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All Posts By

Suzanne Commerford

House Styling for Sale

House Styling

House Styling doesn’t have to be hard.

If you are feeling daunted and overwhelmed by the idea of preparing your biggest asset for sale you wouldn’t be alone.

So here is a list of the top ten strategies you can employ when House Styling ahead of your Property Sale or Auction campaign.  These are the top ten House Styling strategies are as recommended by Cherie Barber from Renovating for Profit and were recently listed on the Better Homes and Gardens website.  Ensure your House Styling is prioritised and effective to avoid feeling overwhelmed and tick these top ten house styling ideas off your list.

  1. Clean and Declutter – a spring clean with a pressure washer is not just the first step in House Styling but it can work wonders.  Don’t forget to take the metaphorical pressure washer to the inside of your home stripping out clutter to create clean, clear and open surfaces.
  2. Repair and Restore – minor maintenance issues can really turn buyers off and set off alarm bells.  Focus on the front entry, facade and main living rooms.
  3. DIY Modular Deck – if you are handy and you have the space, these new modular decks that are available from places like Bunnings, Ikea and Freedom can really transform tired outdoor spaces.
  4. Indoor / Outdoor Living – can you improve the flow between these spaces with a new set of bifold doors or a turning a window into a wide doorway?
  5. Paint – everything, fences, doors, tired old concrete paving, your window frames, the roof and of course the walls inside and out, its the most transformational and cost effective thing you can do as a DIYer. But for the love of Shaynna Blaze go neutral.
  6. Kitchens and Bathrooms sell homes – but you dont have to drop tens of thousands to make them happen.  Focus on tile paint and cabinetry paint, update handles and tapware and appliances. You don’t have to completely strip it out and start again.
  7. Natural Light is your friend – something as simple as replacing tired, heavy old curtains with simple sheer curtains from Ikea or Spotlight are amazing, clean your windows and the window screens and cut back foliage from around entries, windows and doors.
  8. Artificial Lighting can be given an overhaul too, cleaning your light fittings and adding the strongest but warmest light bulbs can make a world of difference. Its often also a matter of just a couple of hours and some really inexpensive new light shades from Bunnings, Ikea or the like to makeover tired and broken light fittings in your home.
  9. Cleaning the floors – get in a professional carpet cleaner or someone to strip back tired, stained tiles and professionally buff them.
  10. Get a second opinion – many House Styling professionals like ourselves will offer a basic free advisory and quotation service.  We can come to site, help you see your own home through fresh eyes and assist you to prioritise your House Styling efforts. Our Property Styling service may be just what you need.

House Styling can seem overwhelming on first glance and ultimately if you are a busy professional, a flat out tradie or a stay at home mum with her hands already overflowing, consider calling in a professional House Styling company like our own.  We tackle not just the final furnishings but all of the other House Styling strategies that should be prioritised, we can organise quotes and coordinate the works if needed.

Ask our Home Stylist

Home Stylists

Do you have a question for our Home Stylist?

Are you preparing your home for sale or would you like to improve a room in the home you are living in now?

Ask our Home Stylist any question and we’ll get back to you with a response.  Post your questions on our Instagram or Facebook page or send it to hello@jimsinteriordesign.com.au.   While many of our team have qualifications and training specially in Interior Design, my focus are the affordable, cosmetic DIY improvements that as a Home Stylist I always recommending to my clients who are preparing a home for sale.

Every day I am asked home styling questions like:

What should I do with this kitchen?

Does it matter that there is no robe in this bedroom?

Should I style this room as a bedroom or a living room?

Is there anything I can do about these old tiles?

This old Air Conditioner is an eyesore – do I take it out or leave it there?

Can I do anything about this old screen door?

Is Mission Brown ever going to come back ‘in’?

Should I recarpet or polish the floorboards?

What is a good option for a flat packed kitchen?

However the most significant and frequent question I am asked is:  With a limited budget what should I do to prepare my home for sale?

Whilst my answer is almost always property styling, there are critical home improvements, cleaning, landscaping and repair jobs I am constantly suggesting to my clients.

In my experience as a Home Stylist there are common and easily DIYed fixes and improvements that can be made which have a reliable return on investment.  Over the coming weeks we will be building our library of DIY videos, tips and hints on how to improve your home irrespective of whether you are styling to sell or styling it to stay.  If you would like the advice of an experienced Home Stylist hit us up with your questions anytime.

As Home Stylist’s, we love to help.

Personally my passion for helping women learn to independently tackle home repairs and improvements has really helped.  I love being able to show and teach other women, in particular, how to do things like paint anything!

