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How To Sell Your Home For More

How To Sell Your Home For More

By News Corp for LJ Hooker on May 18 2021

If you are looking to cash in on the property surge, these are the expert tips on how to get your best price.

If working from home in 2020 taught us anything, it is that we really don’t need to live within commuting distance of the office anymore. In fact, the pandemic sparked a property boom as many Australians packed up and cashed in for that sea or tree change and interest rates remained at record lows.

Now, as property prices continue to rise, experts share their best tips to maximise your sale if you are listing in 2021.

"When COVID hit, people rejigged their lives," says Andrew Welch, sales consultant for LJ Hooker Kensington Unley in Adelaide. "People realise they can work remotely and save more living outside of places like Sydney or Melbourne. The demand, especially for houses, has been exceptional. There’s a lot of confidence in the market at the moment."

Presentation is always king

But, the trick for those looking to sell up, says Andrew, is to make sure that your property looks its absolute best."Presentation is always king," he advises. "Present it well, even if it is going to be knocked down, as people may still want to rent it out while they do the plans."

First things first, Andrew tells his clients to clean up the garden and mow the lawns.

"Good lawns sell real estate," he says. "So, make sure the lawn is edged and tidy."


Next, declutter your home. "I find that the longer people are in a house, the more stuff they have - people need to thin it out, so that [buyers] can walk through it freely," he says. A tidy and minimalist property - inside and out - allows for potential buyers to connect emotionally to the home and imagine themselves living there.

"If you’re not connecting, you are not doing real estate," Andrew says. "If you present it in the best light, it will give you the best opportunity to get the best price."

And never forgot about a buyer’s nose, he adds: "You judge a property on its smell before anything else. If the smell is bad, [they] won’t go any further."

Styling can boost the selling price

One way to present your property in the best light is to outsource - not just by calling in professional cleaners and gardeners - but specialist stylists too. "Styling makes people connect to the property and want to put an offer in," says Charmaine Coombes, senior property stylist at Coco Republic in Sydney.

"By styling, clients can exceed their reserve price by 20 to 30 per cent if there’s more than one buyer."

A stylist’s main goal is to give each room a purpose. "If there is a playroom, we might set it up as a TV room or home office so that it has broader appeal beyond a young family," she says.

Often this can be as simple as moving pieces around. "People have great pieces but they’re not working in the space they’re in," she explains, "while other rooms can be great but it just needs a rug and some cushions."

One key consideration, adds Charmaine, is lighting. "We’ll try and lighten up a room - maybe there’s a feature wall that is dated so we’ll repaint it a lighter colour or it just needs loose styling items, like lighting or mirrors."


Coco Republic clients will spend approximately $3,000 to furnish a spare room, adding basic accessories and art, to between $8,000 and $14,000 for a fully-styled four-bedroom home.

"Empty rooms don’t sell houses," says Charmaine. "You’ve only got one opportunity to make a good first impression."

Charmaine’s top style tips

  • Declutter your home
  • Make each room have a "purpose"
  • Use real plants
  • Focus on the master bedroom, living room, dining and entertaining - these are key areas buyers are interested in
  • Lighten up a room where possible - either with fresh paint or lamps

Success story

When Tony and Sarah Penna decided to sell their investment property in the upcoming Adelaide suburb of Tranmere, they figured the crumbling 1920s bungalow wasn’t worth sprucing up. "I thought that I was selling it as land only," Tony says. "The house would get demolished so there’s no point in fixing it up or updating it, that it was a waste of money."

But Andrew Welsh, the sales consultant from LJ Hooker Kensington Unley, pushed him to clean out the clutter he’d been storing there and pay for a professional cleaner and a gardener.

"Andrew said that you never know who may walk in the door," Tony explains. "The potential buyer may be someone who wants to bring it back to its former glory."

The property hadn’t been lived in for years. Tony hired a skip bin and organised a working bee to clear out the clutter. Next, he paid professional cleaners about $1,000 and a gardener $100 a fortnight.

All up, the Pennas spent roughly $6,000 preparing the property ahead of the sale but it proved well worth it. "We certainly got more than we thought at auction," Tony says. "We were hoping for $870,000 and then during the auction there was silence… then a frenzy. I turned to my wife and said, "Did someone just say $900,000?"

The 980 sqm property, on Birkinshaw Avenue, sold for $915,000.

"Andrew’s advice was to prepare the house and have it ready for any situation - don’t go into it thinking it is land only, you don’t know who’s out there and who wants what," says Tony.

DISCLAIMER - The information provided is for guidance and informational purposes only and does not replace independent business, legal and financial advice which we strongly recommend. Whilst the information is considered true and correct at the date of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact the accuracy of the information provided. LJ Hooker will not accept responsibility or liability for any reliance on the blog information, including but not limited to, the accuracy, currency or completeness of any information or links.

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