The Courier-Mail

Dash of style adds to home sales appeal

- EMMA BLAKE

THEY say money can’t buy style, but when it comes to selling a property, paying for a stylist to dress up your home can add an extra 10 per cent to the sale price.

Real estate experts agree it is a waste to spend money on renovation­s, extensions, expensive fittings and colourful designer fixtures before you sell as it may not be to the buyer’s taste and won’t add value.

The key is to make the property as appealing to as many potential buyers as possible and help them imagine themselves living there.

Most people won’t like the way you have arranged your house, so you need to move out emotionall­y, says buyers agent Chris Gray, the host of Your Property Empire on Sky News.

“People are bad at visualisin­g things,” he says. “You need to move on before you move out and accept that most people won’t like your taste.”

Family photos, clunky furniture and piles of mementos distract buyers from imagining themselves in the space. Unusual rooms need to be given a purpose to show off their potential and empty rooms need to be furnished. Simple, low-key modern furniture and decoration­s that appeal to a wide audience and show off the property are the key, Gray says. They should be almost hotel-like. Sometimes all a place will need is a profession­al clean, some lawn-mowing and general declutteri­ng, says McGrath Estate Agent’s Chris Volpatti.

“Presentati­on is critical,” he says. “When you walk into a bare shell it looks tiny. People think ‘I can’t fit a queen-sized bed in here’, so you have to be able to show them it is possible.”

On average, Volpatti says, you can spend between $2500 and $7500 to style a place, depending on its size, but he has seen people spend double that amount. If it brings in just one more bidder, that could add $10,000 or even $50,000 to the sale price.

Property stylist Kate Bonselaar from Advantage Styling said vendors and agents tell her whatever they spend on styling is usually recouped 10 times over in the sale of the property.

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