Presentation is Everything

Presentation is Everything

When selling your property, grabbing the attention of prospective buyers and making a fantastic first impression is what really counts. It’s no different to highlighting and underlining a heading.  It’s prominent and the message is loud and clear.  What you see and think at first glance will frame the way you approach what you experience next.  The same principle applies when selling your home.  If a buyer walks through the door and they are not only greeted with a warm welcome, but the property itself is presented in a way to achieve the same effect, you are more than halfway there.  So how can we achieve this other than cosmetically sprucing up a property through renovation or by giving it a lick of paint?

Through Property Styling! 

In real estate sales, this has become a ‘No Brainer.’  While  the cost of property styling typically ranges from around $3000 for a 2 bed apartment, up to $10,000 for larger homes, the added value it can create, in my experience is significant. I have personally witnessed numerous sales that have been fought over aggressively at auction due to the picture that was painted by the styling.  In some instances, I believe the styling has added up to $100,000 in value to the campaign.  

At first when I tell my vendors how much the styling will cost without being able to keep a single stick of furniture, they tend to be a little apprehensive.  Regardless it is extremely rare I take a vacant home to market without being styled first -  in other words, I am usually able to convince my vendors that it is well worth the investment.

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Let me quickly break down the process, and consider just what you are paying for:

  • Firstly, you will have a meeting with the stylist - they will explain how they can help, take photos and measure up where necessary.
  • Once the initial consultation has taken place,  the stylist will have a vision and know what stock they have in the warehouse that will be most appropriate for you. They can also work in with current lifestyles and furniture set-ups you have.
  • The property styling advisor (stylist) will generally not only have experience but also an interior design university degree or similar qualification, so listen to their advice!
  • Come delivery day, the stylist will coordinate the removalists. 
  • The furniture is then placed, soft furnishings arranged, and pictures and mirrors are hung on the walls with hooks fastened accordingly.
  • A great stylist will work hard to please the agent, the vendor, the photographer while ultimately knowing what will best attract prospective buyers.
  • Once everyone is happy with the result, professional photos can be taken to supercharge your marketing campaign.
  • Throughout the selling period of (20+ days in my local area) the furniture remains in your property.
  • At the completion of the sales campaign,  all items are picked up, loaded into the truck and returned to the warehouse.

I must confess with irritation, as a person who renovates apartments for the purpose of sale, it is often the case that the styling will achieve the largest profit over investment ratio for a vendor.  After all the work that goes into the strip out and complete renovation of an apartment at a cost of around $40,000 to $50,000, I often find it is the $3,500 of styling that will be the main factor in pushing up a sale price, by appealing to a purchaser’s emotional side.  Emotion beats reason every time!

Looking at this from the opposite side of the transaction, the kind of property I would want to compete for is an empty house.  The reason being,  I can be sure that bidders aren’t getting carried away by the picture of a happy home, or the warmth and good feeling brought into the property by pictures, furniture, mirrors and colour.  In other words, I don’t want to be competing to purchase a dream that has been hired by the vendor. 

I went to University to become a property economist, licensed agent and property valuer.  I find it hard to mathematically justify that a property’s  value can be lifted by styled furniture that will no longer be in the property when the keys are handed over. Experience however, has taught me otherwise.  

The overall message: Presentation is Everything!

 

 

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