Here’s one of the worst-kept secrets about Brisbane real estate…. Many of the homes for sale are badly presented. Tired, gloomy and often poorly furnished. I can hear the “heck yeah!!” from those who’ve bought in recent years. You know what I’m talking about right?! It’s hard to get excited about spending half a million bucks and more on some of these places, and it’s one of the reasons many buyers turn to brand new apartments for example – there’s nothing like a bright, fresh place with a modern décor.
I love watching trends in other markets internationally and our Realtor cousins in the USA are big supporters of “home staging”, decorating and furnishing a home to a very high standard before showing any buyers through. Interestingly Realtors usually pay for this out of their own pockets (NB: their commissions are almost double ours!) so that’s pretty compelling evidence they believe it’s an investment in the sale that will get a strong return – in both higher property prices and a quicker result.
Every seller wants their property beautifully presented but finding the time to organise can be hard – even if you know what’s really needed – and you may not have spare cash for this as well as a marketing campaign. So the Bees Nees Realty team this week launched a new decorating and furnishing service that offers a simple solution to all those problems.
“US research tells us that staging a property can reduce time on market by 30-50% and fetching as much as 6% to 20% more than an empty home.” That’s according to Anastasia Dinos from Mood Design, a Brisbane interior designer who’s part of this hugely growing trend to styling homes before they go to market. Anastasia says decorating a property makes the buying decision more emotionally driven.
“Staging is a communication tool. By helping a buyer to visualise a room, it speaks to their emotions by selling the property as a home – not a building. Have you ever looked at an empty room and when you furnished it, you realised it’s actually a lot different to how you’d imagined? Staging creates that vision for a buyer, allowing them to imagine how the space can be used. It creates an emotional response and sense of lifestyle that they’re buying into.”
Many of our landlord clients look to sell while tenants are still in the property and we understand the financial appeal of this. But here’s the harsh truth – even terrific tenants will rarely present the place like a display home. Partial or mismatched furnishings are common and we can’t tell you how many times we’ve taken buyers through a rented property that has last night’s dishes in the sink and last week’s underwear on the floor! Yes we can sell a place that’s rented, but achieving that premium price is difficult if presentation is not perfect. Investors need to have an honest chat with their selling agent (us!) about selling while vacant. After refreshing the paint and maybe the carpets, and staging and decorating so it really captures the hearts of as many buyers as possible.
Maybe you’re still living in your property? We’ve done a number of partial stagings like this one above, where existing furnishings can be given a ‘joosh’ with the experience of an interior designer. The Bees Nees service for our sellers includes free of charge co-ordination of new floorcoverings, repainting and the full staging process, and interest-free finance is available for 6 months to approved clients.