Press BLOG


When it comes to selling a home, most people want to make as much money as possible — but is there a trick to getting buyers to pay top dollar?


It seems the key is all in the eye of the seller — and a few quick and easy touch-ups are one way to get the price you want.

Model renovator Elyse Knowles and partner Josh Barker pocketed $547,000 for winning the 2017 season of The Block, so it’s safe to say the duo know a thing or two about renos.

Knowles, who recently made the move from Melbourne to Byron Bay, said when it came to preparing to sell your home the most important piece of advice was to make sure you’re selling at the right time.

“Analyse the market very carefully and assess what sales are doing,” Knowles said.

“Talk to as many people as possible as well. Real estate agents, financial advisers, mortgage brokers, accountants and friends. Information is king. So make sure you are knowledgeable before selling your pride and joy.”

Creative Director at The Stylesmiths, Richard Misso, said sometimes sellers needed to spend money to make money.

Misso said having a professional go through the property to help identify the most cost- effective ways of increasing value was an option more and more people were considering.

“In a downturned market, which we are in, you need to be more aggressive to get every dollar to work for you,” he said.

Director Stavros Ambatzidis said when it came to selling properties it was all about “less is best”.

“You sell the sizzle, not the steak,” Mr Ambatzidis said.

“Declutter and paint — it will freshen it right up.”


Knowles’ first piece of advice to homeowners was to paint — the right colour.

“Paint the house white. It’s efficient and very effective,” the Myer ambassador said.

And her hot tip was to learn how to use a spray gun.

“It takes twice the time to prepare the room (as you have to cover the flooring, the cabinetry, any light fittings etc), but it won’t take long at all to spray the room,” she said.

“It has been a game changer in our renovation experiences. There is a technique though, so we highly recommend that you learn how to properly use the spray gun before starting.”

Misso said painting was the cheapest way to keep a fresh look and hide any imperfections. “People see it as new and are keen to pay a higher price,” he said.

Mr Ambatzidis said painting a house, both inside and out, was the best piece of advise he could offer.

“Antique white is a fantastic colour. It makes it look bright, white and bigger.”


All three agree that creating light and keeping the property well lit when displayed are key to making a property more desirable.

Knowles said installing down lights or feature lights was an easy renovation hack most people could do themselves and advised people to get rid of old curtains.

“As an alternative, white shutters are a beautiful window covering. They bring character and charm to a home on the inside and the out.”

Misso agreed, advising sellers to open curtains or drapes for inspections.


Misso said The Stylesmiths put together packages for properties from five bedroom mansions to one-bedroom apartments, detailing ways homeowners could spend less but gain more.

He said replacing handles, taps, splashbacks and benchtops were among the most popular.

Knowles said that removing floor coverings and adding new flooring throughout the house was a small change which made a big difference.

She also suggested replacing light switches and door handles, and reminded people not to forget the garden.

“Refresh the garden. Give it some structure and life by planting plants and/or laying down some turf,” she said.