Six minutes is about the amount of time a seller has to hit a buyer with an offer-provoking first impression, according to leading home staging professionals 3 Pea’s Property Styling – and nobody knows how to visually parlay the jaw-dropping first impression within such a pierced time-frame like director Jo Powell.
“Property styling is the conduit that transforms the selling of a house into the selling of a home,” Powell says.
“This is an important transition, because whilst property purchases are typically characterised by an aspect of financial analysis, the emotions of the buyer also come into play, even in the purchase of an investment property.”
Powell breaks down the objective of styling for sale; to elevate a property’s presentation and bring forward its best features, whilst also muting down the impact of any features which are considered less favourable.
It not only spells-out how the home can look, but how it can function, she adds.
“It provides the opportunity to address any potential concerns a buyer might have about issues such as awkward floor plans, dead spaces, unusually shaped rooms, and what size and type of furniture a space will accommodate,” she shares, going on to explain why it’s important to get it right.
“Well executed styling will broaden the appeal of any property to include the maximum number of market segments, which in turn increases the number of potential buyers,” she reveals. In this way, buying competition is increased, which leads to boosted sales price and a faster snap-up rate – meaning reduced days in which sellers are hanging out for the property on the market.
Creating an emotional connection
It all comes down to leveraging a buyer’s emotion, and helping them build a connection to the property in the short while it takes for them to walk through it, brain ticking.
“Property styling appeals to these emotions and answers the questions: Will this property offer the lifestyle I want to live? Will this property attract reliable tenants? Will the property be easy to sell when the time comes? And will it appreciate during my ownership?” Powell offers, going on to affirm that professional styling should lead the buyer to nod ‘yes’ to each of these concerns.
Being able to slow down the buyer throughout the inspection process, guide them in a predetermined path, and allow them to engage with the agent is just as important as styling the property for the marketing campaign.
“This is vital, as it’s these images that lead a prospective purchaser to make a physical inspection of the property, and very few property purchases are made without conducting a physical inspection,” she reveals.
However, Powell also reminds us how property staging can fall short.
She says that although ‘great’ styling accomplishes ‘value-adding’ objectives, such as drawing increased attention to a property’s strong features, ‘good styling’ is more decorative and does not necessarily assist a buyer in envisioning how a space will benefit them. But then, there’s the ‘bad’.
“‘Bad’ styling is like wearing the latest fashion, even though it does not suit your body type, it does not look appealing, and does not create an aspirational aesthetic,” Powell says.
She highlights how selling a property can significantly advance a seller’s financial situation, but it’s also one of the biggest single transactions they will do.
“Combine all this with the fact that you have one chance to get the most out of the sales process, and you begin to get a sense of why the process is so stressful for most people – there is a lot at stake,” Powell says.