“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
In the southern hemisphere, spring is in the air already. The days are warming up slowly and starting to get longer, the magnolias and blossoms are starting to bloom and real estate agents are starting to gear up for the busy spring market. For those of you who have been experiencing a lean time, this is now the time to make the most of those extra listings which will be about to flood the market.
So what do you do with your properties so that they attract the best possible price? It’s all about maximising the full potential of each property. It’s about setting the ‘emotion’, so buyers can imagine themselves in that house or apartment and want it more than anything else they have viewed. Presentation is everything and you may need to get tough (but in the nicest possible way!) with your vendors. It’s all about you securing the maximum amount at sale or auction for them so you need to be able to make them understand they get one chance only to get their property looking fabulous.
Here are our 5 top styling tips all real estate agents should be including:
1. Maintenance walk – Walk around the property with your sellers and start making a list. You need to be ruthless if the property is a mess. You can’t create ‘emotion’ around a property that is cluttered, shabby and poorly maintained. Recommend a good maintenance person to come and do any small fixes or handy jobs so it’s all professionally and quickly done.
2. Cleaning – The house or apartment needs to be spotless and needs to stay spotless for the open houses. It needs to look clean, smell clean and feel clean. This includes carpets, window coverings, cupboards and drawers and paintwork. If paintwork won’t come up to scratch with a good clean, suggest a quick repaint in white or neutral tones.
3. Simple, light & bright – Your buyers need to be able to imagine themselves living in the property with their furniture and belongings. Personal items and clutter needs to be removed and that may even include some furniture if the property is packed to the rafters. Simple is beautiful and if you keep this concept in mind when guiding your vendors, you can’t go wrong.
4. Inside and out – Don’t forget the curb appeal – first impressions count. If it’s a house this means how does the property compare to others in the street? Presentation, paintwork, garden? If it’s an apartment, make sure even the landing or area outside the front door is clean and attractive. Gardens, fences, gutters, paths etc all need cleaning, tidying and up to date maintenance.
5. Styling – Beautifully presented properties fetch higher prices. There is no doubt about that. If the property looks amazing, buyers will fall in love and you will have achieved your goal to secure the best possible price for your vendors. A stylist may cost several thousand, but your vendor will get that back twice or threefold. They have the eye to create a balanced, beautiful interior that will make your buyers want the property more than anything else on the market. You should encourage your vendors to use a professional stylist every time and make sure you have plenty of ‘before’ and ‘after’ shots to show future clients the difference. If the vendor won’t agree to a stylist, there are still lots of ways you can suggest they spruce up the property. Candles, cushions, throw rugs on couches, big fluffy bath towels, flowers, indoor plants and lovely accessories can be an inexpensive way to lift a property and well worth the outlay.
Buying a property is all about emotion so learn how to tap into that emotion and create the dream. You need your buyers to fall in love.
You just have to check out the magnificent properties on Instagram to see which ones get the most comments and likes. Not every property is amazing of course but if you are the selling agent, you can still ensure it is presented at its very, very, best. Real estate agents need to wear many different hats in the course of their busy day, and advising on styling is definitely one of them. If you stick to our tips above, and remember that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, then you will have your vendor singing your praises to everyone around them. And that sounds like referrals to me!
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