Preparing your home for the market can be quite challenging. If you want your potential buyers to fall in love with your home, you need to objectively evaluate your house room by room and get rid of any potential turn-offs.

As professional Home-Stagers, the topic of ‘what goes and what stays’ is something we discuss with our clients at the time of the consultation. Having had several hundred of these conversations, we’ve identified seven of the most common items in your household that are better off put away, if you want to achieve the best possible result.

You may notice that all our tips have one thing in common: “Less is more.”

Before you put your property on the market, you need to remove:

1. Dressers, Tallboys, Cube Cases…

Basically anything that could indicate a lack of storage.

According to a survey conducted by NAHB (National Association of Home Builders), an ample storage space was among the top 10 features on homebuyers’ criteria list (source).

When it comes to shelves, filing cabinets, chest of drawers – our advice is simple: Store it away.

2. Big Bulky Furniture

Large furniture pieces take up too much space, which makes the room look optically smaller than it is. If you want to elevate your home’s perceived value, your focus should be on making the rooms look bigger and brighter.

Read “3 Home Staging Illusions” to find out how we maximise light and space in homes for sale.   

For most properties, we choose slim-line furniture or in case of integrated staging (using some of the homeowner’s furniture), we pair it back and remove about 50% of what’s already in the room.

Another important factor to consider is creating a distinct walkway, which invites buyers to take a walk around, putting emphasis on all the extra space you have!

3. Kids Toys

Hiding your kids’ toys may be tricky to pull off if you plan to live in the house during the selling process, but it’s not impossible! Remove any big toys (doll houses, play kitchens) and anything that could be difficult to quickly tidy up before the open home (Lego, playdough). For the next few weeks, limit the number of toys to just their favourites. They’ll be okay, don’t worry. And you will save yourself a lot of headaches trying to keep on top of the clutter.

Read “Styling Kids Bedrooms For Sale”.  

4. Pet Stuff

Some people cannot stand the idea of letting a pet live inside their home. Even just the thought that there may have been an animal living there can be a big enough deterrent that they would not purchase the house.

If our goal is to attract the highest possible number of buyers, that means we must put all the pet stuff away. That includes beds, toys, bowls, cages, aquariums… you name it. We’ve styled a few homes where the aquariums were built into the walls or could not be moved, in which case we just styled around it.

Source: Real Estate

5. Hobby Equipment

When you’ve lived somewhere for a while, it’s very common to turn your spare bedroom into a sanctuary for your hobbies. An impromptu gym, a crafts room, or a home recording studio are a few examples of what we’ve seen in people’s homes. To maximise the sale price of your home, we always advise turning the rooms back to their original, intended purpose. A bedroom should be a bedroom again, or maybe an office (“study” was the number one most searched keyword on realestate.com.au in the second half of 2020).

Read “Styling a Home Office in Homes for Sale”.

6. Extra Appliances

We’ve noticed that a lot of people tend to have a fridge outside. Maybe it’s a spare or functions as a drink cooler/freezer – either way, from the styling point of view, fridges are not the most aesthetically pleasing. It could also indicate a lack of storage space in the kitchen, which brings us back to tip nr. 1.

We also recommend removing any appliances or gadgets from your kitchen bench tops. This makes the bench look bigger and less cluttered. Which brings us to our final point…

7. Personal Items & Clutter

This may seem harsh, but the main goal is to remove any evidence that someone is living in the house. The purpose of this is to make the buyers feel like the home is ready for them to move in. That means removing all your personal items – including family portraits, trophies, or any taste specific artwork.

Read “8 Tips to Depersonalise Your Home

Visible clutter in homes for sale is number one factor why people don’t go ahead with the purchase. Preparing your home for sale presents you with a great opportunity to declutter. You can get rid of everything that you don’t want to take with you to your new place, and at the same time present your property in the best light.

What if I don’t have enough storage space to move my furniture to?

If you stage your home with us, we can help you organise a storage unit!

We have a discounted rate with National Storage and we’ll pass the discount onto you (we do not take any commission on this). The storage unit will be transferred into your name and will accrue a monthly charge, which means you can keep your furniture stored for as long as you need. The average price of a 3×3 unit is $350/month, which includes insurance & cleaning fee.

We can pack, transport & move your furniture into the storage unit for you on the day of the install.

Thanks for reading!

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