We understand that getting your house to sell can be stressful, especially when time is an issue and you need to get moving quickly. But have you ever considered taking a step back and trying home staging? Also known as property staging or dressing, it is rapidly becoming a way to increase the value of your property whilst getting you one step closer to a sale.
We’ve created this guide to walk you through exactly what home staging is, common questions, and how you can reap its benefits, too.
Let’s Start with the Basics
If you’ve been living in the property that you’re trying to sell fast, chances are you’ve probably developed an attachment to it, which is totally understandable. But, this attachment could be getting in the way of a sale.
Your love for bright coloured walls might not be everyone’s cup of tea. Buyers might not be able to see themselves in your property if you’re set in your ways regarding decor, or have interior items that are very particular or personal to your tastes, so start by putting yourself in their shoes – it’ll make the process of staging your home a lot easier.
When it comes to getting your house to sell, always remember to:
- Make space and avoid crowded spaces or clutter
- When in doubt, go for neutrals
Before you start staging any room, try taking a picture of the “before” stage. Most of the time we don’t notice our surroundings at home, or have gotten into the habit of seeing things arranged in a certain way. This could help you see your pre-staged flat in a whole new light.
So, What is Home Staging?
Staging your home is often carried out when you’re looking to sell your property and increase its value. In most aspects of life, first impressions matter, so this is a great way to maximise those all-important positive first impressions when potential buyers walk through your door.
It seems like a straightforward concept, but you’d be surprised at how many people keep things as they are when they’ve put their properties up for sale. By staging your property, you’re already putting yourself ahead of the curve.
What home staging isn’t, is a re-modelling project. You’ll probably want to avoid any major kitchen redesigns in case the style you have chosen doesn’t appeal to buyers.
How Much Does Property Staging Cost?
There isn’t really a one-size-fits-all cost to dressing your home when you’re trying to sell it. It all really depends on your budget, the size of the property involved, and whether you hire a home staging company to do everything for you.
Having said that, there’s no need to splash out huge amounts, either. Getting the basics of organising your property rights, such as maximising your space and cleaning can make all the difference. Buying luxury furniture doesn’t need to be on your staging checklist to make your property sell faster, but you might have to replace that old and clunky lamp (even if you’re 100% convinced you need it.)
Does Staging a House Help it Sell?
Absolutely! According to the Home Staging Association, staged homes:
- On average, spend around half the time on the market than those that aren’t staged
- Generate a return on interest of about 8 to 10% – meaning you could make back the money you spend on staging it
It really does pay to invest some time into dressing up your home. And you can do it all without breaking the bank or overstepping your budget.
How Do You Stage a House?
If you’re happy with all the basics, let’s get to how you actually do it. We’ll start by tackling important elements in all rooms, then take you straight to specific rooms that may need different kinds of attention.
Give Every Room a Job
You want to increase every opportunity you can get to allow potential buyers to picture themselves in your property. So make it easier for them by making sure all your rooms are organised with a purpose. If your office space is currently looking more like a storage room, then now’s probably a good time to sort it out.
If your walls need a paint refresh, then opting for soft, light or neutral colours is your best bet. Lighter colours give the illusion of more space, whilst darker ones can make your living space seem cramped.
If you’re not a fan of beiges, lighter variants of greys and blues will work perfectly.
Wallpapers, especially ones with busier patterns might be distracting. With painted walls, you’re essentially giving buyers a blank canvas to work with when they move in. And they’ll be less likely to focus on your ornate walls, rather than how appealing your home is on the whole.
Not literally, of course. If you have carpets, getting them professionally cleaned could make all the difference to the look and feel of it. Likewise, spend time looking out for damaged floorboards, and steaming them for extra shine and a more rigorous clean.
Make Your Living Space Sell Like a Sale
Again, this might seem like common sense, but ensuring your house smells pleasant is key. Avoid strong fragrances as some may find them to be overwhelming, but checking if your bins have been emptied and usual odour suspects like socks are dealt with.
