The process of preparing a home for sale is one of many steps. These days, most home sellers take the advice of smart real estate agents and call in a professional property stylist whose job it is to make sure all of the details are taken care of and that the property is perfectly prepared to WOW prospective buyers. Many vendors wonder if they can do the entire process alone and, generally speaking, the answer to that question is no.

Selling agents think of property stylists as a critical component of the sales team. It’s the stylist who puts the polish on your home’s presentation, but prior to the arrival of your design team, there are things you can do to save a bit of money. Here are the first three steps in selling your home or apartment for more money than you expected:

Declutter: Over time, we humans gather lots and lots of stuff. By the time we’re ready to move, we almost always have more furniture than we will ever need in an amazing variety of styles, colours, and fabric choices.

We tend to hoard clothing – the things our children have outgrown, and the things we may never again fit into. We keep things that are out of style, no longer serviceable, or which serve no purpose except sentimentality. Now, what you keep is your business, but when it comes time to sell your property, you want to pare down the amount of stuff you have ahead of the move, and well ahead of the first visits by prospective buyers.

Even if you are planning to move your personal belongings into storage temporarily, leaving your home empty for your home stylist to redesign, you’ll still want to minimise the non-essential stuff in order to keep the storage costs down. If you’re planning to live in the home while it’s listed, it’s even more critical that you get rid of excess furniture and other belongings to give your home the appearance of more space. Plenty of empty space is one of the most important items on most buyers’ “must have” list, so a cluttered home that is overstuffed will not go down well in the eyes of potential buyers.

If you haven’t used something for six months or more, sell it at a garage sale; give it to a local op shop, or dispose of it at the tip. Now is a great time to simplify your life, and getting rid of excess is one way to accomplish this.

Depersonalise: When you’re living in a home, surrounding yourselves with personal photos and mementoes of good times is perfectly understandable. However, when you’re attempting to sell your home to someone else, it makes little sense to “brand” it as yours. As a matter of fact, having personal pictures around constantly reminds interested buyers that the home really belongs to somebody else. It totally undermines the “I can see this as my own home,” reaction that immediately precedes the first serious offer. Unless buyers can see the home as a place where they could hang their hats, there is not much chance for a sale.

On the other hand, a home that feels like a blank slate where your new buyer can see where to put the Christmas tree, and how the children would gather around the kitchen island to do their homework, is much more likely to strike an emotional chord.

Clean: It probably goes without saying that you want your home to be squeaky clean before the first house hunter arrives. Still, very few homes meet the very rigid definition of ‘clean’. Clean is, literally, the absence of dirt. That means that areas you rarely see and never scrub will need attention. Under the refrigerator is a prime place for dirt and dust to accumulate. The walls adjacent to a slide-in stove are nearly always guilty of hiding spills and other crusty messes – even in the cleanest of homes. Ditto the aluminum tracks in a sliding glass shower door. House buyers look in the places you see least often, so be prepared to put extra effort into this cleaning project.

Finally, when these tasks are finished, you’ll want to call in the very best property styling company you can possibly afford. At Urban Chic Property Styling, we take pride in offering options to fit within any budget. We also take great pride in the fact that our name is among the best known in the house stylist world. That’s because our reputation is one to which house stylists across the country aspire. If you want the best, call Urban Chic Property Styling first. We’ll take it from there.


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