You only get one chance to make a first impression when selling a property.
And a fresh coat of paint or a humble house plant might be all it takes for vendors to cash in at a premium price.
Experts say now’s the time for sellers who have delayed going to the market because of COVID-19 to ensure their home stands out from the pack when they list in a few months’ time.
A lick of paint, decluttering, refreshing the gardens, renovating the bathroom or updating a colour scheme are just some projects sellers can undertake ahead of the traditionally bumper spring selling season.
Celebrity Melbourne homemaker and author Chyka Keebaugh says now is the time to “give your home a new lease on life”.
“We are spending a lot more time at home now. Why not make it more cosy and inviting as we move into winter?” she says.
“Without breaking the bank, the simplest of things can breathe new life into tired spaces.”
“Investing in new cushions and throws can add deeper colours into a living room. (If you also) add warmer globes in the lamps, it will all tie into the winter décor and look completely revamped.”
The former Real Housewives of Melbourne star says cleaning, decluttering and reorganising cupboards is essential - and won’t cost you a cent.
“Imagine what your house looked like stripped bare and it will give you an indication of just how much cleaning is required,” she says.
“Go through all of the cupboards and sort through things you do and do not need, make space and reorganise the linen, clothes and pantry.”
Cleaning the skirting boards and steam cleaning the carpets goes a long way too, she says.
Renovating also doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.
Ms Keebaugh recommends low-cost upgrades like painting a home’s interiors, polishing the floorboards, replacing broken tiles, updating hardware and tapware, or simply adding indoor plants.
“Paying attention to the minor details and the finishes of the interior … can make a world of difference,” she says.
Those with a bit more cash to splash should consider revamping the kitchen, bathrooms and façade, installing larger windows for extra light, replacing old carpets and adding more storage to wow potential buyers.
And given the front garden is the first thing buyers will see at an inspection, Ms Keebaugh recommends planting flowers now to ensure they bloom just in time for spring.
KR Peters sales agent Janine Scott-Rule says styling has changed over the years and has never been more relevant than now.
“Styling a home can really lift up a house, modernise it and make it look new again,”she says.
“Experienced stylists will match the furniture with the carpets, walls, even curtains; it is so important to help people picture what a home can look like.
“You can very easily add tens of thousands of dollars to the price of your home with expert styling.”
Mrs Scott-Rule says the first things people should focus on is clean windows and bad odours.
“I look at the windows as the eyes of the home, everyone notices them first and clean windows really promote a fresh home,” she says.
“Bad scents can really turn buyers off a home, you should always aim to deliver a fresh smelling space and that might require changing carpets.”