Selling a property can be one of the most stressful times in your life. Preparing your home for inspections, competing with other properties and then eventually settling on a price you're happy with are just some of the joys of putting your home on the market. Getting a good real estate agent is usually the first step but have you ever heard about a property stylist? Made popular by the show "Selling Houses Australia", property stylists use their interior design and property market knowledge to transform your home into one that will appeal the most to buyers.
We spoke to Justine Wilson about her involvement in styling properties for sale. Justine is the director of her business, Vault Interiors, which specialises in property styling and custom turnkey furniture packages. Justine started her business in 2010, and now has 15 employees. She has built a strong reputation in the styling industry and has styled properties for a number of Sydney’s biggest Real Estate Agencies and home owners Sydney wide. She has a Bachelor of Interior Design from the University of Technology Sydney – and has worked in the design industry experience for over 11 years. Her background also includes working on theater and set designs for film and television, and she has also completed a concept illustration short course at AFTRS, she has worked in photography styling, graphic design, events and commercial and residential interior design. Justine writes for a number of interior design magazines as a regular interior trends + tips contributor. She also appears as a regular guest on Sky New Real Estate and her company Vault Interiors is a sponsor of the Real Estate Institute of Australia.
Why do people use you when selling their homes?
Buyers emotionally connect to styled properties because it creates a feeling of home and nice furniture will create an aspirational living scenario they want for themselves. At Vault Interiors, we tap into this and have a wide range of stock to work for any property or buyer demographic.
Stylists also know tricks to enhance your properties best features, such as a killer water view can be maximised in online photography and onsite with the right colour accents to draw in those watery tones. Also, the right style of furniture can uplift any home, detract from imperfection and sell a location lifestyle - which is just as important as the bricks and motor.
What can a properly styled property do for a vendor?
Nicely styled homes stand out in online listings so more likely buyers will attend the open home if the online photography is enticing. Buyers can visualise how they may live in a space especially if its narrow, compact, tricky layout or serious of rooms. By dictating the use of each space, there is no confusion and they can get a clear picture of how the home will work for them.
Scale is very important, when we live in a property we opt for comfort and sometimes furniture is too bulky for the size room, i.e. king bed, large modular sofa, 8 seater dining table, buy placing the right scale items instead, such as a visually light glass table with less chairs, a more compact narrow sofa and a queen bed, the floor space Is instantly increased and this will attract buyers. Don’t forget, lots of people attend open homes so the less obstructions and more flow the better – to allow people to navigate the property and explore it freely.
There are studies saying property styling can increase sales price by 25% this is massive boast for the small investment that professional styling may cost. Savvy sellers who want tip dollar to know that presentation sells because most potential buyers are time poor and want a move in ready offering, neat gardens, fresh paint, and nice clean furniture gives them this impression and the property is more likely to stay top of mind for the buyer.
A Newtown Terrace styled by Justine - The sales result smashed the suburb record achieving $300,000 above the previous record set.
How do you choose the styling for a property?
Professional stylists have years of experience dressing homes to appear to the right target demographic which is also very important. You may have nice personal style, but it may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Stylists know how to appeal to a broad market and attract more buyers. It’s also about showcasing the property at its best, playing up its period features and if it’s a cool warehouse vibe, communicating this with the right furniture pieces and accessories.
Art deco styling In Double Bay
Which rooms are the most important to focus on when styling a property?
Generally speaking the main living areas and the master bedroom as they are the ones that agents will usually photography and display online. However, it is ideal to do the whole property if budget allows for visual consistency and best possible presentation.
What role does lighting play in creating a saleable property?
Lighting is so key when presenting your home for sale. We always encourage vendors to put on all overhead lights table and floor lamps alongside open the windows, the more light and bright the property is the better. A statement pendant over a dining table or interesting hallway/entry lights can also make a property feel more designer and help add to the overall impression of the home.
Traditional meets contemporary style
What advice would you give to someone thinking of selling their home?
Presentation sells! So, think about all the little things you can do to make your home more appealing, such as fresh flowers for a bright pretty display, scented candles to mask any odours and getting the gardens trim and tidy. Also, we always recommend fresh paintwork or steam cleaning carpets so the home presents as move in ready which most buyers gravitate towards.
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