There are many interior decorators and property stylists to choose from but they are not all the same.
So how do you choose who will best help you to make the most profit on your home in the least amount of time and decrease your stress levels in the process of selling your home?
A property stylist’s website and Facebook page are a fantastic starting point. Most stylists detail information on their services, testimonials, their current statistics on sales time and profit and images of their recent work.
Even better, why not head out and attend some open homes and see the stylist’s work in person. This allows you to see the complete package, not just the best work from the best angles in the stylist’s portfolio.
You will need to check the following:
1) Relevance of the styling to the market – keeping in mind the style and era of the house, the suburb and the price bracket – the styling needs to be inspirational but achievable for the buyer in order to create the WOW for that particular market (believe it or not there is quite a science to property styling!).
2) Make note of the quality and the quantity of furniture, floral arrangements, artwork, rugs and accessories installed – you need to compare apples with apples on price and the home should not be cluttered nor too minimally styled. Be wary of companies who rush to discount as they will likely cut corners on your styling and this could cost you tens of thousands on your end-selling price.
3) Is there a cohesive style or theme running through the home – putting antiques into a new build home just does not work. However, putting classic modern items and colour into an older style home can work beautifully when done well. Consistency throughout the home is essential.
4) Has the stylist paid attention to all the details by ironing bed linen, created clear traffic zones and planned and co-ordinated furniture and accessories? What about attention to seating layouts with sofas and chairs to maximise views but to also ensure that a TV and entertainment unit fit into the styling. Everyone has a TV and buyers need to know where to put it… not every living area can be styled as a “sitting room”. Of equal importance is that the property has been styled for the number of people likely to be living in the home (eg. ensuring that the dining table is not a small 5 piece setting in a three bedroom family home that simply won’t fit the family around it at dinner time). The aim of styling is to give the home the WOW factor and also to allow the prospective buyer the vision of how they could live in the property.
5) Keep in mind that a stylist is creating a look in a home for the widest cross section of the buying market, so while you may not love the look for your own living style, understand the art of styling a home is to connect with as many buyers as possible.
Once you have narrowed down your list of potential stylists you will need to meet with them to determine if they understand you and your property. Most importantly, do they make you comfortable and do they give you confidence in achieving a great outcome (both styling and financial return)? Remember that you will be working as a team with your property stylist and your real estate agent during the selling process so you need to find someone you can get along with.
I know from personal experience that there have been a number of projects we have said no to, as we haven’t felt 100% confident that styling would add value to the property without first attending to important issues such as painting and recarpeting. Honesty between the stylist and the client is such an important element.
When you engage a property stylist to design a styling package for your home, you are engaging a professional who understands the real estate market and knows how to bring out a property’s full potential to make you the most amount of money on the sale in the least amount of time. Be aware that you should plan in advance for your styling, as there can be a two to three week waiting period, especially over the busy spring and summer periods.