I have refurbished screen doors, window frames, hung my own curtains, painted fences, changed over light shades and so much more.  Not only do these maintenance related activities save money in the long run these small cosmetic improvements can ensure you keep your available home styling budget for the bits you can’t DIY, maximising the outcome!

So if you have a question, or want advice,  just ask this Home Stylist for help today.

Falling Clearance Rates Affecting Vendors

Falling Clearance Rates

What do Melbourne’s Falling Clearance Rates mean for Vendors?

Falling clearance rates have made selling your home in the current market environment (Winter / Spring 2018), a nerve wracking experience.

As Melbourne is affected by falling clearance rates, some weeks by more than 10-15% on the same time in the previous year, the reality of discounting your property is beginning to set in.

The peak of the market appears to have been around September last year according to some financial analysts, like David Koch.  Vendor’s are experiencing:

  • Increases in the time it takes to sell their home, although this remains variable depending on your location and property type
  • Reduction in interest levels in their property with fewer people even bidding at auction or showing up to home opens
  • Reduction in clearance rates from the high 70%’s to the low 60%’s on average
  • Increase in the discounting (price reductions) on listed properties.  In Melbourne discounting on property (ie dropping the price to get a sale has increased from 4.5% to closer to 6%.

Many prospective property buyers are withholding offers prior to auction that they would have previously made, they are willing to wait it out and see how much further the overall property market may drop.

This environment isn’t always consistent.

There is still strong competition for homes that meet the criteria for Stamp Duty savings on offer to first home buyers.   If you have a home for sale in the sub $750k mark you are likely still experiencing competition at that price point.

Conversely celebrity Buyers Agent Nicole Jacobs highlighted as early as May this year, that tough times are ahead for the premium end of the property market.  The entry level for this category is around $2.5 to $3m but in terms of property we have been styling we are seeing the market being affected once concessional rates for stamp duty savings drop out.  This is generally $750k upward and it’s certainly affecting the $1m – $2.5m price category.

Nicole Jacobs noted that:

“Vendors needed to meet the market on price once you get into this bracket of property. Once the market is met, competition takes over and the result is usually still weighted in favour of the vendor.   Get it wrong and the property no longer attracts competition among anxious buyers.”

Under quoting also hasn’t completely left the scene, it remains a culprit in this situation.  In passing property in, often on a Vendor Bid, you will then see the same property advertised for Private Sale most often with an asking price over the original quoted price range.

Moreover we’d argue that you’d also need to do the work to the property to meet the Buyer’s expectations.

Gone are the days of putting a property to market in any condition and expecting a quick sale for a premium price.

Not only do you need to meet the market on pricing, preparing the property for sale with cleaning, repairs, cosmetic improvements, landscaping and property styling, is often the most reliable way to a) get your property sold and b) achieve the price you are hoping for.  Nicole Jacobs noted that properties which are compromised by way of either location or being un-renovated or with maintenance issues, will find it tough compared to properties that aren’t compromised in this way which are still achieving sales outcomes within their stated ranges.

In response we are seeing a couple of trends emerging;

  • Withdrawal or delay of plans to put a property market – if people don’t have to sell they aren’t
  • Higher degree of investment in property presentation in addition to property styling
  • Extended sale campaign periods with often more significant post auction periods of negotiation
  • Increased shift away from Auction to Private Sale with greater planning for potentially longer campaigns

Nicole’s Advice?

If you are going to market any time soon and this is your market, make sure you have prepared your property as best that you can.

Be realistic with the price and know your competition.

You are more than likely to be buying back into the same market, so in order to move forward, you may need to compromise on one end to buy at the other.

The clear message is: meet the market or be on the market for some time.

The market is changing and it is now time for buyers to have the upper hand.

If you would like assistance to prepare your property as best as you can for sale, feel free to call us on 131 546 for a complimentary consultation.  You could also leave your details here and we will send more information.

Our main aim is to reduce the stress of styling to sell your home and save you time and money.  We can act as a one stop shop to organise everything from repairs, to minor renovations, landscaping, cleaning and more.  We also provide a Style Now Pay Later service so you can get all of this work done using our Layby service.

Download our E-Book – The Jim’s Guide to Selling your Home for More for a step by step guide to help you deal with the challenges of the property market in 2018.

Here are just a few of the strategies you need to get right covered in detail in the guide:

  • Know the market better than anyone else.
    Don’t rely on the advice of well-meaning friends and family to tell you what your property is worth.    Consider getting your own valuation or subscribing to a property information service that gives you inside information on recent sales in your area.
  • Choose the right agent.
    The right agent is not the one quoting the most your house might sell for.  If you’ve done step one you’ll know yourself what is a realistic appraisal and you won’t be tempted to simply go with the estate agent who suggests the best price.
  • Prepare your home for sale.
    This should include at least a major declutter, extensive cleaning, repairs and you might want to consider some quick cosmetic improvements that are most likely to give you a reliable, strong return on investment.

