Staging your home and looking for the best property stylist? Shop around. Get at least two quotes to ensure you’re paying a competitive price for property styling. More importantly though, you must select the right property stylist for your home.
A quote or consultation allows you to learn a little more about your prospective stylists. Five minutes chatting with each potential stylist will reveal a lot. Build your trust that they will deliver by asking a few simple questions. Here is a list that we recommend to help you sort the best from the rest.
Staging your home? Ask your property stylist these 10 questions.
- Why should I select you as my property stylist?
- What are your qualifications?
- Where can I find reviews of your service?
- How long is the hire period?
- What are your extension rates?
- Can I see currently listed properties that you have styled?
- Can I see an example of what you have in mind for my property?
- Pick a poor area of your home. How will you improve it?
- Should I use any of my existing furniture?
- What quick improvements can I make to my property?
Why should I select you as my property stylist?
This is a very simple question. Yet, it can reveal a lot. There are dozens of Melbourne property stylists. From each of their websites, they appear to offer the same service. This can make them difficult to differentiate. However, there is one thing the sets a great property stylist apart from the rest. The ability to consistently add value to client’s properties. An excellent property stylist takes pride in this and will answer with confidence. Whilst some property stylists tout they offer “the best price” or “latest designer furniture”, you are not after this. You are seeking property styling focused on achieving an excellent return on investment.
What are your qualifications?
Anyone can style a property, but not everyone should. There are many design qualifications applicable to property styling. Yet, the most qualified is a property stylist with a university degree in Interior Design.
Formal qualifications provide confidence that your stylist has foundation knowledge in interior design. There is a clear distinction between a degree and cheap magazine inspiration. A qualified stylist is equipped to adapt styling to suit varying property styles and layouts. Without an education in interior design, “stylists” will simply imitate styles. This rarely works. Stylists often fail by forcing a style into a space that simply doesn’t suit. A good property stylist will view your property without preconceptions. Followed by hours design a unique installation to suit.
Where can I find reviews of your service?
If you have any doubts after the first two questions, this is your immediate follow up. A galaxy of business review sites exist these days so it is hard to know where to look. Ask the property stylist for their preferred review platform.
Our preferred review platforms are Google and Facebook. These options are more genuine than other review sites that allow anonymous reviews. Both Google and Facebook ensure reviews are made by verified users. Staging your home is a key investment. Do your research to ensure you’re working with Melbourne’s best property stylists.
How long is the hire period?
Not all stylists offer the same hire period. As a minimum, it must cover the length of your sales campaign. You must also add the time required for a photo shoot prior to listing. Real estate sale campaigns typically last 5 weeks in Melbourne. Your real estate agent will recommend a campaign length. Ensure each of the quotes you receive cover this period.
What are your extension rates?
The cost of property styling should be locked in up front. Reputable property stylists will happily provide extension rates with their quote. If your property passes in at auction, the last thing you want is the shock of exorbitant extension fees. You’ll be left in a compromising position. “Do I continue to pay extension rates? But how long will it take to find a buyer?” Confirm your extension rates upfront and know what you could be in for.
Can I see currently listed properties that you have styled?
Property stylists share their best work on their website and social media. However, are they as good on their worst day as they are on their best? Whilst most stylists in Melbourne deliver to a consistently high standard, there are exceptions. If you have any doubts, ask this question. You can visit an open inspection and assess the quality for yourself.
This is especially the case if you receive a quote that is well below average cost. The old saying “you get what you pay for” rings true when staging your home. Some Melbourne property stylists can charge less because they use the same, tired and out of style furniture for years. Ensure the quality of styling matches the needs of your home. The last thing you want to do is compromise the success of your campaign.
Can I see an example of what you have in mind for my property?
A good property stylist will always be happy to share their intentions for staging your home. They will discuss what they have in mind for each room and show examples of similar rooms they’ve styled previously.
Don’t expect a comprehensive catalogue of the proposed installation. A typical installation requires the careful curation of over 100 items. This requires hours to compose. A complete installation is only composed after the customer has committed to the service.
Pick a poor area of your home. How will you improve it?
Staging your home is an opportunity to improve weak points. A poor layout, lacking natural light, small bedrooms; all common features that can reduce the appeal of a property. However, they can be improved with clever property styling.
You know which parts of your home you don’t like. Ask your property stylist how they can use property styling to improve them. Their ideas should give you confidence that they’re the right stylist for the job.
Should I use my existing furniture?
Ideally, a stylist can make use of your large furniture pieces. Occasionally, de-cluttering and a few accessories are all that is required. So it’s worth asking the question “Should I use my existing furniture?”. However, more often than not, your existing furniture is not the best option. Receiving this feedback can be tough for a client to hear.
It’s a good question for three reasons. One, you could save money. That’s always nice. Two, it reveals the stylists care and communication style. This is critical for working together. And three, it forces them to explain their vision for the transformation of your property.
What quick improvements can I make to my property?
A great property stylist has a broad knowledge of interior design and presentation. Their influence extends beyond furniture and accessories. Ask what quick improvements (other than property styling), you can make to the property.
A good property stylist will be happy to share this knowledge during an initial consultation or quote. It’s an opportunity that serves both parties. The stylist has an opportunity to demonstrate their expertise, and you score free ideas to improve your home for in preparation for sale.
When staging your home be sure to get at least two property styling quotes. Use this list of questions to screen your prospective stylists. Remember, you are not seeking “the cheapest”, those that use “the latest designer furniture” or even “the best”. Your sole focus is achieving an excellent return on investment.
Emma Tobin, Director and Lead Stylist at The Urbane Property Stylist, holds a B.D. (Interior Design). With over ten years of experience in Interior Design, Landscape Architecture and Property Styling, Emma has earned a reputation for her attention to detail and ability to deliver.