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Should you move out while you sell?

By George Hadgelias

To move out or not to move out, that is the question!

Deciding whether to remain living in a property while it’s on the market, or to move out is one of the many choices vendors face as they prepare to sell.

Angus Graham, from Hodges Sandringham in Melbourne, and Property Stylist Kate Bunton – from 2Tweak Interior Styling, which works with real estate agencies and private clients to style properties for sale – weigh in about what’s best.

Graham says while it’s understandable that not all vendors can move out, it’s always preferable.

“It is ideal if the home is empty and personal things removed during the weeks that the property is on the market and inspections are taking place,” he says.

The main reasons are access and presentation, Graham says.

“Some people can be flexible and work around inspection times, while for others based on schedules, this may be harder,” he says.

“The main benefits of not having the vendor living in the home during this time is that agents are able to access the home at all times and know that it will be well presented and clean and tidy.

“Not having to give the vendor 24 hours’ notice to tidy helps bring more buyers through the door,” Graham says.

“As an agent, it is great to be able to have access to the home at all times and the more people we are able to take through, the higher the chance they will show up at auction and place a bid,” he says.

Bunton says 2Tweak clients aren’t required to move out and many “live normally in their styled tweaked home”. But it can be tricky to maintain a high standard.

“Some busy families may find it a little more work to maintain a styled home and keeping the property neat and clean while the home is on the market and inspections are taking place,” she says.

Graham and Bunton agree on the value of property styling – which can cost between $3,500 and $5,500 for an average home – if staying or moving out.

“Styling can make a massive difference, as stylists know how to bring out the full potential of the home, which can lead to a higher selling price,” Graham says.

“In some areas, it may be better to present a room on the smaller side as a study, while in other cases it is better to stage it with a bed.

“Stylists know what furniture can make a room feel larger and also what style attracts certain buyers. It is incredibly rare that you see a professionally fully staged property pass-in and sit on the market,” he says.

Bunton says a small investment in styling can have a big impact on the bottom line.

“Styling your home is vital to the end result. Styling assists the visual outcome of new and older style properties, gaining the best result possible and in turn gaining a higher result,” she says.

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