Property Advice - Styling your property

How Styling Your Property Can Help You Sell

If you want to sell your property without slashing your prices then you need to stand out from the crowd.

The average buyer doesn't have much imagination, and can't see the potential in a property. Of course there are exceptions, but most people want to walk through the door and experience the wow factor, or the "feeling" and be able to immediately imagine themselves in the property. If they don't have that great first impression, then they will look for things that are wrong with it - even if it's a great property and you don't want that. Your aim as a seller is to tug at the heart strings and capture their interest right away, so that any negatives your property may have will not be as much of a sticking point and buyers will make an offer quickly and without too much negotiation.

The best properties, in the most desirable areas, don't need much help to sell, but if you are struggling to get the buyers through the door, or not getting the offers you should, then home styling could help. We have seen that two identical properties, one styled and one not, have had a very different response from buyers. The one that was styled sold much quicker and at a higher price than the one that was not, so it really does work!

What is Home Styling and how can I do it?

Home styling is the process of presenting or dressing a property to appeal to the most buyers and to take advantage of available space. You need to start by objectively looking at your property as an outsider would see it and seeing things in a new light. If you're finding this tough, ask a friend who you trust to be honest and they can help you to see more clearly.

Once you've done this, you will be able to see the clutter that you generally miss, or the furniture which is blocking the flow of the room or has seen better days. So start by decluttering, removing highly personal items such as masses of personal pictures, so that there is a sense of space and neutrality which will allow every buyer to be able to imagine themselves in it.

If you have any overly large furniture and space is at a premium, remove it to create more room. Then smarten up paintwork and remaining furniture to give the place new life with minimal investment. After this, you need to really deep clean the place until it sparkles and looks and smells great.

Once you have a blank canvas you can start to add things in to make it feel modern and stylish rather than stark. It's amazing what some nice new cushions, bed spreads and rugs can do, these little touches really bring a sense of warmth and style into a property. By switching a large piece of furniture for something smaller and more modern a room can be transformed. Also fresh flowers, fruit, scented candles and art can create a feeling of the aspirational lifestyle buyers could enjoy in the property.

Keeping Costs Low

The first thing to think about is where you can store the items that you've removed from your property, as when you really declutter you will have a lot of things that you need to put away. If you have a storeroom or loft then you can keep it on site, if not then ask around to see if anyone can help with some spare storage. Alternatively, get a storage unit short term, it's a good investment if it results in a quick sale.

Once you're clear and ready to add some nice accessories or replace furniture, then you need to look into the best places to buy them. Thankfully, cool design doesn't need to be expensive anymore, with the rise of shops such as IKEA bringing great design to the masses. We have an IKEA in Malaga and you can pick up a wide range of furniture and soft furnishings there. There are also some good options in Marbella such as Loft and Roomers on the Golden Mile, and there are several furniture shops along that stretch which are worth checking out if you prefer to stay local. You can offer to throw in the new items you have bought to sweeten the deal for the buyer, or take it with you to your new place.

However, there is another option. Home styling companies such as ours allow you to rent particular items, or entire furniture packs to dress a room, or even a whole house and then give them back when the property sells. If you're downsizing or moving abroad this is a good choice, as you don't get lumbered with more stuff to move and it can be very cost-effective.

We also find that when we use a home styling pack, the design is more coherent and attractive and so the impression is better than buying individual pieces and then trying to make them gel. Of course our interior designers have matched colour schemes and styles to give the best effect and sourced clever storage options and smaller sized furniture to give an impression of space. Many buyers love it so much that they want to purchase the furniture as well and this is easy to arrange when everything is new and the vendor doesn't have an emotional connection to it.

Showcasing your property's new look

Once you have your property looking a million dollars it's vital to invest in some quality photography to show it off to full effect. It is amazing what a difference professional photography makes to the way the property looks on websites, in advertising and leaflets. There's no doubt that photographs sell and you will get more enquiries and viewings as a result of great images. If you've invested time and money into styling your property, then it makes sense to reshoot your images and make sure they are the best they can be.

Call in the Experts

It can be really tough to style your own property, as you are too close to all the objects and because the property is laid out in a way that works for you, so it's hard to be objective. Professional property stylers such as the experts at Nordica Home Styling not only have the interior design skills, but also the contacts to source the best items. Plus, because they are outsiders they can declutter and rearrange in a way that you can't. Nordica are real estate agents and rental specialists as well, so they can style a property to sell, knowing  buyers' tastes and preferences and styling properties accordingly. We also offer free stylings for vendors listing their property with us exclusively, to give them the best chance of a sale.

May Diaz is property expert at Nordica Real Estate in Nueva Andalucia