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What is home staging? Five ways it can help you sell your house faster and for a better price

[Stock Image]
[Stock Image]

Selling your home quickly is what every house seller hopes for.

If you’re prepared to invest a bit of money to sell quickly – for a high price – home staging could be the answer. Home staging – which started in the US in the early Seventies – involves enhancing a property’s best features to attract buyers.

“As much as homeowners want to sell their homes fast and at the best price, most of the time, very little is done to achieve that goal,” says Paloma Harrington, founder of the Home Staging Association UK & Ireland. “Staged properties get more viewings, stay less time on the market, and have better chances of receiving higher offers,” she says.

But while the idea of hiring someone to stage your property might sound like a nice idea, is it really worth it?

The HSA’s 2019 Home Staging report estimated home staging costs can range from around £500 to more than £5,000, 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.

Elaine Penhaul, founder of home staging company Lemon & Lime Interiors, outlines five basic principles of home staging…

1. Declutter and depersonalise

Decluttering is one of the most important steps when staging a home, stresses Penhaul. 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.”

2. 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.

“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.

3. 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.”

4. 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.”

5. 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. “Formerly associated with luxurious and historic buildings, panelling adds an immediate value to your space, as it creates depth and interest when looking at plain and square rooms,” she explains.