Agent Advisor Blog

Read about the latest market trends, see unique listings, and get tips and advice for selling Australian real estate.

Viewing entries tagged
home staging tips

Home staging checklist for a speedy winter sale- Download the handy checklist!

1 Comment

Home staging checklist for a speedy winter sale- Download the handy checklist!

With wintertime traditionally a slower selling season in the real estate market a lot of buyers are tempted to wait until spring rolls around to put their home on the market.

The thinking behind this is that buyers go into hibernation during colder months and are not as willing to attend inspections. Not to mention homes don't look their best on cold and gloomy winter days.

However, there are several advantages for sellers to take the leap in the coldest months of the year.

With lower supply in housing stock, there’s less rivalry from other similar properties while competition remains high amongst motivated buyers. This often means the seller has more room to negotiate a better sale price.

Some property experts even argue selling in winter can work out better for the vendor than in spring.

We’ve prepared the following checklist for you to pass onto vendors to prep their home for a quick top price outcome this winter (download a copy).

Warm = welcoming

  • Ensure heating systems and fireplaces are in tip-top condition.
  • Arrange to have gas heaters serviced, the chimney swept and ducted heating systems cleaned.
  • Use a gap filler on windows or weather stripping on doors to prevent any chilly draughts flowing through the house.
  • Add plush cushions, cosy throw rugs and luminous candles to indoor and patio furniture to create an inviting feel and warming glow.
  • Add a few cheerful pops of colour (i.e. A vase of sunflowers, houseplants, books, an abstract artwork or a bowl of green apples) to your interiors to add character and bring the home to life.
  • Add floor rugs to chilly timber, polished concrete, the patio and tiled flooring for instant warmth.
  • Highlight cosy features at inspections and in property advertising such as patio heaters, floor heating, open fireplaces, heated towel rails and outdoor fire pits.

Tip: Request that potential buyers remove their shoes for inspections so they’ll experience the luxurious underfloor heating for themselves.

Kerb appeal winners

  • Clean out gutters and unblock drains.
  • Rake up leaves and other garden debris.
  • Replace any loose or damaged roof tiles.
  • Mow the lawn.
  • Prune trees, hedges and shrubs.
  • Weed garden beds.
  • Remove cobwebs from the home’s exterior.
  • Paint the front door a cheery and inviting colour. We like duck egg blue, zesty lime and millennial pink.
  • Repaint or repair the front fence and gate.
  • Lay out a new front door mat.
  • Plant flowering plants in garden beds and window boxes.
  • Add pot plants beside entryways.
  • Pressure wash the driveway, path pavers, deck and front porch.
  • Ensure garbage bins are out of sight for inspections.

Light & bright tricks

  • Clean windows inside and out to let the light flood in.
  • A fresh coat of white paint to walls and ceilings can work wonders to lighten and freshen up dreary interiors.
  • Steam clean curtains.
  • Wipe clean blinds and shades.
  • Open all curtains, shutters and blinds during inspections.
  • Dust lampshades, pendant lighting and light fixtures.
  • Replace light bulbs with warm and higher wattage bulbs.
  • Add a sensor light or lamp sconces to the front porch.
  • Turn on all lighting (lamps, overhead lights, rangehood lights and outdoor fairy lights) for inspections.
  • Introduce large mirrors to maximise natural light in any dark rooms or corners.

Make it sparkle

  • Vacuum and steam clean all carpets and rugs.
  • Clean and polish stainless-steel kitchen appliances. Don’t forget the top of the fridge and canopy rangehood!
  • Refinish timber floors or replace carpeting (if necessary).
  • Regrout tiled flooring and surfaces.
  • Scrub showers, sinks, bathtubs, loos and laundry troughs.
  • Declutter the pantry, cupboards, garage, garden shed and all surfaces to showcase storage space.

We hope this checklist helps put your clients on the right path to a successful winter sale this season.

Download a PDF copy of our Winter Home Sale Staging Checklist to pass onto your clients.

Happy selling!

The Team

About is a new way to search for Forest Lake real estate for sale and properties for rent in Brisbane.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at

1 Comment

First impressions matter: How to stage an entryway

1 Comment

First impressions matter: How to stage an entryway

When presenting a home at an open for inspection you have just seven seconds to make a great first impression on potential buyers. Here we explain how the three entry phases help buyers move through those precious first seven seconds with ease.

There are three vital, and often overlooked, entry points when presenting a home for sale. Each is equally important and has a unique purpose in helping buyers decide if a home is right for them. Each entry needs to be presented for maximum impact.

Behavioural change from street to home

In the timeless series, A Pattern Language, Christopher Alexander describes how the experience of entering a building influences the way you feel once inside it. In architectural terms he explains how the gentler the transition between the home and the street, the more the inside of the home will feel like a safe ‘inner sanctum’.

