To style or not to style? This is the question many first-time home sellers have. Is it worth the investment? Would I get my money back? Is it true that styling increases the sale price? What is the return on investment on property styling? Here are some answers.
Home staging and Property styling
For the clarity of this article, we make difference between ‘staging‘ and ‘styling‘.
‘Staging’ involves arranging furniture and decor in the house. ‘Styling’ concerns the overall presentation, including colour coordination, flooring, light fixtures, front door, window coverings, landscaping, etc and yes, furniture. Thus, ‘staging’ is part of the ‘styling’.
The home staging prices depend on factors like the size of the property, its location, the lifestyle showcased and the experience of the stager. They also depend on the period the furniture needs to stay at the property.
The reason why the service might look costly is that there are skills, inventory, equipment, energy and time involved that are not obvious at first. Only when you see the transformed premises, you can understand the effort that goes into home staging.
What are the benefits of property styling?
This is how home staging can help you with the sale of your property.
- Professionally staged and photographed property will attract a bigger number of potential buyers to home opens after they have seen it online.
- The larger number of people viewing the property results in more offers. More offers bring the sale price higher and the home sales for more than initially possible.
- Home staging will decrease the time your property is on the market and thus decrease expenses like mortgage repayments.
Are home staging and property styling worth the investment?
Let’s see what the available statistics say. According to the Profile of Home Staging for 2021 published by the American National Association of Realtors:
- 81% of sellers visualise more easily a property as a future home when it is staged
- 46% are more willing to walk through property after seeing it online
- 45% of the buyers perceive more positively the value of a home when it is staged according to their taste
- 23% of all agents say the home staging leads to better offers (between 1% and 5% compared to not staged similar properties); 18% say that the increased value is between 6 and 10%
- 33% – 50% of the staged properties sell faster than those that were not staged
In Australia, many owners ‘leave money on the table’ by not styling their property for sale. In Perth, a home staging returns an investment of two to five times its cost.
In 2016, LJ Hooker did a survey asking their Top 50 selling agents how sellers can achieve the highest price. The answer was ‘Style your property to sell!’
Here is what the Top 50 selling agents said:
- 98% of the agents believe that styling achieves a higher price
- 83% of them believe that styling can add over 2.5% to the property’s price
- 92% of them believe it influenced a quicker sale
- 88% think that the home styling triggered multiple offers
The survey also listed the most important tasks that the ‘styling’ involves in this order – removing clutter, eliminating smells, repainting walls, tidying gardens, refinishing floors, and updating the bathroom and kitchen fixtures. Cleaning carpets and rugs, re-grouting tiles, adding fresh towels and pillows, and new lights. Displaying fresh flowers and fresh baked goods and coffee were the least important.
All these improvements are sure to work no matter if your property is vacant or occupied. This is why we call our business Property Preparation, not home styling. We offer services that cover all these needs.
Vacant home styling vs occupied home styling
If you plan to live in your property while selling it, it is cost-effective to do some of the work yourselves if you have the time. What about if the home is empty?
When the home is vacant, every dent and scratch on the walls, every defect on the floor, and dirt on the kitchen benchtop are the things a potential buyer sees. Many people cannot see the potential of the property; they see what it is now.
When you occupy your home while selling it, it might be more difficult to keep it well presented for the open times, but it might end up cheaper. If you have the budget but do not have time to declutter and do fix-ups yourselves, pay a professional to do it.
If your property will be vacant, a home stager will bring in their furniture and décor to make it appealing to a larger audience. A good home stager will give the property a bit of character as well while still keeping it attractive to the wider population. Either way, your investment will pay off in a quicker deal and higher sale price.
Property styling, when well done, creates spaces where people feel good. This is the only reason why it is worth your money. The return on investment on property styling is from two to five times its cost.