Pros and Cons: furniture rental vs. professional styling!
The most common feedback we hear from the real estate agents that we work with is that their vendors ask “is property styling really worth the price? How can I be sure that it will make a difference to the end sales result we achieve for my home?”
Many vendors think that they can use their existing furniture and achieve the same sales result - after all, it’s the home they’re selling right, not the furniture inside?! Another common approach vendors sometimes opt for is keeping some of their existing furniture, and renting or hiring some other furniture items to fill in the blanks.
Using existing furniture
When you’re selling a property, you’re not just selling the bricks and mortar. All agents agree, that to achieve the maximum sale price for a home you need to tap into buyer desires and sell the whole package; the aspiration lifestyle you will have, the convenience of the location, the comfort the layout and space will provide, and most importantly the quality time you can spend with friends and family within its walls.
While YOU may like your furniture and interior design, often owners are not similar to the buyer's demographics. For example, if you’ve lived in your home for many years and are looking to downsize, your home may be ideal for young families. The needs of a young family will differ significantly from how your home is currently set up, and it’s often tricky for buyers to picture the potential of certain rooms if they are furnished completely differently from how they would use the space.
If you are presenting your property with the existing furniture from the owners, more often than not it will be very lived in and this could actually damage the sale price of a home! For example, a luxury harbourside property with old, lived-in furniture would remove some of the opulence and impressiveness from the buyer's first impression. This first impression is usually from your online listing and professional photographs, so this could mean that prestige buyers may be less likely to attend an inspection or bid at an auction.
Your home is probably one of your most expensive assets, so doesn’t it make sense to invest a relatively small amount in ensuring that it presents in the best possible way. After all, first impressions matter. The feeling of walking into a home with quality and well-maintained furniture speaks to the quality of the home itself, reassuring buyers that the investment will last them for many generations to come.
What about furniture rental?
Many companies rent out event furniture and longer-term furniture. However, with rental furniture, it’s a pick your own adventure. While you may like choosing our furniture from a catalogue, it’s a whole different story when designing a room to have a natural flow and maximise the space.
Additionally, these places tend to turn over their stock less frequently, and have less on-trend and custom items - erring towards mass-produced furniture as it’s more cost-effective for their needs. There may be less choice available - perhaps just two or three different types of a side table, as opposed to a professional stylist's plethora of choices. Often these items have been rented out to short term accommodation rather than purely for styling purposes, so may show signs of general wear and tear - which naturally does not present your property in its best light.
While some furniture rental companies do deliver direct to your door, very few offer installation services, meaning you will be left with moving these pieces of furniture around on your own to find the best spot for them amongst your existing furniture. It’s often tricky when looking at a piece online to know if it will be over or undersized for your space, and may end up with a less than stellar result.
A very important point to consider if thinking about furniture rental is that the costs do add up. If you’re renting each individual item of furniture, as well as adding the cost of delivery and removal, and the time cost of installing these items yourself, we often hear from vendors that it works out close (and sometimes even more) costly than our full-service styling packages! Selling a home is already stressful enough with the packing, moving and worries of being on the market, why not outsource some of this stress to a professional?
What about listing an empty property?
There is a risk in listing your empty home for sale too!
Firstly, it’s more difficult for the buyer to envisage their ideal lifestyle in an empty property. Without cues from the furniture and set up of each room, it's tough to tell the scale and size of a room in photographs and even in person. Spatial awareness is tricky in an empty space, for example in bedrooms it’s tricky to ascertain if the space would comfortably fit a king-sized bed or only a double. Unusual layouts and floor plans are also more difficult for potential buyers to picture when presented empty. These seeds of doubt and uncertainty in the buyer's mind could make them less likely to think that the empty space is fit for their needs.
Take a look at the before and after of styling this brand new, high-spec kitchen for example. Before it was tricky to see how a family lifestyle could work in this cold, blank space. Our professional styling broke up the open plan room into 3 separate and distinct spaces, perfect for a young family that loves to entertain!
Additionally, strategically placed styling items such as rugs and furniture work wonders for homes that may need renovations or older properties. A professionally styled home can make areas of disrepair appear more pulled together and allow the buyer to understand they are liveable as-is for homes that are purchased with the thought to be renovated in the future. Think a slightly worn carpet, scuff marks on floorboards, or other rough edges - these aren’t major impediments to purchasing a property, however, if they are front and centre on display, the buyer is more likely to notice them (and remember them!), than if they are blended with a fully styled room.
