Do you really need a property stylist?
The short answer is yes, I'm afraid, if you want to maximise the return on your property investment. However, if you really are a natural decorator with a taste for minimalism and a carefully curated collection of art and beautiful furniture, perhaps not.
What you do need to remember is that styling for sale is a different process to decorating your own home. When you're styling to sell, (and I am aware that I keep on repeating myself here), the golden rule is LESS IS MORE, and even with the best taste in the world, there will be aspects of the process (such as de-personalisation and decluttering), that will be new to you.
However, I don't believe that you need to necessarily go the whole hog and hire furniture, particularly if your property is an easy sell in terms of location, or if it's in a particularly popular school catchment or close to the beach etc. Where property styling is truly beneficial is with those properties that need some extra help or in a slow market.
I do believe, though, that a consultation with a property stylist is a good investment. I know, I would say that, but I can't tell you how many times I've looked at online photos and thought... oh dear, if they'd just done that... Depending on whatever THAT is - it might be decluttering, or getting rid of a couch, or simply cleaning - and it may not even cost a lot.
For a small fee, a stylist will advise you about how to arrange your existing furniture (in terms of spatial planning or functionalism), and about paint colours and decluttering. They will also be able to advise you about what to keep of your existing furniture and what needs to go, as well as recommendations for how to refresh your property within your budget so that together you create the most marketable, attractive and cohesive lay-out.
A stylist will explain how to work through each stage of the process methodically at what can be an overwhelming time, and they will also organise and project-manage your furniture hire, if required.
But if you are brave enough to go it alone, here is a reminder of My Top 12 Property Styling Tips and below are five recommendations that I suggest you consider before that all-important first impression of your property at the open for inspection:
1. Know your demographic and your target buyers. They will influence how you decorate your property, not only in terms of its functionalism, but also in terms of its style.
2. If you are living at the property, add plants and fresh flowers to keep the space fresh, and make sure that windows are clean and blinds and curtains are open for inspections.
3. If you can, paint the walls white. It is clean, maximises the space and gives your potential buyers the blank canvas they need to imagine how their own lifestyle will work there.
4. Personally, I'm a bit of a stickler for white bedcovers as well. They are highly practical for the six weeks of the campaign. You can just throw them onto the beds to hide what's underneath, without having to wash your bedlinen each week.
5. For those final decorator touches, don't feel you have to spend a lot of money. Thrift stores are great for
picking up decorator items, as are high street stores such H&M, Zara Home, Kmart and Target.
Glass bottle and cream and black woven cushion from H&M; grey, buttoned cushion from Kmart; washed linen cushion from Zara Home