There is a science to making presentation profitable

In today's real estate market it's clear how important property presentation and styling has become and how much this can impact a sale.

Sellers across Australia are seeing an increase in returns on their investment in this area. However, you only need to look closer to home and visit open inspections on the weekend to see the significant impact this trend is having in our Adelaide market. Approximately 75 per cent of residential properties for sale now incorporate some form of professional styling.

There is no denying that home styling adds to the bottom line of the sale price and there are many case studies of fantastic outcomes for properties. These case studies are well above what the clients expect – I was one of them last year when I sold my property in Parkside. The styling and presentation of my property, I believe, had a very significant impact, and I worked out that this would have added 10 per cent to the property sale price!

So, with presentation and styling increasingly adding to a property's return, why do we hear stories of some sellers spending $15,000 and receiving little to no return, while others can spend $8,000 and more than triple their return?

There is a science to this – and, as real estate agents, it's where we can step in to help consumers. Return on investment (ROI) for presentation isn't just luck. Employing an agent with experience and market knowledge can really add valuable intel in this area to help consumers maximise their sale price.

Many agents and sellers understand the concept of home presentation – making sure a property appeals to the maximum number of buyers, giving a maximum chance of competition and a maximum chance of achieving a premium result. There are also many articles written about this area, discussing strategies such as removing family photographs, personal items, de-cluttering, hiring furniture and giving the property a fresh coat of paint. It all adds to broadening a property's appeal. We believe there is more science to this to give you the best chance of a high ROI.

The big questions agents get asked are: How much should I spend on preparation? Where should I start? How much money do I need to spend to maximise the return?

This isn't a one-size-fits-all approach. There will be different answers to these questions for every property. However, they will all start with the same approach: starting with the end in mind.

The science to working out how much a consumer should spend and what preparation they should do starts by agent and vendor talking through who they believe will be the most likely buyer of the home.

What does this person look like? What is their lifestyle like? What do they do in their spare time? What do they want from their new home? A big clue, and an exercise we go through with our sellers, is looking back to when they bought the property and remembering what attracted them to the home. Often the buyer profile will be very similar.

Once we get a clear picture of who the buyer is, the presentation plan of how much to spend and what to concentrate on to maximise returns becomes much clearer.

For example, if we were selling a modern townhouse in Norwood we would look to attract young professional couples since we are finding they are looking in this area at the moment for this type of property. If the property had an old rundown boundary fence it could significantly impact its attraction of this type of buyer to the property. Whereas, if you had a character 'renovator’s delight' property in the same area, with the same condition fence, the buyer profile is very different. This is a property that is extremely attractive to developers or renovators, so fixing the fence before sale would be a waste of money.

While this is a relatively simple example, it can get very strategic and working through this process provides huge insights on how to optimise a vendor’s returns, which is key to achieving great results!

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Genevieve Toop

Genevieve Toop

After attending Geelong Grammar in Victoria, Genevieve went on to attain a Bachelor of Business, specialising in marketing at Monash University in Melbourne. Graduating in 2007, Genevieve came back to Adelaide and worked for the family business for two years. Beginning on reception, she worked her way through all facets of the business. In 2010, Genevieve made the decision to gain international market experience and moved to the UK, where she worked as a buyer's agent in London and then in sponsorship and advertising at the Institute of Chartered Accountants England and Wales. Genevieve returned to Toop&Toop in 2012 and is now general manager of sales and marketing. Toop&Toop Real Estate is South Australia’s largest family-owned residential agency, specialising in the premium market.

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