Home owners in Melbourne are pulling out all the stops to secure a quick sale as the real estate market bounces back to life, with an influx of calls to marketing experts such as property stylists.

It points to a likely rush of listings as the spring selling season begins in earnest now a ban on inspections has lifted, with no slowdown before Christmas as vendors try to make their properties stand out from the rest.

But once the pent-up demand clears, questions linger over the number of owners willing to sell next year as economic support measures are lifted.

Property Styling Melbourne founder Suzanne Commerford said she had been inundated with phone calls after Premier Daniel Andrews announced the real estate industry could get back to work after a seven-week shutdown to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

“In a matter of 12 hours it went completely bananas,” Ms Commerford told Domain. “On Sunday night I was getting calls from agents and developers wanting me to style their properties.”

The Real Estate Stylist director Sara Chamberlain said she had been very busy since Sunday’s announcement, being contacted by clients who had been in touch before the lockdown.

“We’ve got a number of properties that have been on the backlog since July, so they are the ones who will be prioritised,” Ms Chamberlain said.

“The extreme demand will probably realistically mean we can’t offer slots as early as people would like at the moment.”

Her work will be complicated by COVID-19-related safety rules that allow only two people in a property at once.

In a virus-free environment, two to three houses could comfortably be styled in a day, but jobs will now take longer as fewer people are on deck to move display furniture in and out of homes for sale. Properties must be cleaned after being styled.

Property photographers have also been allowed to return to work, and appraisals are now allowed to be conducted for residential properties, but auctions must take place online.

Create Expectations business development manager Melissa Gries said she was expecting to be working through Christmas as people looked to make up for lost time.

The seven-week hiatus was being seen as a break that many would normally have at the end of the year, she said.

“If the work is there we will definitely do it,” Ms Gries said. “I don’t think we’ll see a market where [sales] won’t heat up again until after Australia Day.”

While vendors were looking to make their homes beautiful, they were also looking to sell in a shorter amount of time.

Buyers advocate and sellers agent Wendy Chamberlain said vendors were wanting a short, two-three week marketing campaign before holding an auction.

“Many properties are unlikely to get to auction because I think a lot of properties will be sold prior,” Ms Chamberlain, no relation to Sara Chamberlain, said.

“Buyers need to be aware of that and express an interest in the property early because there’s no point in coming back later and saying ‘we were waiting for the auction’.”

Ms Chamberlain agreed that sales would be happening through Christmas and early into the new year as vendors looked to sell.

However, there could be challenges in the first few months of 2021 for the property market, she said.

The big challenge for the market would be in March, when the federal government’s JobKeeper and JobSeeker payments ended, and banks looked more closely at people’s ability to repay a mortgage after payment holidays, she said.

Stylist Ms Commerford said the market was looking positive at the moment, but there were still concerns about next year. She was hopeful the market would hold steady.

“I’m nervous about what’s going to happen next year,” she said.

Source: domain.com.au