How to style your home for a quick sale and a better price
When property stylist Claudia Matthews was called in to style a three-bedroom beachside property for sale, the vendor had already been told by several local agents he was unlikely to get close to the $1-million mark.
“We did a full styling job on this particular property, everything from all the furniture, to dressing and steaming the beds and accessorising the kitchen and bathrooms,” says the head of styling and operations at property stylists, Furnish and Finish. The house sold in two weeks for $200,000 over what they were expecting. “It was purely on the presentation” she says. “It just goes to show the impact professional styling can have.”
Property styling, or home staging as it is known in the US, is becoming increasingly popular as sellers and agents turn to professional stylists to improve the chances of selling a property and achieve the highest possible sale price.
“A lot of agents we use say whatever they spend on styling they get back five times in the sale price. It is 100 per cent worth doing.”
With the growth in popularity of television shows like The Block and Selling Houses Australia, styling has become a lot more common, says Juliana Gowen, senior stylist at property styling specialists, Urban Chic in Sydney. “People realise the economic advantage of professionally presenting their property.”
Home stagers can improve the selling chances of any home from luxury to budget. “Once it was only reserved for high-end market homes, however now we regularly style properties right across the board,” says Gowen. “Real estate agents are also very pro styling these days as it increases the level of interest in the property helping them them sell more easily while achieving a higher price for their client. It really is a win-win for all concerned.”
Gowen says that the art of property styling is showing potential buyers how the space works so that they understand easily how they could live comfortably in a particular home. They may even be swayed to choose a property lacking something on their wish list. “Buying a home is very much an emotional decision and if it feels right the buyer will often compromise on some of their requirements. Professional styling can achieve all of the above.”
Empty properties offer the best potential for styling she says but don’t be put off your selling objective. “Styling works particularly well where the property has been vacated and the stylist is able to co-ordinate a complete new look. We are often told by vendors, ‘Now my home looks this good I’m not sure I really want to sell it.'”
We asked the experts for their top five tips for styling a property.
Paring things back and simplifying the space makes a world of difference and is often under estimated, even de-personalising a space and removing family photos can help.
2. Focus on key rooms
Focus on the main rooms to be photographed for the internet as these are the ones which will help the buyers choose which properties they will inspect. The kitchen is a very important room and must be clean and decluttered with perhaps just a coffee machine, a bowl of green apples or a small vignette of a cookbook, herb pots and mortar and pestle.
3. Consider your proportions
The rooms need to have well proportioned furniture to suit the size of the room and should contain a focal point, be it a great sofa, accent cushions or a colourful interesting art work. Also consider which angle the photos will be taken from and avoid showing the backs of sofas and chairs.
4. Neutralise the space
A lick of neutral paint always freshens up a space, allowing you to add pops of colour through art and decorative cushions which can be changed seasonally. Colour draws the buyers emotionally. For example soft blues and grey to create a feeling of relaxation and brighter oranges and yellows to energise the living areas.
5. Fresh flowers for the room
Especially for photography purposes. greenery or flowers adds freshness to a space and adds impact to photography. “We often use greenery to enhance the decor in the home and help link the rooms with the garden or outdoor space,” says Gowen.