Home Staging and Property Styling to sell in a flat real estate market
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    Home Staging and Property Styling to sell in a flat real estate market

    One of the questions vendors often ponder when a real estate market softens is whether they should pull back on property styling or home staging.

    Typically, when an economy takes a downward turn, most people become more conservative in their expenditure – be it those selling a house, those in business or simply those managing a household budget.

    Fundamentally, we become risk averse and often adopt a position that doing nothing is safer than doing something. Save more, spend less.

    Having said this, it’s usually these ‘down times’ that are the makings of future success stories. That is, the stories you hear at dinner parties of someone buying a property at a below market value, then watching it grow over a few years to turn out to have been a great buy.

    These people are often considered lucky by their fellow diners, however I’d argue that they’re actually well researched and worked hard to better understand what opportunities were available in the existing climate.

    That’s why they did well.

    My point is that in down times, you’re better off educating yourself and doing something rather than just doing nothing.

    So let’s look at some of the facts about selling and how you might approach home staging or property styling in a downturn:

    Fact 1. Properties become harder to sell with lower clearance rates

    This generally means there are more sellers and fewer buyers than when the market is in equilibrium. That is, the sellers are in a far more competitive environment.

    As a vendor, this means you need to do more to sell your property. Fundamentally, you can drop your price, increase advertising or make the property more appealing than other properties on the market.

    In good times, expert property staging easily boosts the selling price by $3 for every $1 spent on home styling. (In fact some of our clients have enjoyed 10 or even 12 fold returns on their home staging). However in tougher times vendors usually still achieve the three for one ratio at the very least, managing to sell their home for a fair market price, quickly.

    That is, they don’t become the ‘victim vendor’ in those dinner party stories.

    Fact 2. Properties values’ reduce

    Across a city the property values soften with a few prime real estate pockets weathering the storm a little better than most. That is, virtually everyone suffers a reduction in value to some extent.

    The best way to measure property value and returns is with comparable sales. The most comparable properties are those with the same design, age and build – next door to each other.

    Imagine yourself as a buyer confronted with two neighbouring properties for sale. One is tired, needing repairs, peeling paint on the façade and inside, an overgrown and weedy front yard.

    The other is freshly painted in modern colours, well maintained and smartly furnished. It’s appealing.

    In any street, in economic climate, in any suburb in Australia, the better stageded/styled property will always sell for more – and faster.

    Applying a little spit and polish to one of your most valuable assets before you sell it means you won’t lose when you sell. In fact, if it’s done properly, you’ll get a price that exceeds your expectations.

    If you’d like to find out more about how to style your property in the current property market, contact me, or call 1300 768 464.

    Richard Armstrong is a Director of Melbourne firm The Makeover Group.. He possesses over a decade of property styling and makeover experience and post graduate property qualifications, researching what enhancements give the best returns in the Melbourne property market. He is the author of the books Sell Your Home For More in Any Economy and RentBuilder – An Experts Guide to Cashflow Positive Makeovers. A registered building practitioner, he contributes to Australia’s leading property publications and websites and has helped thousands of clients add millions of dollars (collectively) to their property returns.