Should you stage your property?

Nothing fires the imagination of a buyer than recognising the potential of your property. When that magic happens, you can be confident of attaining an optimum price and dodging the distress of your property staying on the market longer than anticipated.

By Steve Lowe

20-01-2020
Nothing fires the imagination of a buyer than recognising the potential of your property.

When that magic happens, you can be confident of attaining an optimum price and dodging the distress of your property staying on the market longer than anticipated.

Styling a property, also known as home staging, is a great way to inspire prospective buyers.

It presents the property in the best possible way, using suitable furniture and accessories to maximise the impression of space and light. You will see the immediate impact in the photography used for your marketing campaign.

During inspections, you will have removed any possibility of a buyer’s bias against your own interior design tastes. Also, over-sized furniture and family bric-a-brac contributes to the impression of a small, cluttered property.

Styling focuses on the key areas – entry, kitchen, lounge and the master bedroom. All personal touches, such as family photos, will be removed along with the clutter that gathers from everyday living.

Some specialist companies, such as the Adelaide-based Dressed for Sale, will also undertake any repairs, install new flooring to replace a worn carpet or scratched floorboards, and even spark up the garden.

Employing a stylist is an additional cost but evidence suggests your return on investment is handsome, possibly between 7.5-12.5 per cent. When you consider that your home is your largest asset, the case for employing a stylist is compelling.

Dressed for Sale boss Tiffany Murray says styled homes sell faster and generally exceed market average prices. “We use modern contemporary pieces, unless the home is period,” she says, “but it’s not about selling the furniture but selling the home.”

The cost of hiring furniture might start around $2,000 and there will be the additional cost of storing your own furniture while the property is on the market.

Seek agent advice on the potential benefits of home styling for your marketing campaign and for their recommendation on the local stylist companies.

If you want to style your own property, focus on:

- Small furniture that gives the impression that rooms are large
- Modern fitting and accessories
- Bright artworks
- Neutral colours, including bedding; and
- Declutter, taking away personal effects such as family photos, trophies and so on.
- Lastly don’t forget to budget for removal storage if you are to take away your own furniture as part of this process.