Of course, the perfect transition from the street to front entry is not always achievable, but you can soften the journey for prospective home buyers by understanding the stages of the transition, or, as we’ve called it, the ‘three entrances’.

You just have to look at your children, or those of others, to know that street behaviour and home behaviour can be vastly different. As adults, we naturally look forward to the transition from the more guarded ‘street’ mood into an intimate and relaxed ‘home’ mood.

The gentle transition

As an agent you’re trying to achieve as gentle a transition as possible from street (distance) to interior (intimate) mode for prospective buyers, as you invite them into what you hope will be their new home.

The ideal transition goes something like this:

  • First entrance– Your buyer’s first glimpse is viewing the home through ‘street’ eyes as they approach by car.
  • Second entrance– As the buyer steps onto the property from street level and moves toward the front door, their street mood softens.
  • Third entrance– That private moment, as the buyer approaches the front door where they can no longer be seen from the street, completes the transition.
art deco building

The reality is that this stunning Art Deco home is on a major arterial road near an international airport. It's noisy 24/7. Obviously the architects of this 1920s stunner understood the psychological importance of the three entrances.

The importance of the transition- Why is it so important to buyers?

Studies show that a front garden or courtyard gives home owners a sense of comfort and privacy. This may explain why householders appreciate their front garden whilst rarely spending time maintaining the back. It reassures them of their privacy. The three entrances reinforce the move from public domain to private space.

By the time buyers have entered the front door, you want them to be relaxed enough to connect immediately with your listing.

Jan Hogarth, an 18-year veteran of house and renovation architecture and Director of Placemate Architects in Brisbane, agrees 'entering a home is a journey into a private world'.

'When a place feels inviting and welcoming, it has this pattern of three entrances to change the scale with colour; texture; height; change of direction; and focus. It slows the pace of your steps and creates a moment before you arrive at the door...Architects use it all the time,' she says.

A warm welcome in seconds

The actual physical transition can be made in many ways, or combinations, and the benefits of each are far more complex than this brief list can convey. The transitions can include:

  • Change of enclosure i.e. gateway or fence,
  • changing the light i.e. sensor light,
  • introducing new sounds i.e. doorbell or knocker,
  • changing the direction of the path i.e. a curve or corner,
  • change of ground surface i.e. from concrete to lawn or pavers,
  • change of level i.e. step up or down and
  • most of all, providing a glimpse of life – a garden or view.

It seems harder to create an attractive transition when the front door of your listing opens onto the street. The change can be abrupt without allowing time for buyers to transition from street to home mode, but it can be done…

While it lacks the elegance of the perfect transition, this simple entry door successfully moves us from streetscape to home mode in seconds.

While it lacks the elegance of the perfect transition, this simple entry door successfully moves us from streetscape to home mode in seconds.

In the case of this red door, the stages of the transition would look more like:

  • First entrance– Stays the same as your buyer glimpses the front door from the street.
  • Second entrance– As the buyer steps from street level onto the front step, a change of mood is apparent.
  • Third entrance– That private moment, as the front door opens and buyer glimpses both the interior and exterior from a unique perspective.

In the red door example, the entry cleverly delivers colour, light, life, a change of level and texture to quickly create a successful transition.  Here’s how:

Colour- While the red door may not be everyone's thing, it's a very clever choice as a fast transition colour. Why? In many cultures the red door symbolises protection, positive energy and abundance.

Light- The reflective glass in the front door captures light from the street and reflects it back to the viewer. It also creates space and suggests hidden depths within.

Life- The plants and trellises are a feel good feature that break up the harshness of the brick wall and say ‘welcome’.

Level- A simple step up and you’ve ‘arrived’ at the front door. As you wait for the door to open, you no longer feel the discomfort of being at street level, you're safely in a transition space.

Texture- A door mat, be it funky or simple, changes the texture of the ground area as you leave the street and enter the home.

The way in which we arrive at and leave a house is a significant, if often overlooked, factor in real estate. The transition from street to home influences our psychological and general wellbeing, and that of clients. 

For a home sale, a successful transition will invite potential buyers into the home and impact how they feel once inside. To the home buyer it hints at the potential for privacy and safety within the walls of the home.

The three entrances signal the crucial moments of the first and last impression of your listings. For selling success, be thoughtful in the presentation of the main entry and exit points of the property.


Author bio:

Tracey McLeod is an international award-winning interior stylist and Founder of Showhomes Design which specialises in interior redesign and decorating, home staging and property styling services; and Presentation Sells, an online state-of-the-art DIY home presentation training portal for residential real estate sellers.


