It's an inside job

How a person lives in a home is different to how it should be presented for sale. For the time your property is on the market the furniture positioning is quite different to how it would be if you are simply living there. We have come through the entrance and are now enjoying the atmosphere of the home. So let’s look at the visual impact of the lounge room.

Try not to have the back of a sofa or an armchair facing a person entering the room. It’s unwelcoming and opposing. Instead reposition the furniture into a conversation area. Please don’t have the lounge suite aimed directly at the television like that’s your only life. Try two single arm chairs on an angle to each other facing across a coffee table towards the sofa. The television away in a cabinet if possible, sitting on a narrow console or up on the wall. You don’t want the television as the main focus as a buyer enters the room. If you have a more formal lounge and a family room then it won’t be such an issue, but if one lounge room then the television shouldn’t be the dominant piece of furniture. Also lounge suites don’t need to hug the walls, bring them out a bit.

Have a sideboard or buffet against a wall with a few nice pieces displayed on top, can it take a mirror above it? A coffee table with a small stack of interesting books can add to the lounge area looking enticing, a nice side table with a lamp and a novel alongside a fragrant candle or cut flowers all adds to the ambience of the setting and creates a space a buyer can imagine themselves enjoying.


Put away all wedding and baby photos that are on walls. One or two in frames on sideboards etc is attractive if not too large and invasive. If a person is looking for a property because of a change of circumstances or a family loss, they don’t want to be reminded of happier time’s right at this moment. It’s better to pack all personal treasures away during the marketing process. You are going to be shifting so why not start to pack away now. Bookshelves: if five tiered have books organized on lower three shelves – not stuffed full on every shelf. Have ornaments, interesting treasures you may have picked up over the years displayed on the others.

If your home has a fireplace with a mantelpiece, it may take a large mirror or painting directly over the mantelpiece, wider than the fireplace but not wider than the mantel. Place two staement candlesticks or candelabra either side or together on one side beside two smaller objects of interest. If you have an open fire you can set the fire with nice round logs and a few oversized pinecones, or place a stack of hat boxes or small cases going from big to small, or an unusual plant or ornament that takes up most of the space during the summer season. Put the wood box/basket away during summer. If a free standing kent type fire, simply set the fire and have something simple on top i.e. a trade aid basket or large brightly coloured glass bowl by itself or with macadamia nuts in maybe.


Cushions and art are fabulous to bring a whole interior together. Pick up the carpet, wall colour and suite colour in the accessories or paintings and it has a sense of balance. A rug under the coffee table with the same colours in or a contrasting colour is great to finish a room. Table lamps are often nicer in a lounge room than standard lamps which are better suited to a den or family room depending on the house. Try different textures with your cushions. Leave behind the old fashioned little buttoned crushed velvet cushions and throw out the twenty year old poplin ones. Invest in some stunning fabrics and see what a difference it makes. Some homeware and furnishing companies (Living Edge Interiors are one) let you take things on appro to see if they work with your interior and if it’s the look your after.

In the past I have been positive something is just right in the shop, but when I got it home it wasn’t quite the right shade or style and I’d end up going back two or three times to get it exact. Some shops won’t give refunds just credit notes so it is less hassle for all to ask if they offer ‘appro’. Goods can be taken home, tried out, if right purchased or lay-byed.

Because it’s near impossible to carry colour in your head I have a card in my bag with the colours of my interior attached. I get free paint charts and cut out the colours that match my interior. It’s well worth this extra effort to have the right colours on hand. You might decide to change the colour of your wall or be inspired to paint the fireplace bricks one day, so it will help to have the other décor colours handy.

Interior lights can date a house very quickly. Simple is best, often Italian glass or metal san pan shades are very reasonably priced and for a very low outlay have a big impact on a first impression.

Recapping for presale preparation
Don’t let anyone view your property until it is ready for sale
- First Impressions matter – it’s difficult to renew interest in an over exposed property
- Street appeal : Keep your road side tidy – no KFC or McD’s packaging lying in gutters
- Repair broken or loose fence palings, guttering, the letterbox, panes of glass
- Gently water blast paint work and refresh where necessary
- Reshape garden, trim edges, have spring clean around the section
- Have outside living areas or BBQ areas if possible
- Move the boat to a friend’s if it takes up to much parking space
- Have entrance foyer shoe free and inviting
- Spring clean interior especially kitchens and bathrooms.

All the very best and enjoy preparing your property for sale. It’s always a good time to sell a property; there are always a number of buyers out there looking to buy property. The reasons are as varied as yours are to sell. Any time is a good time. Many people wait till Spring thinking their garden will be at its best. You don’t need to wait till Spring, it’s not an issue, there is always a pool of buyers eagerly looking to get through the process of house hunting and get into a place that is just them, and that could be your home. Follow these property staging tips to entice your property to catch the eye of a serious house buyer enough to encourage a written offer.