If you could do only one thing to make your place more appealing to buyers it would be to hire a property stylist. Property stylists, sometimes called home stagers, are professionals who, through clever use of furniture and accessories like artwork and lighting, make your place more attractive to buyers through aesthetics and ambience.
Here are five things to consider when hiring one, based on what we do:
1. Experience and expertise
Look for stylists who have an interior design background and a track record of consistent delivery. They should also have at least a few years of experience working in real estate. A lot of stylists come from an editorial background, working on photoshoots for magazines and are not always the best choice to help you sell your place.
Experienced stylists should examine your property and also ask about the type of buyers you’re expecting as this will give them a starting point for the kind of transformation they will make.
2. Match the stylist to the property
All professional stylists will have a portfolio. Take some time to look at the stylist’s previous work to see whether their design and style would suit your property. A high-end property, for example, will need someone who can do luxury looks.
While the aim of hiring a property stylist is to neutralise a space so that buyers can visualise its potential, be careful of stylists who use too much white and make the property look bland. Your place should invite buyers to project their own vision on it but also show a little personality of its own.
3. Compare quotes
We usually ask at least two stylists to quote for a job, which makes them more competitive.
For the inner-city Sydney market, prices sit around:
- 1-bedroom apartment: $2,500
- 2-bedroom apartment: $3,500
- 3-bedroom apartment: $4,500-5,000
However, the cost will vary depending on the condition and size of your property and also the availability of property stylists in your area.
Consider this cost as an investment. If the styling attracts even one more buyer than the property would have had if left unstyled, then the price tag is worth it. At auction, one more prospective buyer will easily pay back the stylist’s fee.
4. Prepare your property
The most helpful renos you can do to support a property stylist’s work is to paint the walls a neutral colour and replace any worn carpet. While the stylist will bring in their own furniture to help freshen up the place, nice furniture can’t hide walls that are too distinctive (or unattractive) or ugly floors.
Your property also needs to be empty before the stylist can transform it.
5. Leave enough time
Stylists need at least a week’s lead time to source the right furniture and accessories, and installation will generally take between a few hours to a day, depending on the size of your property. The more time you can give the stylist the better; very busy stylists will work on several properties at once and a longer lead time may mean you can secure better furniture and accessories for your property.
Real estate is all about a feeling and styling is the ideal way to create that emotional connection between a property and a prospective buyer. It is well worth the time, money and effort to have your place styled, so take this advice into consideration when you’re next looking to sell.
Mark Foy is one of our resident experts and a director of Belle Property Surry Hills in Sydney.