As a Vendor’s Advocate, part of my job is to help prepare a client’s property for sale. I have also noticed that professional styling is growing in demand to best present a home for inspections. An industry is already well underway to provide furniture and interior decoration to vendor clients. More popular in the cities and for auctions, there are circumstances when professional styling can be reccomended.
Recent research claims that good styling can boost your sale price from between 7.5 – 12.5%. Admittedly, these figures are from a survey by, and on, real estate agents so it is not exactly scientific. However I do believe there is substance to the claim. Conversely, over half of real estate agents in the same survey do not see the value in styling so it is still unproven ground.
Professional styling can be a good thing for the right situation. A empty house going to auction would certainly benefit by a good fit out. A comfortable and well-appointed home is preferable to empty walls and floors. People without the time or the skills to do this would also benefit. However, it may not be worth the expense for entry-level real estate.
Getting independent advice is a big advantage prior to listing your home. Many homeowners are too emotionally entwined with their home to see all its faults and/or good points. As well as styling the interior, getting the grounds and entranceway right is very important as you know what they say – “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”
The next most important thing is to find the right balance between being homey and lived in while still leaving enough blank canvass for the new owners to imagine themselves living there. Get rid of clutter, personal photos, squeaky or stuck doors and windows, broken or chipped fittings, clean the windows and make sure there are no bad smells. A common idea is to bake a cake before an open house. Again, there is no science to this idea.
It is also important not to go too far the other way. Many times I have stopped a seller from spending too much on things that were not going to add value. Renovating bathrooms and kitchens often does not see the expense back in the sale price. It is best to discount the property that amount and allow the new buyers do it the way they want.
Byron Bay now has its own styling company. Decorate Your Real Estate have an office and warehouse at ½ Tasman Way in the industrial estate and can called on 02 6685 6317.