Trying to sell a house can be a tricky business. Obviously you want to sell for as much as possible as quickly as possible. But getting that sale over the line can be tough. So you want to make sure you’re doing everything you can make the house look as appealing as possible to potential buyers.
A crucial part of the sales journey is the all-important inspection stage. This is where people first see the house and hopefully where they fall in love with it. During the open house, it’s important to create a space that looks welcoming and lived in, without looking cluttered and overly personal. Ideally, you want to showcase the potential of the property while helping prospective buyers visualise how it could look with their individual personality and style.
And this is where a property stylist (or property staging) can be useful.
What does a property stylist do?
A property stylist will prepare the interior of the house for photography and inspections. Generally that will involve selecting furniture and decorations that best highlight the features of the property.
An empty house can be unappealing to potential buyers. It can be difficult to imagine an empty property feeling lived in. Adding basic furniture and decoration provides visual cues that make it easier for buyers to envision the house as they’d like to see it.
The property stylist will create a neutral interior design concept aimed at showcasing the potential of the home while diverting attention from any flaws or shortcomings.
The main difference between a property stylist and an interior designer is that an interior designer will cater to your tastes to create a concept that suits your idea of the perfect home. A property stylist, on the other hand, will aim to create a neutral space where the design concept fades into the background, showcasing the potential of the property.
A stylist will also source on-trend but unobtrusive furniture and decoration, usually on a temporary rental basis, and organise the property for the open inspections.
- Sell a lifestyle
One of the biggest benefits of using a property stylist is their ability to sell a lifestyle. A good stylist will be able to decorate the property to highlight its potential lifestyle aspects. Whether the property is by the beach or an inner-city high-rise apartment, clever property staging can help to create associations between the property and the desired lifestyle in the mind of the potential buyer.
Additionally, a good stylist will be aware of the various buyer demographics and be able to use the latest style trends to appeal to those groups.
- Basic repairs and upgrades
A property stylist will look at your home with an objective eye and will be better able to see it through the eyes of a buyer than you will. They will immediately be able to see any flaws or defects that you may no longer even notice.
As a result, they will be able to identify any minor repairs and maintenance that should be carried out before the open house.
Unnecessary clutter can make a house look messy, poorly maintained and generally unappealing to potential buyers. Clutter can also make rooms look smaller than they actually are and make it difficult for buyers to envision how they might decorate the room.
Clutter can be a subjective thing. What you consider to be tidy and organised at home may be considered clutter by other people. A property stylist brings an objective eye into your home and can help to remove unnecessary clutter prior to a house inspection.
One of the most common mistakes people make when preparing their home for sale is leaving too many personal items on display. While personal items, like family photographs and heirlooms, may feel like they are adding warmth and personality to your home, they can be off-putting for prospective buyers. A buyer wants to imagine their future life in the home, not think about the previous owner’s time in the house.
And it’s not just personal items that can be a problem. Personal design choices can also be problematic when preparing a house for sale. If you have idiosyncratic interior design tastes, you may have spent significant time styling rooms to your personal tastes. And while you may love it, it may not appeal to potential buyers or showcase the full potential of the room.
A property stylist can identify those personal touches and help to create a more neutral atmosphere that highlights the best features of the house.
If you’re dealing with a deceased estate clearance due to the death of a loved one, then removing the clutter and personal items could be an emotional experience. A property stylist can help to make the difficult decisions, allowing you time with your family.
- Prepare for photography
The photography used for the property listing is one of the first things a potential buyer will see. In fact, the decision to inspect the property or not can often be based on the photography. This is why it’s so important to have high-quality photos. A property stylist can work with the photographer to ensure that the home is shown in the best possible light. Since the styling choices will have a significant effect on the light and flow of the room, property styling can make or break the photos.
When is property styling not necessary?
It’s worth bearing in mind that property styling is not always necessary when working to sell a house. If a property is old and run down, then buyers may only be interested in it for the land value and may intend to simply knock down the house. In this case, property styling may end up being a waste of time and money.
Additionally, if a house is being marketed as a “fixer-upper” or “a handyman’s dream” then chances are the flaws in the property will be clearly visible and styling may even draw attention to the dilapidated condition.
Before engaging a property stylist, it’s worth speaking to a reliable real estate agent or deceased estate clearance company to determine whether property styling will be an important part of the sales strategy.