Like butler’s pantries and outdoor kitchens, the concept of property styling has moved from high-end to within every homeowner’s reach.
A few years ago, only vendors of luxury Brisbane homes would have hired professional stylists to boost a residence with upscale furniture and designer accessories before it hit the market.
But times change. Inspired by TV sensations like The Block and Selling Houses Australia, home staging has moved to the mainstream.
In today’s spirited Brisbane property market, many vendors and landlords are looking towards property styling to give their residence a competitive edge.
As local experts, Realty8 is known by Brisbane clients for our sound advice. One question we’re often asked is:
“is property styling worth the investment?”
Property Styling: THE BASICS
Property styling, or property staging as it also known, involves using interior design elements to enhance a residence’s features and prepare it for presentation.
This can include introducing new furniture or rearranging existing décor; decluttering and storing items; and adding artwork and accessories, such as cushions and lighting.
Property styling aims to:
Make the most of a residence’s best qualities, while minimising any less appealing features
Help buyers see the property’s potential, so they can imagine their own lifestyle and future unfolding in the space
Create an inviting atmosphere, with décor, accessories and artwork that evoke powerful positive emotions and the words every real estate agent wants to
Partial Styling: fine-tuning a few rooms
If a property owner opts for Partial Styling, the staging consultant will apply their makeover wizardry to specific rooms or areas. Stylists recommend focusing on the rooms that are most used or most visible in your residence, such as the living areas, kitchen and main bedroom.
One possibility is to style your house only for the real estate photoshoot. The objective in this case is for the stylist’s artistic eye to create a fresh visual direction that leads to a memorable listing.
Another option is to book a stylist for an initial consultation and to undertake the partial styling yourself – recommended only if you have genuine interest and ability in visual design, as a “style fail” can be disastrous!
Full Styling: the complete package
There are several options for styling. With Full Styling you embark on a top-to-toe makeover for a house or apartment. Normally you wouldn’t undertake a “full style” yourself but would engage a professional real estate stylist.
Following an initial consultation, the stylist would recommend a package tailored to your needs. This could entail bringing in an entire suite of furniture, accessories, plants and artwork to complement the house.
You can hire furniture, or the stylist can use some of your furniture while adding selected pieces. They’ll also source accessories and artwork to contribute visual flair.
Packages for home sales are typically set for 4-6 weeks, including one week for photography and the remainder for the sales period. Prices vary between Brisbane property stylists but a consultation may cost between $200 and $500 and a styling package can start from around $1,700 for a 2-bedroom unit.
Virtual Property STAGING: A FRESH STYLE FRONTIER
An alternative to property styling is virtual property staging: an affordable, increasingly attractive option for property owners.
If your property is vacant or you can move furniture out easily, this means photos of empty rooms can be taken and then digitally enhanced with “virtual” furniture and accessories.
There are big advantages to virtually staging a completely bare or partially furnished residence.
Empty spaces can seem smaller than they really are, and it’s hard for buyers to see their full potential. In fact, only 5% of people can visualise what an empty room will look like with furniture in place..
Property Styling: THE VERDICT
Partial or full styling, virtual or in-home staging– is any of it worth the cost?
Of course a property stylist will argue that weaving their magic adds value. But real estate agents, with their more objective perspective, agree that splashing out on styling genuinely reaps returns.
From Realty8’s perspective, this is for three key reasons.
The first benefit of property styling is that it gives the photography in your listing a “wow factor”. Property listings with professional photos receive over 150% more views online. An immaculate photo gallery can make it irresistible for buyers to visit the residence in-person.
The second advantage is that by driving more views and more buyers, property styling can help make your property sell faster. When buyers set foot in a stunningly styled home, they can visualise their future there and often want to lock in a quick contract.
Leading on from this, the third and biggest benefit is that property styling increases property sales prices. A beautifully presented residence generates online traffic, leading to higher buyer interest and competition for the property. This can translate into a higher sales price for the property. Experts estimate that property styling yields a 10% return on investment and an average increase of almost $40,000 on the initial property valuation.
There are times when property styling isn’t needed, for example if you are selling in an area zoned for redevelopment and know that your residence may be demolished and converted to units.
However, the pros of styling outweigh any cons.
Virtual staging in particular is also a great option for landlords.
Virtual staging delivers a bank of lasting and high-quality images that can be used to showcase a property to tenants for several rental cycles.
When tenants search for their next rental home online, they want to see well‑presented photos. Images of a vacated unit or a house crammed with the existing tenants’ furniture won’t present the property in the best possible light.
Even the best tenants can turn over quickly due to unexpected reasons, like job transfers. Virtual staging takes the hassle out of arranging new photos of a rental property in a hurry.
WRAPPING UP …
At Realty8, we believe property styling, especially virtual staging, is worth the cost. We offer access to virtual styling at competitive rates, and our landlords report this is money very well spent.
If you want to make the most out of your property through savvy styling, please get in touch with Royden and the team at Realty8. We’ll put the sparkle into your sale!
Royden is the principal and founder of Realty8. He is a Fellow of CPA Australia (FCPA) and holds a Business degree from the Queensland University of Technology. Royden is an avid reader and is a passionate hobby photographer. However, his real passion is Real Estate and Property Management in particular.