interior design
There are many ways to tidy your before a sale on a budget. Image – Canva.
  • CoreLogic data has shown a 16% in July quarterly sales compared to last year
  • James Kirkland of Upside Realty has provided 10 budget tips for when preparing to sell a home
  • Daylighting can be one of the most effective and cheapest ways to spruce up a home

As sellers stall over winter, a leading real estate agency has said it is preparing agents for a busy spring with an influx of new listings expected over the next few weeks.

“It’s been an unusually quiet winter with sellers stalling their listings as they wait and see what happens with interest rates,” said Upside Realty Director of Sales James Kirkland.

CoreLogic data has shown a 16% in July quarterly sales compared to last year. Stock levels are currently 24.8% below the five year average.

“I think there’s two scenarios likely to play out here, either interest rates hold and sellers will see that as a good time to offload their property or interest rates rise again, and we’ll see forced sales,” he said.

“We’re telling our agents to prepare for an early Spring.”

“For homeowners considering selling now is a good time to come to market to get ahead of a wave of new listings,” he adds.

In light of this, Mr Kirkland has provided a list of ways vendors can improve the value of their property without breaking the bank.

10 budget styling tips for selling a home

  1. Paint kitchen Cabinets
  2. Bring in some foliage
  3. Freshen up the curtains
  4. Re-grout the tiles
  5. Upgrade your light fittings and replace door handles
  6. Add an accent colour to your living room
  7. Open up the space
  8. Daylighting
  9. Replace the splashback
  10. Modernise the bathroom


  1. Paint Kitchen Cabinets

Mr Kirkland noted that kitchens are expensive to renovate, but they are often the room that sells the house. “Fitting new cabinets is costly but painting them gives everything a facelift. DIY this for some real bang for your buck and finish the look with new knobs or handles,” he said.

  1. Bring in some foliage

First impressions count, Mr Kirkland said, noting that nothing says ‘sanctuary’ like a great front garden.

“If yours is a little lacking in greenery and flowers, planting a few or bringing in some pot plants will instantly help people to feel at ease. Plants can also be used to offset harsher frontages (for instance, if the front has a lot of concrete or exposed brick), as they soften hard edges,” he said.

  1. Freshen up the curtains

If your curtains or blinds are looking drab, you should replace them with something more chic or modern, which can really lift a house, he added.

“Remember that natural light is a big plus for buyers, so look out for a window treatment that gives privacy and protection from the direct sun without blocking out too much light,” said Mr Kirkland.

  1. Re-grout the tiles

Along with kitchens, bathrooms are also expensive to renovate. However, re-grouting does wonders for lifting the whole room.

“This is another candidate for a DIY, or else you can expect to pay around $35 per square metre. If your tiles are looking really sad but are generally in good condition, they can also be painted with specialist tile paint to create a new colour palette,” he said.

  1. Upgrade your light fittings and replace door handles

If natural light is lacking in your home, Mr Kirkland recommends making sure the artificial light sources are pulling their weight.

“A light fitting with multiple bulbs is the best way to brighten a room, and you can create a chic feature to lift the look of the room, even when the lights are off. Consider installing downlights to modernise your home. Updating your door handles is a quick and easy fix that makes a great impression to buyers,” he said.

  1. Add an accent colour to your living room

Usually, the first room of the house you see when you walk is the living room, highlighting the need to liven your living room.

“To wow your potential buyers just add a little accent colour to the space in the form of brightly coloured cushions or an elegant vase,” he said.

  1. Open up the space

Mr Kirkland said that everybody wants a space that feels big and open.

“By tearing down the wall that separates the kitchen from the dining or living room (or all three of them), you will automatically open up the house, making it feel bigger and brighter. The same applies to decluttering: you might find that removing some items of furniture or replacing them with smaller pieces creates an impression of space,” he said.

  1. Daylighting

Daylighting is another trend that notably doesn’t require a significant investment, but at the same time can completely shift the feel of the house.

“It consists of creating spaces that are illuminated by natural daylight rather than artificial light. To achieve this look, remove old, chunky curtains or drapes, replace them with light-coloured blinds made with natural materials, and add mirrors to reflect the natural light in the darker spaces of your home,” he said.

  1. Replace the splashback

One of the most overlooked parts of the kitchen is the splashback.

“When you replace it with new, more fashionable tiles, stainless steel or coloured, opaque glass or acrylic, it can really give your kitchen some character,” said Mr Kirkland.

  1. Modernise the bathroom

Lastly, Mr Kirkland noted the bathroom offers a range of opportunities to be beautified on a budget.

“For example, a new, contemporary-looking tap or a brand new toilet seat is sometimes all that’s needed,” he said.

“It’s amazing how much value you can add to your home without having to spend much money. For just a relatively small spend you could be improving the value of your home by tens of thousands,” concluded Mr Kirkland.

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