In today’s show we talk to Naomi Findlay from Silk Home Staging and Styling, an interior designer who shares some do’s and don’ts if you are preparing to sell a property.
Kevin: I guess one of the most asked questions of me is what do we do when we want to sell our place? What works? What doesn’t work? Let’s tap into that. Naomi Findlay is from Silk Home Staging and Styling and knows a lot about what it takes to sell a property.
Good day, Naomi.
Naomi: Good day, Kevin. How are you?
Kevin: Good. It is one of the most asked questions. What are your dos and don’ts if someone wants to sell their place and get the most for it?
Naomi: I think my number one do is make sure that you meet the market’s expectations. I think that’s an absolute first and essential thing that you need to do when you’re thinking about putting your property on the market. You need to do some research. You need to do some due diligence about where your property fits in the market and what the market’s currently expecting from your property in that price range and in that location.
Kevin: That’s pretty important, isn’t it? I’ve seen it happen so many times. If you’re asking $1 million dollars for a property, and it only has a couple of bedrooms, you’re just never going to make it. It just won’t happen.
Naomi: Absolutely. And it works both ways, Kevin. A lot of people feel that sometimes they over-meet the market. They invest too much in making their home award-winning or luxury, and the market in that area is not actually after that.
It’s about just making sure that you’re meeting the market’s expectations, with a little bit of a buffer zone on either side. That way, you’re not either, one, over-capitalizing or, two, missing the mark and – as you’re saying – asking $1 million dollars for a two-bedroom property, for example, when there’s a four-bedroom property that’s potentially a great comparison next door for the same price.
Kevin: That’s a big one. What else do you have?
Naomi: This one’s an old one but I can’t stress this enough. Having your property maintained and repaired is a huge, huge one. It’s a huge do. There’s some great evidence around to say that 90% of buyers will actually pay above and beyond to have a property where they don’t need to go in and fix other people’s lack of maintenance. A poorly maintained property isn’t really a renovator. It’s more fixing up what other people haven’t had an opportunity to attend to.
Make sure that your property is well-maintained and in good repair. Making sure that the downpipes aren’t rusted, making sure the decks are oiled, making sure that the grout’s cleaned, those sorts of things are essential to making sure that you leverage your value in the property.
Kevin: Get someone in who can help you with that, too. Quite often, we live with something and we make allowances for it and say, “It all looks fine to me,” but then someone who comes in and has never seen it is going to pick up on those things – dirty grout and stuff like that.
Naomi: Absolutely. A deck doesn’t become in bad shape overnight; it becomes in bad shape over the course of a year or two years. Grout doesn’t become discolored overnight. When we’re living in the house, it’s not that we’re dirty or that we don’t care; it’s that we don’t actually see it, and you need those fresh eyes.
Bringing someone to help you identify that, and also – as you said – bringing someone in to help get on top of that. There are so many people who specialize in domestic services nowadays that if you don’t have time, for a very small investment, you can absolutely take care of those things.
Kevin: Yes, getting your property market-ready is a big one. What other tips do you have for us, Naomi?
Naomi: This one is, again, based on numbers. I’m sounding like a bit of a numbers geek here. The evidence shows us that the biggest turnoff in a property is a dark property or a property that smells. Ensuring that you have adequate light in your spaces, and ensuring that if you have pets, or if you cook lots of curry, or if you are a smoker, that you get on top of those odors.
That’s not something that you get rid of overnight, so you need to identify early on that you’re going to go to market and be honest with yourself about your home. Spend some serious time making sure that you have adequate light in spaces and that they’re odor free, because it is absolutely number one and two in the top turnoff list for buyers when they’re looking at properties.
Kevin: If you’re looking at selling your property, Naomi, I need to ask you about staging, too. Does it work, and how do we go about doing that?
Naomi: You know what? It absolutely works. There are some great statistics around the return on investment that you can get when you’re staging a property. Staging a property is all about showing people how to live in the space.
With many of the smaller studios or apartments or even our big, open-plan spaces, only 10% of people can visualize what to do in a space with furniture. So you want to make sure that you demonstrate that for the potential buyer. In the 6 to 12 minutes that they’re looking at your property during an open inspection, you need to make sure that they can easily identify how they would live in that space. That just lets them connect to it really well.
Kevin: Naomi, thanks for your time. If you want to contact Naomi, just go to her website, NaomiFindlay.com.
Naomi: Just .com.
Kevin: Just .com. Naomi “Just dot-com,” thank you for being with us.
Naomi: Thanks so much, Kevin. Talk to you soon.