With the shortest day of the year behind us now, it’s time to think about summer. You may think it’s a bit early, but if you’re planning to sell your home in the spring now is the perfect time to get your outdoor space in shape. Don’t forget, property styling for sale is part of the way you’re going to get top dollar for your place.

Particularly in this buyer’s market, it’s critical that sellers think ahead to how their property will look in the light of spring. The more time you have to make upgrades, the better off you’ll be. A gradual upscaling is less painful financially speaking, too.

In housing, living space is always at a premium so it never hurts to consider improving on your outside potential. Having a fully functioning deck or patio is a great benefit to sellers and a joy to the picky buyers we’re seeing in the Sydney area just now. It doesn’t take a huge budget to create a better outside entertainment area.

The first step is to inventory what you already have. If you have a concrete slab that serves as a place to set up your barbecue in summer, consider how you can improve on it. Will it work as an outdoor kitchen? Can you add some cabinetry, a small refrigerator, and a bigger barbecue? If you do, you’ll have created a magnet for buyers. We all see outdoor kitchen set-ups in magazines and yearn for such luxury, but when you think about it, the price tag really isn’t that large.

Get yourself some graph paper and draw what you’d like. Then buzz on down to your home improvement warehouse store. Talk the project over with one of the professionals there and discover that it might be within your budget after all. (Beware. Sometimes the little improvements we make convince us NOT to sell our homes at all.)

If you already have furnishings on that slab, why not re-imagine your concrete floor. Today there are many ways to improve on a concrete slab. From acid-staining to stencilling, you can give your tired old patio a bright new look in a weekend.

Once you’ve decided how you’re going to refresh that concrete, do make yourself fully aware of precisely how to create the look you want. Pay special attention to treatments involving paint – since there may be temperature restrictions. You may have to wait for a warmer day in order for the paint to dry thoroughly and cure well but it will be worth it.

Creating an outside room around a fire pit is another great way to expand your living space. Today’s buyers, for the most part, prefer toasting marshmallows to mowing the lawn or weeding. A low-maintenance outdoor entertainment area is a winning idea and it’s surprisingly inexpensive. Again, talking to the home and garden manager of the aforementioned home improvement emporium can inspire a wealth of great ideas. While you’re there, get yourself one of those ‘idea books’ and give your imagination a chance to stretch.

If you’ll be doing something as simple restaining, or repainting existing structures like a deck or pool area, why not think outside the box? Sit down with your home stylist to discuss options. You may find that there are ways of property styling for sale that you hadn’t even considered. Your stylist will not only have sensational ideas, he or she will have suggestions about contractors who do such things at a reasonable price.

Whatever you decide, be sure to set a budget. You know what you can afford and your stylist can tell you what your ROI (return on investment) is likely to be. Understand that it’s not uncommon for such projects to go over budget, which can be a very unpleasant surprise for the homeowner.

From the planning to the completion, be engaged in the project. Before you authorise any changes to the plans, make sure you understand the financial implications of any alterations of the original idea. The person most likely to insert budget-breaking revisions into the mix is the homeowner. Follow your own rules religiously. Remember, this improvement isn’t one you’ll be enjoying so don’t indulge yourself too much.

As you look forward to a spring sale, discuss your plans thoroughly with your home stager and your selling agent. These two professionals – your sales team — are the best guides to a better, more lucrative experience. Property styling for sale can be a powerful tool when it’s based on solid professional advice.

Image courtesy of TypeHype

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