We often mention the importance of experience in the formula for selecting the very best property stylist. If the real estate stylist is familiar and at-home with the housing market to the point that there are few if any surprises left, your chances to get top dollar for your property increase. There is another, equally important, factor that often gets forgotten. You must feel able to trust your stylist to do what’s best for you and your sale.

Here’s the bald truth. You will be placing the success or failure of your lifetime’s largest business transaction in the hands of the person you choose. Of course you have to feel comfortable with them. Past history is helpful, but it isn’t the only way to gauge a stylist’s abilities.

Let’s talk about what you must relinquish. It’s going to be difficult, but you are likely to be called upon to give up your own sense of style. You have probably lived in the property you’re selling for years. To your way of thinking, kitchens should be decorated in yellow and red. Dining rooms should be formal, and children’s bedrooms should be pink, blue, and cluttered with toys and books. Along comes the real estate stylist who paints the entire property in shades of gray and disposes of all your family pictures.

You need to be able to trust your stylist’s training.

Decorating in muted neutrals is one way to increase your property’s appeal to the broadest range of buyers possible. No. It’s not your idea of beautiful, but since you won’t be buying the property your thoughts on the subject are not all that important. (Ouch.) Such revelations are sometimes difficult for homeowners. Nevertheless, giving such decisions over to the professionals is part and parcel of the process.

When your property stylist suggests that you trade out your perfectly serviceable white refrigerator and kitchen range for stainless steel ones, you might not see the need. Nevertheless, you will do it. Why? You’ll make the switch because you trust your stylist to know what’s most likely to please that buyer. That’s what this is all about.

Remember, in the Sydney property market today there is a glut of houses. That means buyers can be much more selective. Your house must be presented with as many bonuses as possible. This can mean adding those stainless steel appliances, or it might mean getting rid of that tired living room carpeting and installing hardwood. Once again, trusting your stylist’s interpretation of the buyer’s likes and dislikes will drive the buying decisions and, if you really want to sell for top-dollar, you’ll need to cooperate.

All of this is a part of the selection of the best stylist for your property. Knowing that the home staging industry invests countless resources in the real work of understanding the buyer makes this a bit easier. It won’t be easy at times, but it will be necessary if you hope to come out ahead in this uncertain market.

That doesn’t mean you should compromise on the important matters. Budgeting is a great example. At the outset, you and your stylist should agree on a budget. You know how much you intend to invest in preparing your house for sale. In the beginning, your stylist will have a plan and that plan should be within your budget. Any digression from that budget should be very well defined and agreed upon prior to implementation. But, again, it’s a matter of whether or not you trust this person with your financial future.

The really good news is an excellent home stager has been at this work for long enough to know precisely what needs to be done. They are educated in what the buyer will be looking for and skilled at providing such within your agreed-upon budget. A good stylist will have factored these things into the original plan. At that point you can, theoretically at least, walk away. Leave the rest to the pros. If you don’t feel comfortable doing that, you should probably look for another stylist.

The real estate stylist you choose to do the staging of your home is your partner in creating a good financial future for you and your family. You need to recognise your own limitations and the stylist’s verifiable expertise. Your stylist is just as committed to your success as any other financial consultant would be. Give your stylist the same benefit of the doubt you would your other investment brokers. You’ll benefit in the end.

Image courtesy of Celeste Wrona.

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