IN this week's Property Patter, we explore the idea of home staging and how the trend is said to increase a property’s value by 10% and sell three times faster.
The concept involves more than ensuring your home is tidy and sticking a ‘for sale’ sign up, to really grab the imagination and attention of buyers, it helps to stand out.
Home staging – which started in the US in the early Seventies – involves enhancing a property’s best features to attract buyers.
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Elaine Penhaul, founder of home staging company Lemon & Lime Interiors, says the cost of professional staging varies from roughly 0.5%-1.5% of the property guide price, depending on its size, value and what needs to be done.
The HSA’s 2019 Home Staging report estimated home staging costs can range from around £500 to more than £5000 but found staging can increase a home’s value by up to 10%. In addition, 85% of estate agents reported that a staged home sells up to three times faster than a non-staged property.
Here, Penhaul outlines five basic principles of home staging…
Declutter and depersonalise
Decluttering is one of the most important steps when staging a home, stresses Penhaul. "Buyers are often expected to see past clutter, but this can drastically slow down the selling process and decrease the property’s value," she explains.
She says potential buyers want to be able to imagine their own possessions in a house they might buy, which is why it’s important to ‘depersonalise’ it as much as possible. "While selling a home can be an emotional process, depersonalising it can help a seller to start the process of ‘letting go’,” she says. "Tidying away children’s toys, ornaments, family photographs and portraits, plus any other collectables that might not suit another buyer’s taste, is an important start to the moving process."
Ensure space is used well
Many houses contain ‘redundant’ spaces, such as second sitting rooms, spare bedrooms or cellars, explains Penhaul. "If a space is too big, it can often overwhelm buyers, so you should look to fill the space with the right-sized furniture," she advises, pointing out that home stagers would do this through furniture rental.
Sometimes, these ‘redundant’ rooms have been used as a dump for clutter, or boxes ahead of a planned move, says Penhaul. "This prevents viewers from seeing these rooms as another asset to their new home. A bedroom without a bed will appear smaller than it is. A box room used for ironing won’t feel as though it could possibly be an appealing home office. Ensuring every room has a function targeted to the buyer market will create a faster sale with higher offers," she promises.
Spruce up the exterior
Unappealing exteriors can lose a sale before the buyer’s even set foot through the door, warns Penhaul, so it’s worthwhile giving your home’s exterior a facelift. New windows and doors look great but will cost thousands, so she suggests: "Rather than spending a fortune on refitting new frames and doors, spray your existing ones with a lick of paint, to give them a new lease of life, and possibly add up to £10,000 to your house value."
Consider art rental
You may not have thought of this one, but renting some classy art as you try to sell your home could really pay dividends, says Penhaul. "Art makes a home more human. Breathing life into a room, it is more than just an aesthetic – it’s about evoking an emotion in the potential buyer – that’s what sells."
She explains that art can be the guiding framework of a room, helping build the overall layout for placing furniture, maximising space and creating a focal colour scheme, which sets the ambience and feeling of a space. "Introduce art as a tool to make your home more appealing, taking shapes, colour and themes to guide the rest of your space, ensuring the entire home feels more cohesive," she says.
Add internal panelling
Modern and traditional panelling techniques are increasingly popular among current buyers, says Penhaul, pointing out that for less than £100, it’s possible to create a desirable feature wall that gives off an expensive look and feel to potential buyers.