Tips for Buying at Auction


The Best Houses of 2020


How to sell your kid-friendly home: tips for stressed parents – Part 1 – By Helen Woodhouse


Click Here for Part 2 – Top Tips to get your home “Sale ready”

As my return to work after an amazing year of maternity leave was drawing to an end, I watched with a smile as my 11-month-old little man crawled across my shiny clean floors with his sticky, little hands. Suddenly, I was struck with the thought of “how on earth did that family with THREE kids under age 5 have their house looking like a gorgeous display home every single time I arrived to walk through the house with a buyer (sometimes with very little notice)”?

Surely these parents were super human with some sort of ninja cleaning and styling powers? Then, I chuckled as I recalled the slightly more realistic family who drives off as you arrive with three screaming kids, a dog, cat and a budgie in the back of the car, the smell of Glen20 still lingering in the walk-in pantry and a dishwasher humming.  

Having worked in real estate for well over 10 years, I am most happy and feel like my life is in order when my house also looks like it’s prepped for sale. I had no idea how unrealistic this was for families with multiple little ones until I had my own little hurricane crawling around! I can confirm that my sweet Mr H (now almost ONE) does not appreciate my sparkling house. He is most happy when there is shepherd’s pie all over his face and toys scattered around the house. 

So, over the last few weeks I’ve been devising a realistic strategy that people with kids can use to help get their home sparkling clean, enticing and ready to sell! Right about now I’m sure you’re thinking “yeah right, this will be some totally unrealistic real estate checklist that we won’t have time to follow”… but no, it’s totally doable. I didn’t just whip up this plan, I tested it out on my own home so that I could in all honesty say that you can easily do it too!   

I planned a photo shoot for some new marketing photos before my return to work and offered to use my house as the venue. I had exactly four days to get my house looking as attractive and welcoming as possible so that my photos would look beautiful.

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “sleep while the baby sleeps”. Well, not in this case!  You want your house to sparkle? I’m telling you now – you are NOT sleeping; you are NOT even having a quick sit-down to drink a cup of actually hot coffee! To make your home shine you are putting on that cleaning cape the minute your kid/s are asleep and you do not stop scrubbing until you see that baby monitor light up. Think of it as a short season of sacrifice. You can sleep peacefully when your house is SOLD – not right now. This unhelpful advice from people to ‘sleep while your baby sleeps’ is about as useful as the people who continually ask you if your nine-month-old teething baby is sleeping through the night, just because their baby slept through from 6 weeks! 

Part 2 – Top Tips to get your home “Sale ready”

This is how I went about creating the dream home atmosphere to be able to SELL fast:

1. Declutter. Less stuff = less stuff to clean, and a tidy looking house!  

If you need some inspiration to clean and organise your home, watch ‘The Home Edit’ on Netflix. You’ll soon be addicted to culling things you don’t need and making your home look less like a hurricane hit it and more like a Pinterest worthy photo! Luckily for me, I caught the de-clutter bug when I was about to have my baby so my house was already pretty minimalistic.

Statistics show that putting a little effort into styling your home can boost the sale price of your property by up to 12%

2. Deep clean. Everybody loves a house that’s fresh and sparkling clean. If you don’t have a robotic vacuum cleaner, go and buy one right now, or get used to vacuuming a lot. We have a Roomba called Rosie and I am in love with her! These things are a huge time saver and do an excellent job of cleaning. You can turn them on while you have a shower, load the dishwasher or put on laundry, and after it’s done all you need to do is mop.   

3. Artfully arrange kid’s toys. Put half or more of your kid’s toys away in a box and out of sight (eg: in the shed). Limit the toys to one basket full and keep them in one area of the house. This actually works really well with the concept of toy rotation – by playing with a smaller selection of toys, children get the chance to focus and play on a deeper level, rather than being overwhelmed by having too much choice in playing with “all the things”. If toy rotation isn’t something you do in your household, then this is the perfect way to start it! 

4. Get everything off your fridge. Yes, it’s a handy place to put things like bills and invites so you remember that they’re upcoming, but no-one else needs to see your quarterly water and phone bills. File them and set a reminder to get them paid. The kid’s artworks need to be put elsewhere as well. You may feel you have a budding Picasso (or not haha) but the fridge isn’t the place to serve as a gallery. Create a scrapbook that can be pulled out and routinely added to so that your child feels extra special about their creative efforts. 

5. Put away unnecessary décor that clashes with your vibe. Collect all the random styling things around the home that you’ve accumulated over the past few years and put them all in a plastic box in your shed. Why? Chances are everything will be a dated mix of styles and you want to create a cohesive and fresh contemporary look throughout your home. After decluttering, you can either spend the time and make a small investment in some more current pieces, or…. 

6. Call the superstars from Style by Blondes and get them to wave their magic styling wand over your home. Even I did this! I wanted a fresh look for my home and some new inspiration in my living area (plus I had hidden anything expensive and stylish away from Mr H’s busy little fingers). 

         There is no doubt that a clean, well-presented home will attract more buyers. Statistics show that putting a little effort into styling your home can boost the sale price of your property by up to 12% and significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to sell!  

Some other benefits of home styling are: a faster sale, small investment for significant return, more offers, your home will appeal to a wider market, and the entire selling process becomes less stressful!  

Great options for home styling assistance:

1.    Home staging – get a stylist to come over to your sparkling clean home and add some key styling pieces such as furniture, artwork, rugs, soft furnishings, towels, linen and décor.  These items can make a huge difference to the presentation of your home. The cost of this can vary depending on how many rooms you wish to style and for how long. Hiring these items are usually charged on a weekly basis and includes delivery, styling and collection.

hiring a professional stylist can take a significant amount of pressure off you.

2.   Expert Styling – get a professional stylist to come to your home and come up with a plan to style your home by investing in some new statement styling pieces that you can use to add value to this home and even take to your next property. Your property stylist will not only find you the most modern and functional items, they’ll also tell you where you buy them and how they fit into your budget. These ladies are the experts and know where to find the most gorgeous statement pieces!  

Personally, I chose option 2 and had a blast shopping for pieces in order to re-style some of the rooms in my home. The team at Style by Blondes came up with some really cool pieces of furniture and artwork that were a completely different style to my current décor. By simply adding a rug, a coffee table, some artwork and cushions, I thoroughly transformed my living area into a plush, warm & welcoming space.

Option 2 would also be a great option for someone who is moving into a house they’ve just purchased and needs some styling inspiration to help them buy the right pieces!

        So, whether you’re looking to sell or just wanting a home styling refresh, hiring a professional stylist can take a significant amount of pressure off you. Selling a home in any market can be stressful, but a small investment in making sure your home is presented in the most attractive light will help sell your home faster and easier. Combine your styled home with a passionate real estate agent with a proven track record and you’ll be SOLD in no time!