About Homely:

Homely is a new way to search for real estate for sale and properties to rent in Brisbane and across Australia. With over 330K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, Homely is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our suburb reviews and Q&A pages to see what everyone is talking about!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at

1 Comment

Seven home-staging tips to make your listings shine


Seven home-staging tips to make your listings shine

Ensure your vendor’s house shines for its open for inspection by recommending these simple low cost staging techniques. Explain that when it comes to selling their home it is important to market it effectively to potential buyers in the most attractive way possible.

Clever staging can be the difference between a quick sale and a house that sits on the market for months, which is not good for you or your vendor. 

Here are seven easy tricks to pass on so sellers can skilfully stage their home without breaking the bank, and most importantly tempt buyers to make an offer.

What staging techniques should I focus on when getting a house ready for inspection?

1. Depersonalise

One of the most important things a buyer needs to do when inspecting the property is to imagine themselves and their belongings living there. To help make this happen recommend that sellers pack quirky, valuable and personal items away and ideally store them away from the home.

All photos and portraits should be removed from view. Generally, wedding photos and family mementos draw a buyer’s attention to the seller’s family and can stop them from seeing the house as their own family’s future home.   

Removing personal photos, collections and quirky keepsakes also means there is nothing to distract or detract from the overall home itself. The seller needs to make sure the house is the centre of attention.

2. Deep clean

Remind sellers that noticeable grime, dust, pet odours and dirt are very off putting and gives potential buyers the impression that the home is uncared for and hasn’t been well maintained.

Make sure they pay close attention to cleaning light fittings and windows (inside and out) to make sure the place is light and bright come inspection time. From shining floors to gleaming appliances and spotless bench tops, every surface should be sparkling clean and pristine.

If they have pets, have the rugs and carpets steam cleaned and remove litter trays, as there is no bigger turn off to buyers than the smell of wet dog as you enter a house.

If they cannot handle a deep cleanse themselves or their house is especially large suggest that they hire a professional cleaning service to give the place a thorough once over.


3. Let there be light

Buyers want ‘light and bright’, not ‘dark and dreary’, so make sure the house is lit up like a Christmas tree for inspections and listing photography.

When staging the home for photography try to chose a sunny day and make the house appear as bright as possible. Have vendors open all the curtains and blinds and turn on every light in the home, even switch on lights on the range hood and oven to show off the appliances and kitchen.

A fresh coat of paint can also work wonders to lighten and brighten up spaces and makes a property a feel clean, new and well maintained.

4. Declutter and organise

Too much clutter makes homes feel messy, small and cramped. Have sellers clear out extraneous items, like piles of mail and magazines, shampoo and medicine bottles in bathroom cabinets, and remove toys, shoes and clothes from overflowing cupboards.

This can be tricky for some, but is worth the trouble to demonstrate to potential buyers just how much space there is for all their things.

If the vendor is moving out shortly after the sale it can be a good idea to have them pack up and put into storage off-season clothing, books, extra linen and DVDs to really show off the home's storage space.

5. Scent appeal

Prior to an open for inspection advise buyers to wipe down bench tops and surfaces with their favourite subtle all-natural cleaning product to give buyers the impression of cleanliness.

However, make sure they don’t over do it. Being overwhelmed with powerful and competing smells when inspecting a home can be very off putting for buyers. So let sellers know to keep the potpourri, aftershave, fresh coffee and air freshener use to a minimum.

6. Simplicity is key

When arranging furniture remember ‘less is more’. The aim here is to lead buyers' eyes to the room’s best assets. For example, make sure sellers don’t block off large windows with bulky furniture or crowd and take focus from a feature fireplace with a TV and armchairs.

A few simple décor touches of bright colour, like a turquoise throw rug or quirky vase help to add personality to spaces and photograph well for listings.

7. Create a sense of luxury and comfort

A seller doesn’t have to spend a fortune to make their home welcoming and to achieve a sense of luxury. By simply buying fresh fluffy white towels or bathrobes to hang in bathrooms, displaying fresh cut flowers in a crystal vase and pretty throw pillows for beds can make a home look luxurious and feel inviting.

Unlit decorative candles or bottles of luxury hand soaps are great styling tools to recommend for sellers to add a sense of comfort to their home and lightly fragrance the air as buyers move through the house. 

In preparation for an open for inspection remind sellers to focus on depersonalising, cleaning, lighting, decluttering, subtle fragrances and making the house feel comforting and homely. All this will help to make the property more attractive, allow potential buyers to envision themselves living there and hopefully achieve a good sale price.

Are there any other staging techniques you use that prospective buyers love? Please share them with us and our readers below.


Happy selling!

From the Homely Team


We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog please leave a comment below and share it with your friends. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at