Home Staging – Is It Worth The Effort?
So, you’ve decided to sell your property. After all the hard work of weighing up the pros and cons of selling and choosing your agent to sell for you or deciding to take the DIY approach, it would be a mistake to underestimate the importance of marketing. Competition is fierce and your property could be competing with more than 500 similar properties. Would home staging your property improve your chances of making a sale?
Agents Are Hired to Sell, Not to Market
The main objective of home staging, sometimes called ‘property styling’, is to improve a property’s appearance so it appeals to the largest number of potential buyers and achieves the best price in the shortest amount of time.
Some clients ask us: “What is the point in dressing up the property to look pretty? I have you to sell it and that’s what I’m paying for.” This sounds reasonable but demonstrates a huge misconception. We can do our best to sell your property, but in the end, it has to speak for itself. We operate in a world obsessed with images and your property’s photos must, in the first instance, grab attention for us to receive enquiries. Agents are trained and skilled in selling properties, but without initial interest, getting an offer is a moot point.
Home Staging Is An Investment, Not An Expense
There is a saying in the industry that the price of home staging is always less than the first price reduction. If the property has been styled to meet expected demand, there should be no reason why a seller has to wait months for a sale or is compelled to reduce their asking price.
It is the price of a property that ultimately attracts interest, but home staging provides great potential for offers: people often view a property using logic but when they buy, they buy using emotion.
Home Staging Works
We have hard evidence that styled or staged properties definitely attract more enquiries faster! By creating the sense of a desirable lifestyle and cosy ambience, the viewer’s emotions will be stirred, and they’ll be encouraged to linger over your property’s images. See below some before and after picture.
What’s more, viewers will walk around a styled property for longer than an unstyled property. Being able to see furniture and soft furnishings in the rooms helps viewers imagine what the property will be like with their own possessions. The more a viewer lingers in a property, the greater the opportunity to discuss the matter and get valuable feedback.
There are added practical benefits too. During the staging process, there will be some space planning involved, which helps to make the most important rooms appear larger and more welcoming, and also to give each area a clear purpose. This factor is invaluable regardless of whether you are selling or letting a property.
How Can You Style Affordably?
There are a number of ways you can style your property without it costing a fortune, but what you will ultimately achieve will depend on your budget.
You should first estimate the cost of a professional designer who can help you from beginning to end of the home staging process. A professional home staging designer will devise a design concept and deal with all purchases, transportation, set up, record-keeping, and removal once the sale has been made. Home staging on this scale will involve fitting out the entire property with rented or bought furniture and utilising accessories to make the property look lived in.
If home styling on this scale is beyond your means, then you can opt for a designer to provide you with a mood board and make purchase suggestions as a one-off consultation. Industry associations where you can find expert home staging consultants include Home Staging Network and Home Staging Association UK & Ireland.
In our experience, getting help from a professional property stylist and using them from beginning to end works out more cost effective than trying to do it yourself. If you’re a novice at home staging, you may not be able to deal quickly and effectively with all the problems you may encounter, such as delayed deliveries, breakages, putting up wall art and ironing soft furnishings, to name just a few. When just one bedroom can involve numerous pieces of furniture, soft furnishings and accessories, imagine how long it will take you to fit out an entire house, especially if you are doing it all alone.
However, if you really don’t have the budget for a professional property stylist or you want to give home staging a go because it interests you, then of course you can. Google provides a wealth of information, as do big name stores such as John Lewis and Ikea, in fact, any store that sells home furniture. Focus on how such stores are setting out their dining tables, where they place furniture in a living room setting etc. When it comes to accessories, you don’t need to spend a lot to have a big impact. Reasonably priced accessories can be picked up from stores such as H&M, Matalan, Next, Ikea, Homesense (a Home-only TK Maxx) and Amazon.
Lastly, don’t forget your property’s kerb appeal – your property needs to look as good on the outside as it does on the inside. We’ve shared some kerb appeal tips in an earlier post – check it out here: Maximise your kerb appeal.
Don’t Lower Your Asking Price
Don’t have the time to wait for the right price but still want to make that sale? Sick of agents asking you to lower your asking price? Then consider home staging your property to make that WOW impression and attract buyers fast.