house has always had a lot of colour. All that we’ve done is create a little more space by removing a large number of our books and possessions from our house.”
The couple have owned the 90-year-old home since 1986 and it has been treated to a seamless extension, with its original architectural details retained.
“People often find it difficult to find where the old house ends and the new house starts,” Richard says.
Architect Nino Bellantonio created light-filled living spaces within the heritage-listed home. A gorgeous library area with full-height bookshelves and skylights is a standout feature.
The open-plan design gives the home its flexibility, while glass doors open the family room out to the deck and invite the outside in.
Other additions include ducted gas heating, solar hot water and photovoltaic panels.
The home is positioned within the heritage-listed Corroborree Park precinct, just a short stroll from Braddon and the city.