Home' API Magazine : August 2014 Contents 34
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and it’s harder to sell because not only do many buyers lack
imagination and can’t see how rooms can be used, but quite
often when you have no furniture they notice the little defects in
Bunday says it’s hard to tell exactly how much staging adds
to the sale price, as in most cases there’s nothing to compare it
to – to know for sure you’d have to sell the property staged and
unstaged, which isn’t possible.
But he agrees it can add up to $20,000 or $30,000 to the
ultimate sale price, relaying a story about a staged townhouse
he sold in a street full of identical townhouses for $20,000 more
than what the last property sold for.
“ Nothing had changed in the market since the last sale and it
went to best and final offer in the first week, and that’s when I
thought ‘there’s something in this’,” he recalls.
“ T he couple who owned the house had been prepared to spend
$10,000 on redoing the carpets and painting the walls before
that, but instead we tried staging the property and it worked out
Bunday is a total convert to property staging. He says if he
could sell every house he listed styled he would.
And he likens property styling to getting your car detailed
before selling it.
“ You want your car to look absolutely shiny as a new pin, and
your house should be no different,” he says.
It’s a common belief that styling is most suitable for prestige
properties, but many of the experts agree this isn’t the case,
with styling benefitting all types of properties across a broad
price range. Some experts argue it’s perfect for smaller units
because it can demonstrate how the space can be used, while
Bunday believes property styling can be more beneficial for
cheaper or more rundown properties, because it can distract
people from the negative parts of the home.
McLeod says in the past it may have been true that property
staging was only suited to high-end properties due to the high
cost, but she says as it’s grown in popularity the industry has
become much more competitive, driving down the cost.
“ Property styling can suit almost any budget,” she says.
“ For instance, we offer a consultation service for as little as $99
and our usual three-bedroom furniture packages can range from
$2500 to $5000.
“ W hen you compare the results of how quickly staged
properties sell in comparison to non-staged properties,
the money you’ll be saving on your mortgage and holding
costs makes it a very worthwhile investment for every
property, not to mention the possible increase in the sale
price you could achieve by creating a bidding war with
prospective buyers. ”
McLeod has no doubt property styling will boost the sale
price of a property.
“ Just like every situation in our life we expect to pay more for
well-presented things,” she says.
“ You’re not going to pay a premium price for clothes that are
heaped on a table, but put those exact items on a mannequin
with the perfect lighting, team it with some accessories such
as boots and a bag, and not only will you pay the premium
price you’ll probably purchase the bag and boots too.
“ It’s that simple. So why wouldn’t we want to present our
biggest asset in its best light too?”
According to McLeod’s statistics, a well styled home spends
50 per cent less time on the market and sells for at least seven
per cent more than a comparable non-styled home.
Findlay says the cost of property staging is dependent on
both the state and size of the property, and she says a good
home stager will work with a property owner’s budget to
maximise the return on investment.
“ Rarely are two properties the same,” she says. “ T he
investment could be as small as $500 or up to $10,000 .
“ T his is very dependent on the property itself, its location
and its price point to some extent.”
She also believes it’s essential for every property, adding
that on a week-to-week basis she works on properties ranging
in value from $250,000 to $2 million, from apartments to
When used in combination with the right price and good
marketing by the agent, a spend of one per cent on property
styling can easily return around 10 per cent of the property
value, Findlay says.
Most staging packages with furniture are costed at a hire
of six to eight weeks, which should cover the marketing
campaign for the property, and many of the experts suggest
hiring furniture for at least this period.
æProperty styling gets people emotionally connected to
the property. It creates a wonderful lifestyle that people
get lured into.Æ Cherie Barber
BEHIND THE SCENES // PROPERTY STAGING
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