Styling Your House to Sell

How to stage your home for sale

When, why and how to style your home

Styling your home can boost the final sales price by 7.5 per cent to 12.5 per cent, according to a survey of the top agents in the LJ Hooker network in New Zealand. However, only 22 per cent of agents believe it is useful to style a rental property.

The surveyed agents were strikingly unanimous in their opinion of how much styling can impact the sales price. The agents surveyed represent the best real estate knowledge available in New Zealand, and consist of 23 members of LJ Hooker's elite Innovation Team.

Styling means to decorate and organize your home and garden to look their best on inspection days. Vendors can style their own property, but LJ Hooker agents agree it is better to hire a professional who can view your home with objectivity and has experience of persuading buyers.

The benefits of home styling

  • Higher sales price
  • Quicker sale
  • More bidders, offers or interested parties

87% of top agents believe you will earn a higher price by styling, while about half think you will receive more offers.

When does it make sense to style a property?

It is most important when it is empty, messy, dirty, crowded or poorly decorated. Interestingly, it seldom pays to style an inexpensive property because the investment doesn't yield sufficient return.

Agents' overall best styling tips are to get rid of smells, clutter and dirt; clean up and trim the garden; display fresh towels and throw pillows and repaint walls, refinish floors and re-grout old tiling.

Many people believe that buyers are entranced by the smells of baking cookies, bread or brewing coffee during inspections. However, few agents agree. Most felt that buyers have a negative reaction, worrying that the pleasant smells are intended to mask something undesirable.

Instead, agents' top tips for the day of inspection are to remove pets and their paraphernalia, clean up the garage and closets and display fresh, cut flowers.

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