It Takes Money to Make Money

We have all heard the old adage ‘It takes money to make money’ and I can speak from experience when I say that it’s true. We for example have a capital intensive business that requires us to invest in many thousands of dollars, worth of furniture just to do business – an investment that is already delivering solid returns in less than 12 months of operating.

The property market is another perfect example of spending money to make money. We calculate that when you choose Design & Diplomacy to style your property for sale you earn yourself on average a premium of between 10 and 20% on the expected sale price – which often translates to tens of thousands – even hundreds of thousands of dollars of cold hard cash.

That being said styling your property is not the only expense you incur when selling your home – you have agent marketing expense, agent commissions, repairs, storage, landscaping, communications etc. etc. – all of which can add up to a whole lot of cash and much of it needs to be shelled out up front.

There are (believe it or not…) still those people that think that styling a property for sale isn’t worth it – those that believe that a couch is just a couch or that – in the case of an empty house or room – people can envision the space full of furniture. Well I am here to tell those people that they are mistaken! I have a business BECAUSE people can’t envision a furnished property from an empty one (especially when they see it for the first time in The Age or on a property sale website) and that a couch DOES matter. Thanks to shows like “The Block” – like them or not – the property market has had to take it up a notch. We count on people going for the ‘emotional buy’ – walking into a beautifully styled property and falling in love. Look, they know that they are not buying the furniture, but if you (we) can paint them a beautiful picture that they can’t get out of their minds – then we may have just have realised that extra ‘emotional’ 20% over reserve. Your welcome.

Some people might even opt out of styling their properties for other reasons – they think their style is great, they have no time or live in a different state, or they simply have to pick between a styling budget or an advertising one. There is even a trend these days to sell properties completely independently. It may save you money up front, but think of the money you could earn if you present your property well and list it with the best agent – you could be throwing money right out the window if you don’t, so make sure you know what you are getting yourself into.

All the above being said I thought I might offer you ‘DIY-ers’ on a shoestring budget a couple of simple tips on how to stage your own home for sale if you simply just can’t spring for a stylist.

  1. Declutter – (You knew I was going to say that didn’t you?) You want to clean the cupboards, the closets and the garage. Don’t put it all back in the garage if you can avoid it, the punters want to see clean open spaces. Since you are already packing, make sure to pack away personal photos (don’t forget the fridge pics) and don’t leave out your personal bathroom products either – you don’t want prospective buyers getting quite that personal.
  2. Damage, mould and rot – Clean that s**t up. No one is interested in buying damaged goods at a premium price or buying a house with potential problems.
  3. Furniture Layout – Now this is key. If we are stuck with your old couch and there is nothing we can do about that, then it will at least need to be positioned properly. Make sure there is enough space to walk around and that no doors or window are being blocked – remember if you are lucky there will be tons of people lined up to view your property on open days so you have to make sure you can accommodate them and that the furniture layout has good ‘flow through’. (This goes for all rooms not just the living spaces!)
  4. Scatters and throws – Simple items that make a world of difference. If you consider your sofa, bed, chair, bench etc. as the perfect foundation – your ‘little black dress’ shall we say, then you can easily transform these items with well selected ‘accessories’ – in this case scatters and throws. When in doubt go with solid colours and avoid prints (unless you are very confident in your styling abilities).
  5. Bedroom Bliss – Bedroom presentation can make or break the look of a property. Lucky for you making a bedroom look good is one of the easier styling tasks. Try and have matching pairs of bedsides and lamps in each room – but the most important detail of all is how the bed is dressed. Clean, fresh ironed linen is key! Please no flat ‘smushed’ pillows or wrinkled mismatched linen. Once again, when in doubt go for crisp and white with solid scatters. You might have to invest in new linen but at least you will own in. Kmart and Target have some great bargains.
  6. Lighten up – Make sure all your lights work, that you have no exposed globes, and that all the globes are the same WARM wattage. If you have any dark corners of your property, lamp light can do wonders to brighten things up and create a great ambience.
  7. Plant life – Live green plants are the G.O. If you are living in the property throughout the campaign you should be able to keep them alive. I love natives because they last forever, but nothing is stopping you from harvesting some greenery from your yard (if you have one).
  8. Check out the competiton – Who’s selling in your hood and how are they presenting – Look on-line and go to opens and have a snoop. Listen to what the punters are saying and take some pointers from those punters.

Look, chances are you will have to spend a little to make a lot, but if you follow my basic tips above there is a good chance you will end up on top.

If, however, you want that ‘emotional premium’, give me a call and I will take it to a whole new level.