Are you looking to have a quick sale on your house?
Besides the usual straightening and tidying up, you can also ‘stage’ your home to give it real buyer appeal.
Staging your home can attract buyers, speed up your sale, and even get you a higher price.
So, what is home staging, exactly?
Home staging is styling your home to appeal to more buyers. It involves stripping back your personal style to help buyers picture themselves living there.
A staged home usually appeals to a wider audience than your own style – no matter your taste.
Home staging is the act of cleaning, rearranging and remodelling parts of a property to make it more appealing to potential homebuyers.
When staging is a great investment
“Staging a house prior to selling it is one of the best investments you can make to ensure it gets a quick offer and achieves the highest sale value.
Research has shown that a staged homes sells three times faster than a non-staged home – and 70% of real estate agents stated that home staging increased the offer value on a house by up to 10%.”
Why is staging important?
According to an expert interior designer, “Staging is really important for two reasons, most people cannot see beyond what is in front of them. They get caught up in past perceptions, so you need to show them what is possible.
Sometimes rooms are awkward and you need to show people how a space can be best utilised.
The second reason is that the person may not be very good with space planning. Rooms tend to feel a lot smaller without furniture, so how we place furniture gives buyers a sample of what is possible.”
Not everyone is easily sold on staging their house in order to sell it, but it’s a key part of helping buyers picture themselves living there, with their own furnishings and decor rather than your belongings.
Most importantly, it is the easiest way to add value to your property.
Which Rooms Should You Stage?
You don’t need to stage every room in your home with new furniture – a few important parts of the house will make the biggest impact.
Since the front of your home will make the first impression on buyers, it is recommended that you start at entering through your front door instead of a side door or the garage that you may usually use.
Here’s a breakdown of the most common rooms to stage:
According to various property agents, online and magazine articles, there are common threads for staging that are recommended by all:
Kitchen: Homebuyers largely view the kitchen as not just a place for cooking, but socialising as well. Keep the counters clear of too many coffee makers, mixers and cookbooks, but set up the kitchen table or breakfast bar like it’s ready for a snack or brunch.
Bathrooms: Guest and primary bathrooms are important. Keep all toothbrushes, shampoos and soaps out of sight so no buyers are thinking about you getting ready there early in the morning. Have clean bathmats and towels that follow a colour scheme to pull the room together.
Living room: Common areas are important for homebuyers to envision how they’ll be spending their free time. Keep all furniture appropriately sized so the space feels large, even if it’s not the biggest room.
Primary bedroom: Keep the bed made at all times and add a couple of pillows and a fluffy throw to make it look like a comfy space. Never let your laundry pile up on the floor. Don’t even let it all stay in your cupboard, for that matter.
Tricky rooms: Even if it’s not one of the main rooms homebuyers care about, a weirdly shaped dining room or tiny side room can benefit from staging to help buyers figure out how the room can be used well. Instead of a queen-size bed in a small bedroom, a double bed can help emphasise the space that’s there, for example.
When you’re still living at home: If your family is still living at the house while you’re marketing it, you can still stage the space, but it may need some extra organising.
Extra bedrooms in a vacant house may not get staged, but when you’re living there make sure to put kids’ toys away and consider repositioning the bunk beds as far from the door as possible without blocking windows to make the room feel larger.
How to stage a house
- Declutter Your Home
Decluttering is the first job you should tackle when home staging. Clutter is distracting for buyers – their eyes will be drawn to your belongings and not the rooms. The rooms themselves will look smaller and untidy if cluttered, too.
Use our Storage Facilities
You can also make use of our large Storage facilities for all your extra goods that you haven’t yet had time to sort through. You can arrange for Bennett’s to come and pack up for you into boxes and containerised storage. From your home, we transport this directly to our secure storage facilities until you are ready for us to deliver them to you in your new home.
- Don’t overload storage units or boxes in your home
Now you’ve decluttered you can clearly see where there might be a need for extra storage to make rooms feel really neat and organised. Ideally, you should ensure your storage units, hidden behind doors or otherwise (remembering that buyers sometimes open cupboard doors), shouldn’t be overloaded.
When staging a house, you want buyers to think your home can cope with their belongings because your storage is ample, not under pressure.
- A freshly cleaned home
A clean home will feel well-cared for, which is important for most buyers – even renovators don’t want to buy somewhere that gives the impression of being neglected. Plus, a clean, aired home will feel fresh and welcoming – this will help buyers envisage themselves living in your home.
