Property styling, also known as property or home staging, is a growing industry that both investors and owner occupiers are using to get better sales results.
Converts to the process say they make five times their investment back at sale time, but skeptics see property staging as a wasted expense and something a seller can do alone. So why do sellers style their homes and can you DIY?
What is home staging/ styling?
A property stylist is a professional who stages your home to attract buyers and get a better price. This involves everything from decluttering to hiring furniture and is done before the photographs are taken and then maintained by the seller until the sale. Most stylists prefer to work with vacant homes, but it is possible to have the home styled while you are living in it.
The process is popular in America and, after an increase in property-themed reality TV shows, it’s growing in popularity in Australia too. Many people think that home staging is just throwing a blanket over your couch and fail to see it as an important part of the selling process, but according to LJ Hooker, their agents believe styling can increase your sale price by up to 12.5 per cent. Styling can also result in a quicker sale and more interest in the property.
Why does property styling work?
A buyer’s first impression is formed very quickly and can make or break a sale. Triggering an emotional response in your buyer is key to a successful sale — you want them to fall in love with the property and a great first impression will help.
While the location, size and layout of the property should get buyers in the door, it can be hard for them to focus on these features if they’re looking at bad styling. Styling your property makes it easier for the buyer to imagine themselves in the space. Creating aspirational living is something property stylists do a lot, making the buyer think their lives will be better in the new home. Staging can also showcase the functionality of a space and will help buyers look past awkward or unusable spaces.
Staging will result in better photographs which in turn will create more buzz and can raise your sale price. Especially in today’s market, with more and more buyers using online tools to help them find a property, photography is very important.
The costs and benefits of home staging
A professional property stylist can add thousands to your sale price, but it comes at a cost. Professional styling costs between $300 for a basic consultation and around $5,000 for the entire experience, including hire furniture.
Professional home staging is a growing market and sellers can certainly shop around to find the best deal, although this may be reflected in the quality of the service. The benefits of using a stylist should be reflected in the sale price — they will look at your property with the aim to make you money and advise you clearly on what is worth doing and what won’t result in a higher sale price. For the time poor, a professional stylist is a great way to take the guess work out of staging and you only have to set aside the time to meet with them — they will take care of all the planning and research. If your budget doesn’t stretch to a professional stylist, there are some DIY home staging tasks you can do yourself which will improve the look and feel of your property.
How to style your property to get a better price
How much more money can you make by styling your home?
There is no exact science to how much money you will make from home staging, it depends on the property, but property styling supports everything we are told by experts about optimising the sale price of your property.
Whether you want to go the professional styling route or not is dependent on your budget and how much room there is in the market for a higher sale price. If your property is already in the top percentage of the area you might not have much room to go higher and some DIY styling might be all it takes to generate interest and get you the best price.
Simple home staging tips