An empty home is a soulless home.
First impressions count, so why wouldn’t you want to wow potential buyers when selling your single biggest investment?
Statistics show homes that are professionally staged sell 30-50% faster than those that are not.
Additionally, well styled properties fetch an average of 7-12% higher selling price than originally expected.
When my brother recently hired Guest Group to stage his freshly renovated beachside investment property – and achieved a massive 20% higher sale price than the initial valuation – I had to find out more.
What are the benefits of property styling?
1. Property styling diverts the buyer’s attention from negatives and highlights the positives
In an empty room buyers will notice turn-offs such as floor scratches and wall cracks. Small negatives like this can translate to bigger buyer objections. This in turn will effect the price they are willing to offer.
On the other hand, a room that creates a designer feel with furniture, wall art and accessories will stir up positive buyer emotions and translate to stronger offers.
These photos provided by Guest Group’s Interior Design Consultant, Karen Smith, illustrate how an uninspiring empty room is transformed into a warm, inviting space with stylish pieces. The buyer can now feel how they would live in this room, creating a much stronger desire to enjoy their new home.
2. Buyers can’t visualise how to use awkward spaces of odd shapes and sizes
Empty rooms with irregular dimensions are impossible to furnish in a buyer’s mind. If your home contains these spaces it is imperative that you show how they can be used with appropriate furniture.
The semi-circular alcove off my brother’s kitchen looked very awkward when empty. Each “expert” that entered the property had their own idea of how it should be furnished.
I think the property stylist nailed the contemporary beach chic brief when furnishing this area. What do you think?
Potential buyers found it difficult to imagine furniture placement in the very large unfurnished bedroom pictured below. Stylish decorating created a luxurious feel that was so much more appealing than a large empty space.
3. Furniture gives perspective
Believe it or not, a vacant room actually looks smaller. There is nothing for the eye to use for comparison to assess the actual size.
In my brother’s house, the unfurnished master bedroom looked particularly small. After Guest’s property styling, purchasers were drawn into the room’s calm atmosphere and the expansive ocean views beyond.
Don’t be afraid to place big furniture in small rooms. If a room can fit a double bed, highlight it!
How much does property styling cost?
Property styling expert, Kristen DiNobile, says this.
On average, you should expect to spend about 1% of the value of your home on staging. For example, if your home is worth $300,000, you will probably not spend more than $3,000. After staging, you will easily be able to add that much to the asking price, and often 2-3 times that amount.
The cost of staging is usually significantly less than the cost of the first price reduction.
Think about it.
Most homes on the market have at least one price reduction before a final sale price is agreed upon. How much is a typical price reduction? Often, it’s at least $5,000 but usually $10,000, and sometimes more.
Can you do it yourself?
When styling your property yourself, you must make sure it is clean, free from clutter and de-personalised. Your home should be inviting and buyers should feel like they could live there.
Overly personal spaces make buyers feel like they are intruding into your lives and space, which makes them very uncomfortable and less likely to view the home thoroughly.
Be careful. Have a look at these photos of rooms presented by the home owners compared to those styled by Guest Group. Which would you find more desirable if you were the potential purchaser?
If you really must do it yourself, here are a few tips to guide you:-
- Clean, clean and then do more cleaning! Buyers don’t want to feel that they’ve walked into someone else’s personal space (or grubbiness!)
- De-clutter. Get rid of fridge magnets and personal photos. If you can’t bring yourself to be ruthless here, hire a professional de-cluttering service. This will be more affordable than a professional styling service and may just be all you need
- Take a step back and take an impartial look at your own furnishings. You will often have attractive pieces that can be rearranged and highlighted to create rooms that are more appealing to buyers.
Anything else to consider?
Make sure you book the photographer for the day after the furniture arrives. Remember, first impressions count and the property photos are really the buyers’ first impression of your property. You don’t want unfinished styling being captured on camera.
When a home is vacant, buyers may think the vendors are desperate to sell and would take a lower price. Nothing positive comes out of not staging a vacant home.
Remember, only ten percent of buyers can envision a home’s true potential. Whether you stage your home yourself or call in the professionals, give buyers exactly what they want and you will be rewarded with a quick sale and a strong selling price.
As the saying goes – you must spend money to make money. Investing in property styling is a no-brainer!
Have you used property styling in the past? If so, please comment below. We’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions on whether or not it was worth it for you.