9 tips to style you apartment to sell

98% of our agents say that styling can make a big difference when you are selling.  It can help to add value, attract more buyers and help your property sell faster.  So if you are selling, this is a critical step to make the most out of what you’ve got.

Not all of us live in a large family sized house – and many of us don’t want to, but when it comes to selling the same principles apply.  Buyers want rooms to feel spacious and light, they want the apartment to be functional and have usable living spaces.  Buyers love outdoor areas and of course privacy and they want to feel the apartment has been well maintained and loved.  Of course you could hire a pro, but if you want to do it yourself here are some tried and true tips to help you prepare your apartment for a profitable and fast sale.

1. Create a great first impression

The first thing to do is to make sure that everything looks clean and well cared for.  A freshly painted front door and surrounding structure will look fresh and inviting.  Door handles should be clean and if they are scratched consider replacing them.  If you have the space outside your front door, a potted plant outside the entrance can help make your home more welcoming.  If your communal entrance way looks dirty, it’s worth getting a broom and a mop and giving it a once over too.

2. The kitchen – the room that sells

The kitchen is the one room that can make or break a sale.  It’s usually the most expensive room in any house, so prospective buyers don’t want to see a kitchen that need a total upgrade. Here is a list of what to focus on:

  1. Clear the clutter from your kitchen benches
  2. Replace your out of date appliances such as dishwasher
  3. Consider painting the walls if they are in need of a refresh
  4. If your cabinet doors are looking a bit tired, consider replacing them or if that is out of the budget, replacing the handles on your cupboards and drawers can make a big difference
  5. If lighting is poor, consider lifting the lighting by installing fluorescent or spot lights under the top cupboard or above the benchtop work areas
  6. If your benchtop is scratched or stained it may be worth replacing the benchtop
  7. If the floor is a little worse for wear, lift the lino and either replace it or better still if there are floor boards, polish them

3. Define your living space and create the feeling of space

Your aim here is to make your apartment seem as big as possible – to create as much visual floor space as you can and to ensure you layout flows as this can have a big impact on how big the apartment feels.  By ensuring you have clearly defined living, dining, outdoor, office spaces, bedrooms etc will help create order and the perception of space. You don’t need to install a physical barrier that may disturb the space, you can achieve this by using rugs.  Consider adding one under your dining table and one under your sofas and coffee table.

4. Use neutral colours on the sofa

To help your living room feel larger, a styling trick interior designers use is to use neutral colours on your sofa. If your sofa is a similar tone to the walls it will blend in and not dominate the space.  Also by using shades of one colour in a room will create cohesion and makes a room feel more open.  As there is little contrast in the room the buyer will be able to look through the room uninterrupted, creating the illusion of space.  You can add interest with different textural elements such as cushions, throws and rugs.

5. Make the most of the outdoors

Aussies love being outdoors so if you have a balcony make the most of it.  Is there room to add a full table setting and chairs?  You only need 1-1.5m clear walkway around the table and chairs.  By adding this not only will it make your balcony feel larger, it will create an extra living area which is very appealing to buyers.  If you don’t have the amount of space to fit a full out door suite, consider adding a small table and a couple of chairs with a colourful pot plant happily placed on the table.

6. Use a mirror to create feeling of space and light

Adding a mirror can instantly make a room feel more spacious.  They help reflect light which helps make the room look brighter and can give the illusion of another light source in the room.  For small spaces mirrors can give the appearance of more space as it reflects the room making buyers feel that it is larger than it actually is.

7. Get bold with your artwork

This may be the opposite of what you think, but surprisingly a bold painting on the wall has the ability to make a room feel more expansive unlike several smaller pieces that can have the effect of cluttering up the space.  Additionally, make sure you remove all your clutter from bench tops and cabinets as this will be help the buyers eye travel around the room at open of inspection without being interrupted and help create the feeling of space.

8. Create a bit of luxury in the bathroom

Clean your tiles and grouting and make sure your windows, mirrors and shower screens are spotless and free of streaks.  Hairs in the drains are a real put off, so check these before you open your home to buyers.

Buyers love luxury so consider using fresh plump towels, replace your soap bars with liquid soap, add a scented candle, a small potted plant or some cut flowers and some boutique bath products.

If you have a small bathroom, don’t clutter the limited wall space with towel rails, put them on the back of the door.  If you have the budget, adding a big mirror will help ensure the room appears twice the size and if you keep the colour scheme simple it will help give your bathroom that WOW factor.  On a final note, stained or chipped bathtubs and basins are not appealing so consider getting these re-enamelled and if your tiles are looking a bit tired, a fresh coat of tile paint on the walls will give the impression of a whole new bathroom.

9. Create space and sanctuary in your bedroom

After the number of bedrooms, buyers are most interested in size.  Use neutral colours to make your bedroom/s seem larger.  Reduce the amount of furniture to maximise the feeling of space.  For instance, if you have a small room, use a double bed instead of a queen or bunk beds in the kid’s rooms.

Storage in the bedroom is another feature buyer’s look for.  To reduce the demands on limited space in small bedrooms, consider having built-in robes installed, but keep the interior simple because if you include all the bells and whistles you won’t recoup the costs.

However large your bedrooms are, they will look small if they are cluttered with your personal knick-knacks.  When it comes time to sell make sure you clear away the clutter and personal items such as photos.  That doesn’t mean your rooms need to look totally impersonal, a few exotic perfume bottles, a vintage tea cup by the bed or a romantic candle display can make the room feel like home for potential buyers.

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