“If you do nothing else, make sure your home is clean, clutter and odour-free (you may be used to your pets’ pong but buyers won’t be!), and that there are no ‘yet to be finished’ DIY jobs as they’ll give the impression that your house will need a lot of maintenance.”
- Tackle Home Staging Must-Do DIY Jobs
Just as a property needs to be clean to feel well maintained, a home also needs obvious maintenance tasks ticked off in order to secure an offer fast.
- Refresh Rooms With Light Reflecting Colours
“A fresh coat of paint makes a huge amount of difference. It brightens a room, it can make it look bigger and, it gives an overall appearance of a well-kept home.”
And while you may love bright or dark colours or bold wallpapers, it’s often best to stick to what’s safe to secure a sale when staging a house. That needn’t mean white only – neutrals, naturals and pastels can all create a space-enhancing feel buyers will love.
- Renovate Your Kitchen And Bathroom
Staging a kitchen or bathroom may be more than just decluttering and cleaning – if yours is holding back your chances of getting an offer, you may need to consider a limited renovation.
This may not mean remodelling – painting kitchen cabinets can make a world of difference.
- Rework Room Layouts
Staging a house might involve reworking rooms’ layouts. This is particularly important when staging a living room.
- Remember Accessories When Staging A House
Staging a house isn’t just about adding new pieces to your home – you may also need to get rid of some well-loved furnishings, too.
“Get rid of all stained rugs and furniture. It gives an overall bad feeling to prospective buyers. It makes a home look beaten up.”
Colourful throw pillows that work together also give a home a look of well-balanced look as well as matching throw blankets.
Accessories make a big difference, too. Consider placing a coffee table book with a candle or an interesting decorative piece.
Making small changes to a room can often have a big impact on its ambiance.
- Stage A House For Comfort
Comfort is much more important because people are staying in their homes for long periods of time.
“Unlike the early 2000s where everyone wanted open concept living, clients are realising that they need privacy and quiet to work or go to online learning. Many clients are changing room formats so that every family member has an office.”
- Make A Good First Impression By Staging Your Front Entrance and Garden
A buyer’s decision making process doesn’t start once they are in the property, it started 100 metres before that (besides already starting by viewing online!)
It can be as simple as weeding the path leading to the front door to a new coat of paint on the door itself or investing in some lovely front garden flower bed ideas.
Try and clean any windows you can, especially the one at the front of the property. As summer continues new flowers or a hanging basket can give a positive impression, their aroma can also create a good first impression.
“We all make rooms multi-task for us, whether it’s a home office in the spare bedroom or a makeshift laundry space in the conservatory.
But home stagers recommend reverting rooms back to their main purpose. If your home’s listed with 3 bedrooms, make sure buyers will find 3 bedrooms at their viewing.
If you have an open plan design, split the room into zones and make it clear how you use each space.”
Home staging tends to be about boosting visual appeal, but playing on other senses can have a big impact.
Think scented candles to create a peaceful feel.
Make sure your home is at a comfortable temperature too. That might mean putting the heating on for viewings in winter, or throwing open windows and switching on a fan in the summer.
Everyone has a bit of clutter lying around. A home’s there to be lived in, right?
But potential buyers want a blank canvas so they can imagine their nick-nacks in it.
Electric leads can look a bit messy, and they get the buyer thinking about whether you have plugs in the right places.
If in doubt, unplug electrical appliances and tuck the leads out of sight.
You’ve decluttered, depersonalised, scrubbed, smartened, toned things down and spruced things up. What’s next?
“Well, the trick to home staging is hitting the right note between subtle and memorable.
See if you can add a statement item, unique display or pop of colour that will make a room stand out.
You don’t have to spend a lot to make a difference either.”
Do you need to call in the professionals…
… or can you stage your home yourself?
Although you can pay for a professional to stage your home, you can totally do it yourself.
DIY home staging is easy, fast and affordable, and you’ll reap the rewards when it comes to sale time.
So, no! You don’t always need to call in professionals! You can stage your home by de-cluttering, cleaning and adding relatively cheap items and accessories.
Once you have sold your house and are ready to move to your new home….
…then it is definitely time to call in the professionals! Enjoy a stress-free move by making use of our packing service, as well as the moving, transportation and relocation of your treasured items to your new home.
No two moves are the same!
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