Less is more when it comes to staging. If your living spaces are looking cramped, then consider the basics for each room and remove what doesn’t need to be there.
Any photo frames hanging on the walls, in glass cabinets or on bedside tables, should ideally be cleared before prospective buyers come around. As do little things like fridge magnets and if applicable, name signs on children’s rooms.
Staging by Room
Staging Your Kitchen and Dining Area
The easiest way to stage it is by imagining you’re inviting guests over for an evening meal. You probably wouldn’t want them to see a cluttered worktop, so make sure it’s clear of dishes, cutlery, spices and jars – this will allow buyers know how much space they can work with.
Little details like putting placemats on your dining table and a fruit bowl can add a nice touch and demonstrates that the space is actually being used. If you’re feeling fancy, you could even decant your olive oil into a bottle to match the decor of your kitchen.
Give all appliances and surfaces, including your floors and tiles a thorough clean, as hygiene can make or break a sale.
Staging Your Living Room
Consider the amount of space you have available to work with and adjust accordingly. Many rooms have furniture such as sofas and chairs pointing towards the TV, so why not make your living room unique and centre it around a sleek coffee table?
You don’t want the TV taking all of the limelight – consider making something else stand out, such as a mirror or a potted plant – this shows an attention to detail without the need to buy anything too eccentric.
If you’ve got thick, drape-like curtains, consider investing in blinds, or switch them out for less heavier curtains that are softer in colour. And always remember to let natural light in whenever you can.
Staging Your Bedrooms
We’ve all been guilty of untidy rooms, so ensure that any bedrooms are looking their best and would make buyers want to crash into bed after a long day.
As we mentioned in the basics section, you’ll want to ensure bed sheets and duvets are neutral or soft colours. Headboards are a quick and easy way to add some sophistication to a bed, and are a great way to update its look.
Again, less is more, especially if you’re working with smaller sized bedrooms, so it might be a good idea to get rid of things like wire racks, storage boxes, bean bags and anything that could make it difficult to get around.
Hang up anything that is behind your doors neatly inside cupboards. Speaking of cupboards, make sure they are also organised inside, in case buyers decide to take a quick look. Now might be a good time to sell or donate items of clothing you don’t wear anymore and free up some space.
Clear your bedside tables of any clutter – consider opting for a lamp which can add some personality to your room.
Staging Your Bathroom
It might be tempting to think that buyers will just poke their heads around the bathroom door and won’t pay too much attention to it, but always assume that they might spend a bit more time there. The last thing you’d want is for the bathroom to put them off, so it’s definitely worth putting effort into staging it.
Picture staging your bathroom with a hotel’s bathroom in mind – when you walk in, the countertops don’t have any personal items like makeup, hairbrushes or medication there, right? You want the bathroom to be a blank canvas, so leave space for them to imagine their own belongings being there.
Deep clean all of your surfaces, including counters, toilets, tiles, flooring, taps, radiators and mirrors.
Add things like wicker baskets on shelves to liven up the space and make it seem more inviting. An inexpensive way to get a hotel-feel is buying matching towel sets to go with your bathroom’s colours. Something as simple as getting some fancy but inexpensive packaged bar soap can add a touch of luxury, without breaking the bank.
Essentially, you want to take the effort out of renovating a room completely for any of your potential buyers. The less they have to think about re-doing your bathroom, the better. A quick fix could just be ensuring that the colour scheme is neutral with a repaint of walls and cabinets and ensuring all the edges and sides of your sink and bathtub are caulked – both of which only involve a quick trip to your local DIY and hardware stores.
We hope that this piece has given you the low-down on everything you need to know about home staging. It’s the go-to way to get your property to sell fast – in fact, by the end of staging your home, you might not want to part with your house anymore!
Home staging allows you to look at your house with a fresh set of eyes. Chances are, you will have become so used to the 1960s wallpaper in your rooms that it has become difficult to see why it may be stopping you from getting a sale.