If you’ve ever attended an open house and found yourself impressed by chic decor, chances are you’ve witnessed the work of a property stylist.
When it comes to selling a property, your real estate agent might be the frontman, but a property stylist is often the hero working behind the scenes.
While the dollar value of home staging can be difficult to quantify, a 2017 survey by the US National Association of Realtors found that property styling both increases the value of the home compared to similar properties on the market, and reduces the time the home spends on the market.
In today’s crowded real estate market, staging is “no longer an optional, it’s a necessity”, The Real Estate Stylist’s Sara Chamberlain says.
“We live in an online environment. Photography is everything.
“A great campaign photographed beautifully and styled well will attract a lot more attention to the property.”
The popularity of home renovation shows such as The Block has increased public interest in property presentation, Coco Republic property stylist Libby Robinson says.
“In the market that we’ve had, and are going into, presentation of property is absolutely key,” she says.
“When you’ve got the chance to catch someone’s attention, and if we can get them to engage with an image because of the aesthetic then that’s one extra click.”
Vendors across all price points are employing home stagers, with fees ranging from around $3,000 for a one bedroom CBD apartment to as much as $20,000 for a sprawling suburban mansion.
“You don’t want to price yourself out of property styling just because you’ve got a small home,” Ms Robinson says.
“Sometimes there’s a greater need for styling in a smaller property, if it’s got an awkward floorpan and people can’t visualise living in it.
“It can be more important to style lower-calibre properties because the finishes often aren’t as nice and you’re trying to lift the calibre of the home.”
Successful home staging is all about creating a look that appeals to a broad demographic and allows potential buyers to envisage how they could best use the space.
“There might be some challenges that we work to overcome and we help buyer see the potential, that’s where we add the most value,” Ms Chamberlain says.
“We try not to isolate any area of the market; we’re not too modern and not too homely,” she says.
“We walk that fine line so that a young, cool investor-type purchaser can be excited about the space as well as a downsizer coming from an ornate home.”