Being a top real estate agent doesn’t just mean securing the most sought-after listings, but having an ability to achieve the best possible results.
In today’s competitive property market, it’s increasingly important for agents to have an understanding of the interior trends that help to attract buyers.
“It is so vital for agents to know the latest trends in interiors, as they are not only selling a home these days, but a lifestyle,” says Tania Bell from Greenroom Interiors.
“People will go elsewhere if they think their agent is behind the times.”
The age of analogue
Industry sources advise steering clear of the “high-tech” talk when showing prospective buyers through a property. Reason being, many buyers are wary of purchasing homes with in in-built technology, as this is known to quickly date (remember the 1980s trend of installing intercoms in every room?).
Instead, buyers are increasingly being drawn to “analogue” homes connected to nature.
“One of the trends we are seeing at the moment is what has been referred to as ‘the age of analogue’,” says Christine Ghrayche, creative director at One x One Interiors.
“With our fast-paced, highly technological lives, we are seeing design revert back to traditional and natural materials such as leather and brass as a sort of ‘detox’.”
Connected to the analogue trend is the movement towards more earthy, natural colours in homes.
“Again, going back to that move towards natural and organic materials, a colour we see emerging at the moment is green, and this has also been referenced by Pantone in their 2017 colour of the year, ‘greenery’,” Ghrayche says.
“Other colours that are making an entrance in 2017 trends are desert shades such as pale pinks and terracotta.”
Bell recommends using lush indoor plants or native flora to decorate homes up for sale, instead of bunches of flowers. Not only are indoor plants and natives both on-trend, they will last much longer than a bunch of cut roses.
“I find the varieties which look divine are all kinds of native eucalypts with their cool grey and green tones, grevilleas with their bright red flowers, and even woolly bush [Adenanthossericeus],” Bell says.
“I have also used the architectural leaves of the monstera plant too.”
Kitchens with personality
One area of the home you can afford to play around with the styling, colours and materiality is the kitchen.
While all-white, minimal kitchens have long been deemed the most attractive to buyers, industry figures are now observing a trend towards more personality-filled spaces.
“This is one of the most important rooms in the house, so why wouldn’t you draw attention to it?” Bell says.
“With potential buyers going through so many homes, the ubiquitous all-white kitchens can all look the same after a while. So why wouldn’t you give the buyer a reason to stop and take note and create an impression that sticks in their minds?”
Advise your vendors to add personality into their home’s styling in a variety of small ways, such as draping a quirky tea towel over an oven handle, or arranging some vases on a window sill.
“Choose some unusual island bench stools that you don’t see in every home,” Bell says.
“Simple block colours work best. Place a black ceramic dish on the bench piled high with shiny Granny Smith apples, teamed with that bunch of matching green foliage.”
Director of The Real Estate Stylist Sara Chamberlain says it’s worth investing in oversized rugs and floor lamps when styling to sell.
“It’s very much on-trend to extend your rug past your furniture and have your sofa and chairs all included on the rug,” Chamberlain says.
“This trick is excellent for creating a sense of space in either living or dining. An extra large rug under a master bed also adds a sense of glamour and comfort.”
Styling with lamps is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also helps create a positive atmosphere during inspections.
“Each room needs at least one, and they should be on for inspections to create light and life in any dark corners,” Chamberlain says.
Be cautious however not to install too many pendant lights, as these can deter buyers looking to renovate or restyle on a budget.
“These should be used sparingly otherwise it ends up looking like a light display shop,” Chamberlain says.
“They are very personal and trend driven, so best to stay away from investing in too many.”
Creating experiences with furniture
Choose furniture in your property styling that makes it easy for buyers to envision their future lives in the home.
For example, if the property has a great outdoor area, invest in quality furniture that emphasises its potential.
“Great outdoor furniture is always an excellent product. It’s something that encourages purchases to imagine a life outside the home,” Chamberlain says.