To style or not to style?
We get asked this question a lot by prospective sellers. After all, when we commence searches for many buyers they are looking to simultaneously put their own property on the market and so our opinion is valued here. Having inspected tens of thousands of properties for clients we experience more than our fair share, and so can position ourselves to comment on improvements and whether or not styling is always worthwhile.
However, it really depends on a number of factors and so here’s my list of what to consider:
- Who are you pitching to sell to? Styling may vary depending on likely demographic and the type of buyer so think carefully here. There’s little point throwing money at expensive hire furniture if a developer is looking to buy, or your home is more suited to a knockdown situation.
- Remember that empty spaces often look smaller (seems illogical but it’s true!) so don’t leave a home totally vacant, if planning to sell to home buyers or even investors. Most purchasers lack the imagination to mentally place their own furniture, so having some placements even as a guide can assist here. As a minimum aim for lounge suites, dining sets, beds and side tables.
- Dress and style appropriately for the type of home and location. For example, an older Heritage-listed federation home isn’t going to necessarily suit modern or Ikea type cookie-cutter styling. Style to suit and capture the imagination of the purchaser.
- There are several styling companies out there who hire complete packages or bits & pieces of what is required to make your home stand out from the crowd. Inspect properties already on the market that you like and ask the selling agents what company they used. Most are only too happy to share the details with you.
- Don’t over-do it so much that rooms lack warmth and that reality touch. Having everything too perfectly placed can sometimes come across as hotel-room like and cold. Not all homes suit minimalist style nor do they need matching prints on every wall….
- Get a third party (relative or friend who’s willing to be honest!) to walk through your home and make suggestions before styling. You may just be surprised at what you don’t see, having resided in your own home for so long and developed bias blindness. Be prepared for criticism.
Above all, make sure that your property is clean, fresh and major repairs have been attended to before placing it on the market for sale. Giving buyers as little as possible to complain or re-negotiate about will ultimately put you in the best position for selling successfully. Happy styling!