So, what’s the difference with professional property styling?
All of the agents we have spoken to are certain that professional property styling adds value, increases the sales price they can achieve and ultimately provides a positive return on investment for the vendor. You can read more of our testimonials here.
"Here at PPD, we always recommend professional property styling. Our experience of 13 years shows that sales prices achieved are on average 15% higher for styled homes compared to unstyled homes. We see Spatial and their team as part of our own team and they have helped us achieve amazing results over the years"
– Catherine Dixon, Director PPD Real Estate Woollahra
"Our team firmly believes that professional property styling speeds up the sales process by half the amount of a non-styled sale. In my 15 years of experience, I find that styled properties sell faster and provide a higher return on investment for the vendor."
- Ercan Ersan, Director Ray White Erskineville & Surry Hills
Buying a home is a significant and emotional purchase - one deeply rooted in buyer psychology. It’s one of the biggest decisions most people will make in their lifetime, and is often the most expensive asset that they will own.
Professional styling not only increases your sale price, increases the speed at which your property sells, and provides you with a return on your investment, there are also other benefits over furniture rental, empty listing or using your existing furniture.
Maximise the potential of the home, minimise buyer “red flags”
A professional interior stylist will know how to best maximise tight spaces, and how to surreptitiously and expertly hide any “problem areas” of a home. Every home we see has unique features and focal points in each room that require an individual styling approach.
A neutral base appeals to a wider range of buyers
Similarly, not every buyer will be looking for the same things in a home - so providing a neutral, inoffensive base for many different buyers to envisage their lives in a property is key. We here at Spatial shy away from bold statements and showy pieces that detract from the overall feeling of the home. Our stylists also have a broad knowledge of the potential buyer personas for your given area, meaning they can tap into the mindset of these buyers and design their interior styling to most appeal to their emotional requirements for a home.
An example of this could be the recent trend across Sydney for young professionals looking for multi-use spaces - where they can have a separate space that allows them to work from home. Smart styling could maximise value in a property with a tricky layout, where a traditional study may not be possible, but a space for hybrid work is possible.
Stock choice and quality
A large professional styling company, such as Spatial, works out of a huge warehouse. We run 1000’s of installations a year so we have a broad range of stock options available. Unlike your average furniture rental company which would have a few options from regular suppliers, we have thousands of unique, high-quality furniture and decor items that we source from across the globe.
We are constantly updating our stock - so much so we needed to DOUBLE our warehouse space to accommodate the new pieces. We are so confident that you will love our furniture options that we offer our Spatial Guarantee.
Delivery, installation and pickup
Professional styling companies will always include delivery, installation and removal of their styling furniture and decor in your quote. Not only does this give you an upfront understanding of the full cost, but it ensures the logistics are all taken care of for you. Our team of expert onsite stylists will install our styling package to maximise the flow between each room, and take care to highlight any focal points that will likely add to your sale price. All the heavy lifting is done for you - both on installation and pickup, and insurance is provided to cover any mishaps!
Sometimes we have agents who have a vendor who is worried about the return on investment, or hesitant to spend on property styling. We have created a partial styling package that is available for vacant properties - meaning that we can personalise our top quality furniture and decor packages to provide a light touch and breathe new life into a room. When we create partial styling packages it depends heavily upon the quality and aesthetic of the existing furniture, and it’s important to note that this approach is less flexible in being able to target a particular buyer demographic, or to combat a tricky floor plan.
This is popular for smaller apartments and quick sales, however, don’t have that wow factor that a full professional styling package provides.
Buy now, pay later with Spatial
We know that selling your home can be expensive. You’re also at a time of massive change - often paying for extra items like a deposit on your next property, legal fees, storage for your belongings while you’re in-between places, and even temporary accommodation.
That’s why we have our Spatial pay later, where you can defer the expense of styling until later after the sale.
Keep our furniture till you sell
In addition to all the changes you are going through when selling your home, you also have to contend with the uncertainty - you never know when (or even if!) your home will sell. Unlike most other styling companies, here at Spatial, we want you to be assured that you can keep our furniture for the length of your sales campaign with no extra charges.
Properties that achieve great sales results - that is selling quicker and for more than the competition - are the ones that create an emotional connection with the potential buyer, and there is no better way to do this than with professional styling!