Since home staging became popular in the late 1990s with aspirational television makeover and property design shows, it is now considered an essential part of preparing a property for market.
In this guide, we take a look at exactly what staging a home entails and why it’s so important to help sell your house quickly and for the best price. We also give you some top tips on how to stage your home to get the best effects.
What is Home ‘Staging’?
Sometimes referred to as property styling, home staging is the name given to the process of preparing a property for sale.
The goal of home staging is to make a property more appealing by:
- Creating a great first impression.
- Maximising the positive aspects.
- Minimising the negative aspects.
- Suggesting a ‘lifestyle’ to potential buyers.
Home staging can be as basic as decluttering and using existing accessories to present a home in the best light or it can involve some more detailed finishing touches such as feature lighting, including sound scaping and even using fragrances.
Why is Staging Your Home Important?
Research in the United States has shown that effective staging (compared to vacant homes or those that are not presented well) can reduce the amount of time that a property is on the market for by up to a half and even improve the value offered by up to 20%.
Here in the UK, there is yet more evidence that home staging can boost the asking price of a property and help it sell faster. Research conducted by Mattress Online shows that home staging can secure offers up to 17% higher.
It is an important technique that is very powerful in enhancing the all-important first impressed of a home.
Buyers who see a well-cared for property that looks like it is a warm, comfortable and easy to live in are far more likely to shortlist your home for second viewings or make that all-important offer on.
The key is to show your buyers a lifestyle that they aspire to and not to demonstrate all of the reasons why you are selling.
Tips on Staging Your Home
The key to remember about staging your home is that the property must be the star attraction and your staging is simply to draw attention to its best features.
The first and most important rule of home staging is to declutter your home.
You may be a family who likes to be surrounded by your possessions but homes that have too much clutter on display suggest to buyers that they are:
- too small;
- do not have enough storage;
- hard to keep tidy.
Don’t stop at the surfaces and floor space but also pay attention to cupboard and storage rooms. Buyers are likely to open doors to peek inside so, again, if these areas are brimming with clutter, it suggests that space is an issue.
Top tip: Consider hiring a storage unit for a temporary period and use it to store all of your excess furniture, accessories and clutter. The cost will be more than covered by the increase it can add to the value you can secure on your home.
Start with a Blank Canvas
Home décor is such a personal thing and there are many styles that homeowners choose in order to make their home reflect their personality. Whilst you may consider your choices of wallpaper, carpets and paint stylish and welcoming, this may not translate to every buyer.
It can seem like a harsh reflection of your tastes but it is worth repainting a house in muted and neutral colours if it will fast-track a sale.
Top tip: Once you have decluttered a room, give it a fresh coat of neutral and light-coloured paint. This will help lighten a room and eradicate any scuffs and marks.
Choose Statement Accessories
With a clean and tidy room, you can now choose decoration.
Mirrors are a useful way to make smaller rooms seem larger and artwork in the form of paintings and sculpture should be kept to a minimum.
Top tip: Each room should have one focus piece; choose a single painting or ornament around which the rest of the room is centred. This should not be too dominant and gaudy nor offensive.
Remove Personal Effects
In order to assist buyers to imagine themselves living in your home, it is really important to remove the things that show that someone else is living there. Toothbrushes, clothes, family photos are all examples of the things that should be out of view when the professional photographer comes to take shots for marketing and when viewings are being conducted.
The Buyer Nose
Do not underestimate the power of smell when it comes to selling a home. Of all our senses, smell is one that has a very visceral effect on us. Good smells like baking, fresh linen and the scent of freshly cut grass have a powerfully positive effect on us whereas damp, wet dog and that musty unaired smell can make us feel very negatively about a property….even when our eyes are telling us something different.
For most of us, we will not notice the day-to-day scents of our homes but it is worth airing your property before a viewing. If you have pets, make sure that carpets and rugs have been well cleaned.
Top tip: Invest in a quality air-freshener that has a subtle fragrance; don’t overpower your buyers. Better still, consider fresh cut flowers or having a pot of ground coffee on the go when they arrive.
Strive for (Lived-In) Perfection
It might not be a realistic way to live but home staging is all about aspirational living and making your lifestyle enviable…but believable.
Taking a leaf out of the pages of design magazines is really important and there are lots of examples of how kitchens should be presented for example, with surfaces that are cleared of all appliances but with a bowl of fresh and exotic fruit or open cookbook.
Image via Pixnio
Hallways clear of almost all shoes and coats but leave those clean wellingtons by the front door.
An uncluttered lounge with a single coffee-table book open.
Freshly made beds with a breakfast tray at the foot with some fresh flowers.
Of course, this isn’t how you can keep your home styled permanently but are all good examples of ways to ‘sell’ your lifestyle.
Top tip: Pick up some design magazines like Ideal Home and get some ideas about how to create beautiful clean rooms with a touch of style.
Let There Be Light
Light is an essential element to creating the right atmosphere and the use of windows to maximise natural lights and/or feature lighting to create the illusion of warmth can all help boost the appeal of your home.
Top tip: In winter, it is a good idea to leave all rooms lit before a viewing. This means buyers can enter a room and see its appeal instantly. In summer, open windows are also a great way to let in some fresh air and get the most of natural light. However, you should consider what impact this is likely to have on noise if you are located close to a busy road or school, for instance.
Property Assistant and Home Staging
Here at Property Assistant, we understand the importance of how staging can help sell a home for more, faster. We work with professional photographers who can maximise the appeal of your property for all marketing material but we can also help advice on where your efforts should be focused prior to these being commissioned.
If you’d like to know more about our home staging and property styling advice then contact us today on 0118 912 2370