The Property Stylist – The Thinking Real Estate Agent’s New Best Friend
There are eight seconds standing between you and a successful sale. A property stylist will make them count.
The science behind securing a property stylist
There has never been more pressure on sellers than what we’re seeing right now. The property market, particularly when it comes to houses, is still riding the crest of the wave but there is a dark cloud on the horizon.
The prices for units and apartments are expected to drop first, with house prices tipped to follow suit. While this is good news for buyers, it means that sellers are finding themselves in an overcrowded market that is steadily becoming more and more cramped.
This feeling of market claustrophobia is enhanced by cookie-cutter developments and renovations that all look exactly the same. Prospective purchases drift from open home to open home only to be confronted by the exact same design, layout and styling. Buyers are adrift in an ocean of choice.
In this stormy sea, a property stylist can provide the calm winds to safely guide purchasers to make a strong emotional connection with a property.
Everything you need to know about how a property stylist will help sell a home
When people look at their homes, where they have raised their children and built their lives, they wear blinkers. Their lengthy emotional history with the property means that they cannot see it through new eyes.
They see the scuffed hallway where their children played indoor soccer.
They see the wallpaper that they purchased when they were first married.
They see the indents and marks on the carpet from holiday celebrations and from toddlers spilling food.
They see a home that held a lot of love and they assume that potential purchasers will see the same thing.
A property stylist is the vital link in the chain that will allow sellers to disconnect from this emotional lens and help them see their property through new eyes. They will seamlessly work current market trends into the property to breathe new life into outdated styling. A property stylist will build a relationship with the seller that will allow them to present their home in a way that provides the most return on investment possible.
A property stylist is instrumental to the work of the real estate agent. Their styling expertise combined with their ability to calmly navigate an emotional minefield frees the agent to concentrate on attracting and securing a buyer.
Seller not convinced? Get our seller information guide to help your seller understand EXACTLY how to make more money on their property.
How can a property stylist improve return on investment?
A recent survey conducted by LJ Hooker indicated that securing the use of a property stylist increased the final sale price by an average of 7 to 12.5%. The same survey also showed that 96% of professionally styled homes only stayed on the market for an average of six weeks. Sellers sometimes don’t understand the idea of ‘spending money to make money’. Securing a property stylist will help them see their money in action. The beautiful furnishing, cosmetic finishes and best use of existing structures are tangible improvements they can see and touch. The instant lift that a property stylist provides will give sellers the confidence to invest into the process as the results will be immediate and directly correlate with a sale.
What difference does a property stylist make?
The proof is in the styling!
This home was valued at $880K prior to securing Grace & Co Property Styling. While there’s nothing wrong with the seller’s furnishings, it wasn’t making the most of the space so wasn’t as attractive to buyers as it could have been. The team arranged trades for touch ups and landscaping, swapped in some new white goods, got painters in and created a new lighting scheme. They temporarily replaced the seller’s furniture with on-trend furnishings.
The difference? This property sold for $1.146 million.
What is the property styling process?
- Securing a property stylist will mean an initial on-site consultation. The professional stylist will meet with the seller in their space. Over the course of a couple of hours, the stylist will work their way around the home.
- Conversations will centre on how to best present the existing home with the kinds of fresh touches that will make the property stand out from its competitors. The property stylist will make a range of recommendations which the seller may (or may not) choose to implement.
- The property stylist will organise, shop and prop based on the requirements of the property and any further industry recommendations provided by the agent. They will assist the agent with the marketing campaign and provide setting for professional photographs.
- The property stylist will monitor the campaign and make adjustments accordingly if required.
How long does a property stylist need to work their magic?
Initial home styling services can be expected to take a few hours. These can be done at the leisure of the seller and involve all parties meeting at the home to walk through together.
Setting, styling and arranging times will differ depending on the size of both the home and the task. A more superficial tidy up may only take an hour or two. More significant changes will take considerably more time.
Larger jobs may be recommended by a property stylist. If these involve the use of trades and services, sellers will be notified upon initial consultation. These changes will take place prior to the styling and will extend the process.
How much does a property stylist charge?
- The property stylist will charge the seller directly for any costs.
- The initial consultation will have a set price and then, typically, the property stylist will charge by the hour for any work thereafter.
- Any trades recommended by the property stylist will need to be paid by the seller.
- Cost may be a prohibiting factor for sellers. The real estate agent must explain to the seller the benefits of engaging the services of a professional stylist.
What kind of properties benefit from professional styling?
Most properties will benefit from the use of a property stylist. They will be able to view the home with fresh eyes, compare it to like-properties within the area and figure out specific design strategies to increase appeal.
- Homes that require cleaning, tidying and neatening. A stylist may identify a need to rework garden beds or professionally clean areas that have been frequented by pets. This will assist on the initial walk-through from potential buyers.
- Homes with a lot of ‘memories’ that might alienate a new purchaser. Stylists will work carefully to create a fresh slate where people can imagine themselves living. Existing items and memorabilia will be safely and respectfully stored away.
- Homes with eclectic current designs. While it’s great to be an individual, this can be a real block for walk-throughs. After first stepping foot in a home, buyers take roughly eight seconds to form an emotional connection to a property. If that eight seconds is spent side-stepping around other people’s cluttered belongings then that special moment is lost forever.
- Homes with ‘odd spots’. An odd-shaped corner, a thin Juliet balcony or a disused backyard terrace can be creatively styled to open up new possibilities to a new home owner.
When is professional styling not for you?
Not every owner will want to undertake the services of a property stylist. Some will be restrained by budget, some will be cynical of the process and some will not have an understanding of what the market is looking for. There will be homes, particularly newer ones, that simply require a tidy-up and a few minor furniture reshuffles. If this is the case, it’s still a good idea to arrange a verbal consultation with a property stylist to see how your client can best use their existing items to put a fresh face forward.
Selecting a property stylist
Beware of industry imposters. Establish connections with stylists who have professional recommendations, a portfolio of successful work and who can support their claims with evidence.
Testimonials for Grace & Co Styling:
We could not recommend Mel and her team highly enough. With a tight deadline in place, Mel and her team worked tirelessly around the clock to ensure the property would be styled to perfection ready for launch. We are thrilled with the outcome and would happily recommend Mel and the Grace & Co Styling team to any Real Estate Agent looking to ensure their client achieves top dollar for their property. Thanks Again Mel,
The LJ Hooker Redcliffe Team
Mel has constantly astounded me with her flair for designing and staging homes. No task has ever been too difficult and, because of her end result, we have achieved some big prices for homes that I am sure would not have been possible without her help. Highly recommended, sincere, hard-working and (she) is highly client focused.
Sandgate Real Estate
You’ve only got eight seconds to sell that home
That precious eight seconds from when a purchaser first walks into the home cannot be valued highly enough. Eight seconds to imagine themselves in this home. Eight seconds to see their own children playing in that backyard. Eight seconds to transport their lives into this new space. A property stylist will increase auction turnout, potentially provide vast return on investment improvements and be able to promote that ‘love at first sight’ response from buyers. They are the life raft in a choppy current that will safely guide your sellers towards the safe harbour of profits.
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