The Guide is supported by Jim’s Interiors who now offer professional home staging services.  Importantly we are making Home Staging and property styling available to everyone with LayBy.  Just a 10% deposit, no interest ever and the ability to pay it out in full whenever you want means you can package up professional advice and trades to help you sort, fix and stage your home.

We’re offering any Jim’s customers who are planning to sell their home in 2016 a free Home Staging consultation and report outlining what they can do to maximise their sale price.  To claim the free consultation worth $440 click here.


If you know of anyone passionate about property, renovating and interior design we are quickly expanding nationally and are offering franchises as well as just one Regional Management opportunity in each state. 


Property Styling Bentleigh East Kitchen Dining
Property Styling Bentleigh East Living Room

Property Styling Supports Townhouse Property Developers achieve Higher Clearance Rates

Townhouse Developments are offering buyers more choice and a slightly easier access point into their suburb of preference.  This shift to Townhouse or Townhome development was discussed in a recent article after research was released from PRDNationwide that showed townhouse development approvals growing at a rate of 126% per year since 2011.

Dual occupancy townhouse development’s do have some more challenges, most often the need for a Planning Permit from Council in addition to the Building Permit.  However once this hurdle is overcome the dual occupancy townhouse development is becoming one of the most popular ways to capitalise on Melbourne land values.

In my own street alone there are eight dual occ developments right now, at various stages of completion, ranging from advertising for planning permits through to a current private sale campaign.

Jim’s Interiors is a specialist in property styling for property developers, owner builders and building companies to complete their property development projects.  Our primary aims are to:

Reduce the stress of getting to the finish line

Reward our repeat and referral customers

Offer flexible access to our services by introducing Style Now Pay Later

In particular it is our Style Now Pay Later service that can take the sting out of the many final expenses it takes to get to the finishing line of a property development project.  You’ll often find that Jim’s are going out of their way to help property developers and builders by organising other finishing touches that especially small to medium volumne builders could use the help with.  We can organise:

Curtains and Blinds


Final Project Cleans

Almost anything else you need a hand with

If you have a property development project underway, email us your floor plans: hello@jimsinteriordesign.com.au or call us on 131 546 for an obligation free quote.  We are currently offering incentives for our many and often repeat Developer and Builder clients including:

  • Discount on packages
  • Longer duration styling packages
  • Ability to finance via Style Now Pay Later the finishing touches including the Final Clean, Landscaping and much more as well as the Property Styling.

Follow us on our social media channels to keep up to date with our latest projects styling new property developments across Melbourne.

Bayside Real Estate Agent – David Cutler

I first began working with David when a Bentleigh based client of ours told us they were selling with Purple Bricks.  I was intrigued as Purple Bricks was new to the market and had a much different model to traditional real estate agents.

David then began referring some of his Vendors to us for listings ranging from $1million plus homes through to affordable entry level apartments throughout suburbs including:

Caulfield South

Caulfield North

Brighton East

However the project we are most proud of is the styling and David’s sale campaign of this renovated home in a heritage protected area of Hughesdale.    Whilst our common client ultimately made some selections and changes to the property styling to incorporate some of their own artworks it was still a fantastic presentation at the end of the day and the Vendor went on to achieve a suburb record.

David has certainly proven the Purple Bricks model throughout the Bayside area with over 60+ sales completed and another 7 or so current listings at the time of writing.

Personally David is very professional and particularly diligent which is why I would choose him to sell my home.

If you want to check out the Purple Bricks option call David on 0416 845 458.

Doncaster Real Estate Agent Profile – Jessamy Lomax

If you are selling your home in the Doncaster area, we can’t more highly reccomend Jessamy Lomax.  Jessmay works with the Philip Webb team as a Sales Consultant.  In the past year we have worked for Jessamy and her Vendors to style property for sale in Templestowe, Doncaster, Bulleen, Donvale and more.

We were introduced to Jessamy by a client of ours whose renovated property was going to market in Willow Bend Bulleen.

Since then we have been in a position to observe Jessamy’s work as a Real Estate Sales Consultant.  The stand out for us has been her diligence and professionalism.  Everything is organised quickly, efficiently and effectively on behalf of her vendors.

Jessamy is also getting results.  Most recently this property at Esdale St in Nunawading which we styled on behalf of Jessamy’s vendors sold before auction.

You can contact Jessamy at Philip Webb Real Estate’s Doncaster Office on 0448 229 973.