Presentation can make or break a house sale.

If you don’t get your presentation right, it could also cost you money in the long run.

In my experience, a well-presented home is far more likely to sell for a higher price and in a shorter timeframe, in any market conditions.  This is because buyers are inspired by beautiful presentation.  It gives them confidence in the quality of your home and helps them fall in love with it.

Putting effort into preparing your home for sale ensures your property looks its best, with the greatest features highlighted and any negatives minimised.  It also tells buyers that you’re a serious seller, which is very important in today’s changing market.

Buyers also tend to stay at opens longer if a property is nicely presented.  

This is very important because in order for them to truly engage with your property, they need time to imagine themselves living there.

Great presentation also means better photos.  This is crucial because buyers will decide whether or not to attend your open inspection, based on how good your home looks in the marketing.

Hiring a property stylist is optional but I’ve seen firsthand how their work can contribute to a better price and faster sale.

They know so many great tricks and consider size, scale and colour for every room.  If your property has several negatives that need to be overcome, a stylist can help to do that.

A stylist can either bring in all new furniture and styling pieces, work with your own furniture and styling pieces, or a combination of both.  Please understand that styling and presentation recommendations do not represent any criticism of your own personal taste.  They are purely based on what will appeal to your likely buyer demographic.

Now that you have a better understanding of why great presentation is crucial to the selling process, here are some tips to help you prepare your property for sale.

17 tips to enhance presentation

1)  Declutter as much as possible.

Too much furniture can make a room feel very small and lots of ornaments can be distracting to buyers.

2)  Freshen up the property.

New paint and carpet can transform a tired property into a fresh, new-look home.  Alternatively, consider steam cleaning the carpets and washing painted walls with sugar soap to brighten them up.

3)  Conduct any required maintenance.

Go room by room looking for small repairs, such as cracked tiles, peeling or chipped paint, carpet stains, broken blinds, torn flyscreens and windows or sliding doors that stick.

4)  Cleanliness is crucial.

Buyers won’t stay in messy or dirty homes, so scrub every nook and cranny! Pay particular attention to bathrooms and the kitchen.

5)  Clean all the windows.

It’s amazing how much difference clean windows make to a property!  More natural light will immediately come flooding in.

“In my experience, a well-presented home is far more likely to sell for a higher price & in a shorter timeframe, in any market conditions.  It gives them confidence in the quality of your home & helps them fall in love with it.”

Kathryn Dean

Dean Family Real Estate

6)  Consider professional styling.

This might involve moving some furniture into storage, bringing in some modern pieces and adding rugs and cushions for colour and cosiness. Your stylist will do all of this for you!

7)  Consider updating old light fixtures.

This can  immediately jazz up an uninspiring room.

8)  Consider small modern updates to spruce the place up a bit.

Such as replacing old handles on doors and kitchen cabinets with sleeker styles and doing the same with tapware and showerheads.

9)  Clean up the garden.

Mow the lawns, weed the garden beds, prune the bushes, remove unattractive plants, invest in mulch and add a few evergreen flowering shrubs to achieve inexpensive ‘wow factor’.

10)  Clear the gutters.

Also consider a house and roof wash if it’s looking tired and dirty.  A high-pressure hose can easily remove caked-on dirt and grime from tiles, bricks, and concrete paths.  You’ll be amazed at the results!

11)  If your roof eaves are stained, paint them.

Stained eaves can make buyers worry that the roof is leaking.  Also consider re-painting the gutters and fascia boards if they’re chipped and faded.

12)  Wash outdoor furniture.

And, pressure clean balcony tiles, pavers and decking.  Consider a new coat of timber varnish on decking, which can be easily applied with a small roller brush.

13)  If you have animals, take them out of the house for opens.  

Remove food bowls and kitty litter and deodorise all rooms.  Also, empty bins and deodorise them prior to an open.  Bad smells can be very off-putting to buyers.

14)  If you have personal framed photos on display, pack them away to de-personalise the home.

Buyers will find it harder to imagine themselves living there if there’s personal photos on display.  Consider placing a nice few artworks around the home, they don’t have to be expensive.

15)  Fresh flowers always look great.

Place them on the dining table or kitchen bench for photography and also for open inspections.

16)  Air the house out prior to open inspections so its smelling clean and fresh.

Create a nice homely smell for open inspections by placing coffee beans or bread in a low oven for 5 to 10 minutes just prior to the open.  Don’t forget to remove it from the oven and turn off the oven!

17)  Make sure you leave the property at least 15 minutes prior to open inspections (before potential buyers arrive).

Buyers can feel very uncomfortable knowing the owner is about the place and it’s harder for them to make a connection with the property.


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Kathryn Dean, Dean Family Real Estate

Kathryn Dean is the owner and Registered Land Agent of Dean Family Real Estate, a local, boutique agency in the north eastern suburbs of Adelaide.  Kathryn works from her home office to keep overheads down, as she is on a mission to provide exceptional real estate services at a reasonable price.

A country girl at heart, Kathryn comes from a family of farmers, and although she didn’t live on a farm herself, she spent nearly all her school holidays at family farms when growing up.  Originally from the western suburbs of Adelaide, she moved to the north east after meeting her now husband, twelve years ago. 

When not hard at work, you will find her enjoying time with her husband and two daughters, maybe at the beach, or out in nature somewhere, or cooking up a storm in the kitchen.