May 2021 data from realestate.com.au revealed “pool”, “garage”, “outdoor area” and “ensuite” were among the top five search terms for buyers on the portal.
Nick Viner, buyer’s agent and director of Buyer’s Domain, said he had seen a shift in what buyers want over the past 12 months.
“I see people wanting more internal space. The biggest change has definitely been study spaces and extra bedrooms which has come down to the work from home movement. So if a seller has an empty space, then I’d suggest they fill it out with a desk and chair. If they can identify what a buyer wants it takes it to the next level,” he added.
Ms Wilson agreed that showing the possibilities is essential when preparing to sell. “If you’ve got a stairwell that’s just got shoes in it, take the shoe cabinet out and make a study nook. You want to create extra zones that will add value, you want to give every area a function,” she said.
MAKE IT MOVE-IN READY
Despite the popularity of renovation television, most buyers aren’t in the market for a fixer-upper so the more liveable a property is, the better.
“Do obvious things like paint touch ups, go through and clean the carpet, if you’ve got floorboards with big scratches then fix those. Even though it’s a seller’s market, the more move-in ready a home is, the more desirable it is. Overwhelmingly buyers don’t want to have to do a massive amount of work,” Ms Wilson said.
“You don’t have to spend a fortune in order to capitalise on what’s already there. You can update the kitchen and bathroom by swapping out handles and hardware that might be scrappy and change light fittings or placement,” she added.
Mr Viner added that buyers’ prerogatives had changed so sellers should pay attention.
“I think the appetite for renovations has probably subsided. Maybe it’s Covid, maybe not, but I think the novelty has gone somewhat. Perhaps people are busier and the cost of renovations has gone up too so more buyers are thinking they might as well get a property that is done,” he said.
PACK AWAY THE EMOTIONS
Ms Wilson said sellers need to detach themselves from their home because although buyers may be seeking a new lifestyle, they’re not after yours.
“Jewellery boxes, family photos, kids’ drawings on the fridge, all those little things need to be put away and stored because you need really minimal surfaces. You’ve got to think about it like a hotel or an Airbnb listing, really depersonalised but neat and tidy,” she explained.
Vendors should also remember that it’s not just a property that’s for sale, but an idea.
“You’re selling the lifestyle, not just the bricks and mortar. If you’re by the water, you want blue accents for that coastal feel. If you’re in the city, you want funky furniture to appeal to that buyer demographic. Highlighting whatever that property has in terms of lifestyle is very important,” she said.
“Do everything within your power to get the best price because if you’re going to go through the stress of selling, you may as well get the best outcome, right? Take your agent’s advice, take your stylist’s advice because they’re all just trying to help you get the best price.”
TOP TIPS FOR STYLING
Back to basics: Make sure the property is clean and clutter free. Remove any excess furniture and decorative items like photo frames and trinkets. Carry out any repairs and touch up painting.
Aim for aspirational: Set the scene and present the lifestyle on offer. Introduce style and detail through cushions, throws, accessories and artwork.
Showcase functionality: Help buyers visualise how the home will function for them, or their tenant. The most common styling error is selecting furniture that does not fit the room properly.
Value add: Convert unused or awkward areas into usable spaces that add extra value. For example, study spaces are becoming a must-have for buyers and can be incorporated into most homes.
Manage impressions:First impressions count. A fresh coat of paint can be money well spent. Repair any outside damage such as broken fencing, guttering or outdoor lights and create a pathway.
Prepare for open homes: Show the home in its best light and be organised. Ensure the property is spotless on open days with no trace of pets or scent.
Financing: There are financial solutions available for sellers with limited funds to pay for styling. CampaignAgent, for example, has a Pay Now Pay Later scheme that funds 1.5 per cent of the estimated sales price upfront for the purposes of creating more buyer competition.
Originally published asTricks experts use to push up sale prices