How To Use Interior Design to Attract Home Buyers in 2017

I always keep up to date on the local, state and national real estate markets and news.

It is so important because our homes continue to be assets and investments more than ever before.

The article that caught my attention this week is from a leading NSW real estate agent called D’Leanne Lewis and can be read here.

Much of what she says is more relevant (as many articles often are) to Melbourne, Sydney and metro markets than in Gippsland but what stood out to me were these predictions about what buyers will be looking for in 2017.

She mentions a “village lifestyle” in a good location, close to shops and schools etc. Then she goes on to talk about “homes with well-spaced layouts.”

“Open-plan homes with plenty of kitchen and living room space, separated areas for entertaining and bright airy outlooks are also marked to fetch premium prices,” Ms Lewis said.

She added that home buyers no longer want to move at major stages of their lives, such as children moving out of the family home or when they retire.

Ms Lewis said buyers have grown wary of the market. They are aware that once they purchase a home, they are likely to be priced out of others they may want down the track, so they’re buying for keeps.

“We’re going to see a real shift towards homes being purchased for longevity. Home buyers are willing to pay that little bit extra for a home they’ll be happy in for the long run. People aren’t looking for a home to flip in a few years. They want a home to grow old in and they’re making sure it has everything they need.”

This is a very different sense of the real estate market than we have seen for some time.  Much of the last ten years has focused on renovation for profit.

If Ms Lewis is correct in her prediction, my design recommendations to meet the needs of these buyers would be:

  1. If you have more than one living area, furnish them both to serve that purpose.  Don’t be afraid to have two living areas, if that’s what your home is designed for.  Many home owners can be afraid or unsure of how to furnish additional living areas especially if they are more than their current needs.  It may seem silly to have two lounge rooms if you don’t need them but that’s how you should present them for sale.
  2. If you have outdoor living spaces, showcase them with furniture and set the scene for how these areas can be used.  Therefore do not leave them empty, cluttered with old pot plants or dead herbs or as a storage space.  People move to Gippsland for our lifestyle, show them how your home will meet that desire.
  3. A fresh coat of paint does wonders to a home.   Choose a neutral, inviting and pleasing colour and paint it throughout. Grey is popular at the moment, you can try Dulux Terrace White, Dulux McGinley or Dulux Mt Aspiring.  Warmer options could be Dulux Modern White, Dulux China Mask or Dulux White Dune.
  4. If your budget allows, updating your kitchen bench top can do wonders.  This is a more costly investment and I would seek the advice of a real estate agent or designer first if you’re not sure.
  5. If you have one large open living area, use rugs and furniture to define individual spaces for dining, lounging and entertaining.  A large open area that is not furnished well can detract from the appeal of these open areas.
  6. Invest in professional photography and a floor plan of your home.  How your home looks on the internet is essential to attract buyers in the modern market and the inclusion of a floor plan can increase online views by up to 80%.

Sold On Interiors offers Gippsland home owners advice for preparing your home for sale in many different ways.

  1. Consultant report $195 – a full report with recommendations on what you should do and invest in to prepare your home for sale.  This can include paint colour specification if needed as well ($150 value).
  2. Paint colour consultation $150 – take the guess work out of choosing your paint colour.  Colour consultations are approx 1-2 hours and you are provided with a full paint colour specification, a Dulux cash back offer up to the value of $100 and A4 colour samples.
  3. Home staging – $800+ – depending on your needs, I can work with your current furniture or hire furniture and accessories as needed for the sale period, usually 1-3 months. This is ideal if your current furniture doesn’t look quite right or if your home is vacant.

Remember that nothing replaces good local knowledge.  Take time to see what homes have sold (and not sold) recently in your area, you can do this by looking on, taking a drive around your local streets and talking to real estate agents.

I’m always looking for more blog topic ideas. If you could pick my design brain, what would you like to know about preparing your home for sale, choosing paint colours or renovating your property? Let me know below, I’d love to hear from you.

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